Gender Pay Gap Still Exists to This Day
Last updated: May 9, 2012 by Susan
Nearly half of all US workers are women, with two-thirds of all mothers bringing home some or all of the bacon at the end of the day and one in four families headed by a single parent. Even in married families earning $200,000 or more a year, nearly three in four wives were part of the working labor force in 2010.1
So why is it that women earn 77 cents for every dollar her male counterparts earn?
All these statistics have been provided by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, and all point to gender equality in the workforce. Sure, we have come a long way from the mid-70’s, where women earned 59 cents to the men’s dollar, but the progress made in labor equality over the past decades has stalled.
So what causes this gap in the first place? Is it all about sexism or is there something else to explain the man/woman gap?
For starters, around 50 to 60% of the gap is due primarily to the differences in the different kinds of work out there. Women have filled up traditionally low-paying jobs, which could explain why the statistics paint such a grim picture of gender pay.
Then an additional 10% of the gap can be attributed to the attitudes of women when it comes to care.
This is especially true for single moms. They are forced to limit time at work to prioritize their children. Women are also more likely to take unpaid sick leaves to take care of ailing children, parents or partners – a major factor when totaling annual payrolls. These situations make it less likely for women to get raises or promotions, effectively creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break out of.
But what about the remaining 30-40% of the reasons why women earn less than men? The reasons for this remaining discrepancy have yet to be revealed by hard statistics, so we can’t say for sure what they are.
But I’ll bet you this has something to do with either the lack of sick leaves available to women or that old problem called sexism.