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Ending Gender Pay Disparities

In: Business and Management

Submitted By kikibabielove
Words 3183
Pages 13
Sherry Jia
Women’s Studies 120
Professor Eileen Boris
March 5, 2009

Ending Gender Pay Disparities Pay disparities for women are a longstanding and troubling issue. While there was some advance in relative women’s pay as indicated by statistics on the ratio of female to male pay, in around 1994 the ratio leveled off suggesting an end to progress (See Figure 6.1, McCall 22). The differences in pay are widespread and pervasive applying not only to female-oriented jobs but to any jobs in which men and women both engage. Only at the bottom of the wage scale do women’s and men’s pay tend to converge because of the effect of the minimum wage. Statistics from 2005 show women earning only 0.77 of what men earn (Weinberg 26). Research has brought out many factors that seem to be influential, such as number of hours worked, experience, and differences in employers (Weinberg 26). However, such explanations do not offer much hope for improving the situation so as to make equal pay a reality. The recently passed Ledbetter Bill has closed some loopholes, but it is unlikely to have a significant effect on ending pay disparities (Erbe). Some might argue that the government can do no more since these disparities result from factors other than gender discrimination. However, as long as women make considerably less than men in similar jobs, women are second-class citizens and not full participants in society. I strongly urge Congress to craft and pass legislation that recognizes the existence of gender pay disparities as an indication of discrimination so as to force companies and other organizations to provide their women workers with pay equivalent to men’s pay.
Issues
While it is true that positions that typically employ women pay less than many similarly skilled jobs that employ mostly men, even when men and women have the same jobs, women typically

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