The gender pay gap is the difference between the salary and wages received by men and women who engage in income-generating activities. Remuneration is the rewards for employees for providing their services in an organization. Most men and women have the same working conditions but the latter might be paid less than their counterparts (Hirsch, 2013). A gender pay gap may be by directly related to the number of hours invested in the workplace while in some cases, it might be indirect. This happens when someone is working in a place that may not provide a large number of finances as a reward for the services provided. The level of education and experience may also affect the pay an employee received since those that graduated in college after earning their diploma or degree are more likely to be paid more than those who did not attend higher learning institutions (Shen, 2013). Despite the equalizing factor that exposes both men and women to the same working environments after attending higher education learning institutions, females may have a lower remuneration compared to the males. This is an involuntary choice which means that most women are unable to save a large portion of their income for their sunset years. Historically, men were the only people that could get into both formal and informal employment while the women remained at home to bring up the children (Lips, 2013). This meant that even though women received an almost equal education as the men, they did not put to use their knowledge in the large environment and only invested in their homes. With the economic crisis after The Great Depression, there was a desperate need for the women to work since there was a shortage of workers in most organizations. It justified the entrance and penetration of women in the work environment. A justification for undertaking the study is that it will demystify the social changes taking place in the society due to the differentiated gender pay gap.
Background, Current, and Future Issues related to Gender Pay Gap
Gender discrimination has been one of the main driving force towards the gender pay gap. This has put women at a disadvantage because of their gender. The battle between the two genders had put women at a low-receiving end due to the value and perception that individuals have towards females in the work environment. Lips (2013) argues that discriminatory remarks that justify that women should get lower salaries than men even though they work in the same environment are that the females have low abilities to withstand pressure from a work environment. It assumes that in due time, most women will resign and leave the workplace. Hence, the men must be paid more since they are able to withstand the negative working environment. The perception that women may not be committed as the men to withstand harsh working conditions is a misplaced assumption that puts women at a disadvantage (Shen, 2013). Most careers dominated by men which means that if a woman raises interest in joining the workplace, they may be paid lower due to the perception that most employers have towards different genders working for them.
Another negative effect of the differences in gender pay is the female duties like family responsibilities including giving both (Lips, 2013). Men and women work in the similar environments but the former rarely get distractions from their careers like the latter who have to break off due to motherhood duties. For instance, when a woman gives birth, she is forced to stay at home for some period before she can resume her duties officially. In the meantime, the men may still be working which means that if an opportunity for promotion arises. In addition, women are less likely to accept a transfer to another location if granted an opportunity by their employers. This is due to the responsibilities at their home ranging to children and marriage. Hirsch (2013) argues that unmarried women are more flexible than married females since they do not have commitments. The constant breaks from the workplace by women limits their ability to earn equal or more incomes like their male counterparts.
Gender Pay Gap Effect on the Contemporary Society
The gender pay gap has a negative effect on the society as women feel ignored despite the commitment to the workplace (Grove, Hussey, & Jetter, 2011). This has pushed off some women away on formal employment and most opt to build their homes since they get the rewards in terms of the love and affection of their children. Lips (2013) argues that the gender pay gap influenced to the spearheading of equality in the workplace. Women have been at the forefront to push for their rights in the workplace and have employers pay them for the input they provide in the job. More women are willing to spend more time gaining skills and knowledge in schools which will give them the advantage that men have enjoyed for a long time. In addition, more females are willing to postpone marriage and other societal pressures that push them away from the workplace (Manning & Saidi, 2010). For instance, delaying childbirth has given women an advantage where they first focus on their career and after establishment in the job market, then they can take some time off to bring up a family. The commitment to the workplace has encouraged younger women to seek employment opportunities since they have high hopes of getting an equal or higher pay than their male counterparts. Employers in the modern have embraced the input of women and consider them as equals to their male employees since both genders are willing to work under the existing conditions and prevailing wages with an aim of advancing their careers. Hegewisch et al. (2010) argue that in the modern market, there are no male or female-oriented jobs and either gender can perform the duties satisfactorily as long as they understand the requirements. Further, the demand for specialized skills in some careers justifies the lack of preference for either gender.
