TheArgument for a 70% Pay Raise for Women
Fromtime immemorial, gender disparities have existed in almost allaspects of life. These include education, employment andremuneration. Even for developed countries like the United States,gender gaps are still an issue of contention even today (Farrell,2004).Women activists, lobby groups and feminists are still on a heartedcampaign to bring equality between men and women in crucial sectorsof life. In this light, there have been calls to awards women with ahefty 70% salary increment as a way of promoting equality betweenwomen and men as far as salaries are concerned. This paper seeks tocast light on this issue taking into consideration both sides of thedivide.
Severalinfluences have been raised by the followers of this attempt to awardwomen a 70% pay raise. Most of them argue that women have a hard timegetting education and jobs as compared to men. When they get thejobs, they worked very hard for, women work as hard as the men theywork with. However, in most workplaces, men earn more the women evenwhen they have the same rank at the place of work, or they performsame tasks (Connerley& Wu, 2015).For example, a study conducted in 2013 showed that the average annualsalary for men in full-time jobs was $860, considerably higher thanthe $706 average for women. This gender gap is one the motivatingfactor behind the call for a 70% for women.
Apartfrom the gaps in employment and pay, the other factor thatnecessitates the proposed pay rise for women is the responsibilitiesthey take up in society and family. Compared to the previous century,women today have taken up many responsibilities that have made themequal sustainers of their families, just like the men. Unlike longago when women only stayed at home, and they fully depended on theirpartners to cater for them and their households, women today playthese roles effectively (Brzezinski,2011).As a matter of fact, studies estimate that women are the breadwinnersin 40% of American households.
Tofully understand the justification behind this call for a 70% payraise for women, it is necessary to look at the gender pay gap thatexists today. Human capital factors combined with work trends such aswork experience, marital status and education are seen to affect theremuneration of women negatively. With these factors under scrutiny,women earn averagely 20% less than what men with the same educationand works patterns as they do. For example, when they are notmarried, men and women earn almost the same salary. However, aftermarriage, the man’s salary shoots up since the woman is held up byfamily responsibilities that at times hinder their productivity atthe place of work (Billitteri,2008).
Questionsarise as to why lobby groups and other concerned parties are callingfor a 70% pay raise for women. Their explanation is that the pay gapbetween men and women is a result of discrimination. They insist thateven in the same place of work, men are more likely to get a payraise than the women. Studies show that women who request for a payraise or a higher starting salary are less likely to get it comparedto men. Also, pay gaps decrease as one goes up the employment ranks.The gap is largest at the bottom and middle of the salary scale.Although this gap significantly reduces at the top of the wage scale,due to the discrimination factors mentioned earlier, women hardly getto the high paying ranks in their places of work.
Evidently,significant pay gaps exist between men and women even when they havethe same qualifications and productivity at the place of work(Sandberg,2015).Various factors such as education, marital status and job tenurecause these disparities in remuneration of workers, with women on thelower side of the salary scale. As a result, there is a need foraction on this matter. However, asking for a 70% pay raise for womenis not an effective solution since it may create a crisis when menalso demand an increase. Addressing the factors that create the paygap is a more efficient and lasting solution to this problem once andfor all.
Billitteri,T. J. (2008). Genderpay gap.Washington, D.C: CQ Press.
Brzezinski,M. (2011). Knowingyour value: Women, money, and getting what you`re worth.New York: Weinstein Books.
Connerley,M. L., & In Wu, J. (2015). Handbookon well-being of working women.
Farrell,W. (2004). WhyMen Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap — and WhatWomen Can Do About It.New York: AMACOM.
Sandberg,S. (2015). Leanin: Women, work, and the will to lead.