EqualPay for Men and Women in Corporate America
Thearticle “Pay gap is smaller than ever and still stubbornly large”was authored by Claire Cain Miller and published in the New YorkTimes on September 17, 2014. The aim of Miller’s article is toaddress the issue of the continuous decrease in pay gap that hasexisted throughout the history of the formal labor market. Millerholds that the difference between the amount that a man is paid eachyear and what a female worker doing the same job earns during thesame period has been shrinking with time. This assertion is confirmedby the data released by the Census Bureau indicating the pay gapshrunk from 40 cents in the 1960s to 22 cents in the year 2014(Miller 1). However, a significant decrease in the gap was observedbetween the 1970s and the 1980s. Since then, the rate at which thedifference between the wages paid to men and women has been reducingat a slow pace. In this paper, the key factors that have contributedtowards the decreases in gender-based gap will be discussed.
Thereare three key factors that have made a significant contributiontowards the social change involving the decline in the gender-basedwage gap over the years. The first and the most significant factor iseducation, where more women have been pursuing the same levels ofacademic achievement and vocational training as men. The current wagegap expands with the increase in age of groups of workers, whichsuggests that the millennial women are almost equally educated astheir counterpart young men (Miller 1). The older women, on the otherhand, are less educated compared to their counterpart aged men.
Theargument that the educational attainment has been the leading causeof the decline in the gender-based pay gap is confirmed by studiesshowing that women have an equal opportunity to pursue high schooland other levels of education as their counterpart women. Forexample, a study of the progress made in the U.S. showed that over 90% of both men and women had at least a high school education by theyear 2015, but more women (60 %) had some college education than men(58 %) (Camille 2). The same study showed that about 33 % of Americanwomen had bachelor’s education compared to 32 % men and 12 % ofeach gender group had postgraduate certificates. These statisticsconfirm Miller’s assertion that women have equal or moreopportunities to access education compared to men. An increase in thelevel of education goes with a commensurate increase in compensation,which explains a trend in which the gender-based pay gap has declinedwith time.
Thesecond factor that has contributed towards the decline in pay gap isthe ability of women to diversify their occupations and to enter thejob markets that were previously reserved for men. The willingness ofwomen to enter a variety of industries has given them the opportunityto reach better-paying job ranks, such as the executive positions(Miller 1). In other words, the ability of women to do jobs that werepreviously done by men has given them the opportunity to earn whattheir male counterparts used to get, which has minimized the wagegap. For example, a woman who assumes an executive role is likely toearn the same or nearly equal amount as a man who does the same jobsince their academic and experience are similar.
Third,the application of technology in the modern world has addressed mostof the factors that put women in a disadvantaged position. Forexample, women earned less than men in the 1970s because most of themused to work on a part-time basis in order to take care of domesticchores (Miller 1). However, technology has made it possible to workremotely, which implies that women can do part or all job-relatedtasks at home. Technology has empowered women by enabling them towork for longer hours at their own convenience, which has increasedthe amount of money that they earn each year.
Althoughmost of the challenges that contributed towards the gender-based gaphave been addressed, there are several factors that have slowed downthe rate at which the pay differences are reduced. For example, thenature of work determines the amount that men and women should earn.This has been confirmed by the fact that most of the women working inretail companies (such as the Wal-Mart) earn less than theircounterpart male workers (Weissinger 341). In addition, thetraditional genders that forced women to take care of their familieshave changed, but at a slow pace. Therefore, the majority of womendedicate less time to their careers, which has limited their abilityto bridge the pay gap completely.
Inconclusion, the issue of gender-based gap in employee compensationhas been controversial for many years, but equality is yet to beachieved. However, tremendous achievements have made to shrink thisgap. Some of the key measures that have helped the government andother stakeholders (such as the civil rights groups) to address thissocial issue include the increase in equal access to education andthe use of technology. These measures have empowered women byenabling them to assume roles that were initially reserved for men.Therefore, gender-based pay gap has been reduced tremendously since1960s, but it has not been bridged completely.
Camille,L. and Bauman, K. Educationalattainment in the United States: 2015.Washington, DC: United Census Bureau, 2016. Print.
Miller,C. Pay gap is smaller than ever, and still stubbornly large. TheNew York Times.17 September. 2014. Web. 14 December 2016.<https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/upshot/pay-gap-is-smaller-than-ever-and-still-stubbornly-large.html>
Weissinger,E. “Gender matters. So do race and class: Experiences of genderedracism on the Wal-Mart shop floor”. Humanityand Society33.4 (2009): 341-422. Print.