It isn’t your field of work. It isn’t the size of your business. It’s your gender. Yes the Gender Pay Gap still exists, and it’s not just noticeable in big business anymore. If you are a woman, technically you should only be working 77% of the work week or you make $.80 for every $1 a man has earned. It has been more than 50 years since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 but women are still getting shortchanged, and according to The New York Times, “there is a salary gap even when women pay themselves.”
There are many reasons for this gap and many that those getting the short end won’t be able to comprehend. It is taboo to talk about money. As it was in my family when I grew up, you don’t talk about money and it is even considered rude to ask. But the lack of transparency in pay leaves it hard to determine who has the upper hand. If an annual report was required every fiscal year, it could give us a better idea on the gap and how it affects work and the work place.
Another reason is the children. Yes another idea that is hard to swallow but with the lack of transparency on one end of the spectrum, you have a lack of resources for working mothers on the other end. It is not uncommon for women to be shifted from one trade to another that has better hours for child-rearing.
I know it is selfish to say, but as a younger person in the work force I would have to admit that tenure is a huge issue. With people living longer and older persons not leaving the work force, the higher paid men have stayed and created a glass ceiling for not only women but everyone coming into the work force.
The Gender Gap even extends into Hollywood and since we are in “Oscars Season” I think we should take a look at it. This isn’t about pay so much as screen time, which we know in show business can mean more than dollar amounts. This year’s lead actors spend an average of 85 minutes on screen, compared to the lead actresses’ average of only 57 minutes. Last year’s movies were even more off-kilter with males averaging 100 minutes spent on the screen, compared to the females screen time less than half with 49 minutes. This just goes to show you how skewed every industry can be. Would you pay someone the same amount of pay for half of the screen time? Some issues are not so black and white.
Here are some other fun facts:
In 1970, 4% of women made as much or more than their male counterparts according to the Pew Research Center.
Today, 22% of wives earn more than their spouses.