Another effect of the gender pay gap lies in the motivation that women have had so that they can reach the levels that their male counterparts have attained in the past. Since women have felt the negative effect for a long-time, they are pushing to have younger females change their perception and attitudes towards the workplace (Grove, Hussey, & Jetter, 2011). This has necessitated the need for women empowerment programs that have equipped females with skills and knowledge that they apply in their lives both in the short-term and in the long-term. More females are encouraged that they can balance both their career and personal life duties as long as they commit themselves towards achieving the success they need (Lips, 2013). The only requirement women need to have lies in their ability to remain committed and push towards their goals as well as have the willpower to overcome the challenges that they might face in the workplace.
Social changes in the world have also encouraged the end of the disparity between men and women getting different payments despite working under the same conditions and performing almost similar responsibilities (Hegewisch et al., 2010). Learning facilities have encouraged and supported women who have pursued careers that were previously considered male-oriented like in the engineering, electrical, and medical fields. Women have been exposed to classes that allow them to study with an aim of developing their career. In addition, women who have succeeded in the different fields also act as an inspiration for the younger ladies who need to be guided by females who have made it in life (Manning & Saidi, 2010). The government intervention to cases of sexual harassment in the workplaces as well as employers' perception towards equality in a job has created confidence among women. It has created an opportunity for the women as they can advance their career without the worry of being neglected or rejected. The freedom in the workplaces has also allowed women to advance their education while still holding jobs. This has made more women get promotions in the workplace based on ethics. Further, women have started to earn high incomes as the male colleagues.
One of the prevailing solutions that have demystified the notion of having a wide gender pay gap is the legislation of discrimination rules (Grove, Hussey, & Jetter, 2011). Governments in different parts of the world have come up with laws which punish any employer that discriminates employees based on their gender. Females are allowed to work in the different environments as long as they possess the skills and expertise needed in the jobs. Salaries and wages are also evaluated regularly so that they can earn incomes that match their skills (Hegewisch et al., 2010). Legal action against employers and organizations that discriminate women act as a lesson to other industries. The demand for skills in different fields has also justified the entrance of women in the workplaces. Both men and women are working harmoniously. In the modern day, both men and women occupy management and other influential positions in the workplace (Manning & Saidi, 2010). Their input is considered important since both have similar skills that allow them to contribute to the growth of the economy both in the short-term and in the long-term.
In conclusion, the issue of gender pay gap has reduced significantly in the modern day compared to how it was a few years ago. Women have managed to penetrate and occupy the different industries as employees and serve in different capacities. Employees are getting employed based on the skills they possess as opposed to their gender. It is common to find female managers leading a team of males and deliver results successfully. In such cases, the females earn more than the men due to the expertise and position occupied. With the admission of both female and male employees in the workplace and their ability to work together guided by a common goal, it is easier for organizations to perform their duties as opposed to having a preference for one gender.
Grove, W. A., Hussey, A., & Jetter, M. (2011). The gender pay gap beyond human capital heterogeneity in noncognitive skills and in labor market tastes. Journal of Human Resources, 46(4), 827-874.
Hegewisch, A., Liepmann, H., Hayes, J., & Hartmann, H. (2010). Separate and not equal? Gender segregation in the labor market and the gender wage gap. IWPR Briefing Paper, 377.
Hirsch, B. (2013). The impact of female managers on the gender pay gap: Evidence from linked employer-employee data for Germany. Economics Letters, 119(3), 348-350.
Lips, H. M. (2013). The gender pay gap: Challenging the rationalizations. Perceived equity, discrimination, and the limits of human capital models. Sex Roles, 68(3-4), 169-185.
Manning, A., & Saidi, F. (2010). Understanding the gender pay gap: what's competition got to do with it?. ILR Review, 63(4), 681-698.
Shen, H. (2013). Mind the gender gap. Nature, 495(7439), 22.
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