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3 perceived reasons that gender wage gap still exists

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination

With the current pace of progress, the sobering truth is that today’s generation and their children might not see men and women receiving equal pay in their lifetimes. Per the World Economic Forum, women continue to receive less pay than men across professions and countries.

In the United States, a new Pew Research Center (PRC) study shows that women have earned 80 to 82 cents for every dollar men have received for the last two decades. Compared with 65 cents to a dollar in 1982, there appears to be little headway in narrowing the gender pay gap.

While there is not a single factor attributed to this slow rate, women’s age, educational background and work experience all contribute to trying to close the gap throughout the years. For example, more women have graduated college. Such higher educational attainment increased their presence in higher-paying managerial positions usually populated by men.

Despite these significant strides, wage discrepancies persist. Why?

Why do women earn less than men?

After surveying U.S. adults, the PRC gathered the following three perceived conclusions about why women have lower income than men:

  • Employer treatment: While some believe that women do not vouch for themselves as strongly as men, a series of studies revealed that women actually negotiate more than men. Despite making efforts to gain a competitive advantage, women still struggle with rejected salary increases and promotion requests.
  • Work-life balance choices: When women become mothers, they generally stay at home to raise their kids and take charge of household duties. Even if working moms pursue their careers, they tend to work fewer hours and prioritize family time. In contrast, men are more likely to put in extra hours and shifts.
  • Tendency to work in lower-paying jobs: With more women choosing educational and health care occupations, they’re presumed to deliberately make less lucrative work choices.

Indiana has stringent anti-discrimination laws to protect its workers. Aside from gender, employers cannot give differential treatment based on age, race, religion and disability, among others.

What’s next for women?

Every worker has the right to achieve economic security. While gender wage disparity is a systemic global issue, both women and employers, even male peers, can each do their part in championing equitable and transparent workplace policies. But for women currently exposed to discriminatory acts, they must immediately seek legal representation to fight for the safe work environment they rightfully deserve.


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