Today women earn 75.7 percent of what men do, even with the same level of education and experience. In addition, statistics show that federal and state level jobs are less likely to have a gender pay gap, while corporations and private businesses tend to pay women less than their male co-workers. It proves this by showing statistics and graphs comparing pay for different men and women. By using data from the United States and other countries, this research shows that women are statistically paid less than men, and that discrimination occurs, not only in a work place but also at school and at home. Statistics show that employers see women as someone who would hold a spot of authority under a man. Unfortunately, this form of discrimination shows that the gender pay gap is an ongoing problem in America.
What exactly are gender roles?
Gender roles are the assumptions and state of mind we make concerning a male or female. Gender roles are big in society today; for instance, women aren’t expected to work as a high authority figure such as a CEO or even president of the United States. This is important to young Americans since in today’s society, teenagers are told what they can do and not do as a male or female. Congress tried passing a bill for equal pay among men and women, but the majority voted against it. The bill, called the Paycheck Fairness Act, made it illegal for employees to discuss salaries.
“One contributing factor to the gender wage gap is the clustering of women in occupations and sectors that are relatively low-paid. Occupational sex segregation has been found to explain a large proportion of the gender wage gap” (Lips, 2012, p. 174).
One big example of how this affects young America is how a man or woman will view their future job. When raters were asked to assign salaries and authority to a job, they assigned higher salaries and prestige to jobs that they believed require masculine qualities, while lower salaries and prestige were assigned to traditionally feminine occupations (Lips, 2012, p. 175).
Second thoughts about which job is best might occur for those facing discrimination since they are scared they are not suitable for the job because of their gender. Bills that have been disregarded and discrimination in the work force prove that gender roles are a serious problem that even Congress will not consider putting an end to.
America needs to end discrimination against women and gender roles in the work force to make equality a right for everyone.
Issac Moreno is a rising senior at Fairmont High School who plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in pharmaceutical science. The above op-ed is part of a course assignment at UNC.