Sample Essay on Gender Wage Gap
Gender gap is an issue that has generated fierce debate in the US and many other countries across the globe. It is the difference between the wages earned by women and wages earned by men. It can be measured in different ways but the commonly used strategy has been evaluation of full time and full year wages.
Gender wage gap can also be measured based on hourly wages. Recent research carried out in Canada and parts of the US reveals that gender gap is estimated at 26 percent for women that work on full time basis. This is an equivalent of $1.00 earned by a male worker and only 74 cents earned by a female employee.
Because of gender wage gap, a Pay Equity Act was passed in 1987. The gender gap was then estimated at 36 percent. The research also shows that the gap has been narrowing slowly over the past few years.
Common causes of gender wage gap
Gender wage gap is caused by a number of factors including the need to leave, choose or re-enter a work place because of family responsibilities. Many women are care givers at home and such responsibilities prevent them from earning a good amount. Such responsibilities also result in loss of seniority at place of work, in wages and advancement in technology or opportunity.
Low paying jobs including clerical work and childcare also cause gender wage gap. There has been historical segregation and women are undervalued because they are seen as the only ones who can take up such jobs.
Lower education levels also contribute to gender wage gap. Today, this is becoming less of a gender wage gap factor because many women have advanced in education. There are many graduate women across different parts of the globe.
Less unionization especially amongst the women also contributes to gender wage gap.
There is also discrimination in the workplace especially when it comes to hiring, promotion and compensation practices in different companies.
Closing the gender wage gap
The United States has been employing different strategies to help fight gender wage gap because of the alarming statistics on women who are affected by wage gap. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of gender wage gap is caused by discrimination.
Therefore, there are different policy options that the government has been pursuing to address the issue. Pay Equity Act is one of the policies put in place to address gender wage gap. This is because of systematic discrimination of women in the workplace especially in terms of compensation practices.
The act works by putting on onus on all employers to establish compensation practices that favor men and women. It also expects employers to maintain the same practices over a long period of time.
The policy also states that employers should adjust job rates and compare job classes of men and women. This is to ensure that job classes allow women to earn the same amount as men depending on their efforts, skills, working conditions and responsibilities in the work place.
Compensation practices help to address gender wage gap. By adopting pay equity initiatives in the states, the wage gap can also be addressed effectively.
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