DonaldsonChristina DonaldsonProfessor RaperEnglish 2201-023April 11, 2017The Fight To End the Wage GapWomen currently make eighty cents for every dollar earned by men. According to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the gender wage gap is defined as “the difference between median earnings of men and women relative to median earnings of men” (“Gender Wage Gap”). For centuries, women around the world have been earning lower wages than men for the same work. Although many can agree that the gender gap in America has improved significantly since the 1980s, it still exists today. It affects women of all ages, no matter the race or education level. The problem with the current wage gap will be analyzed, as well as the factors that lead to gender discrimination in the workplace, and the ways society can eventually close this pay gap altogether.With gender discrimination having such a negative effect on women, it is no wonder people have fought so hard to create equal pay among men and women. Back in the 1960’s,`newspapers would publish separate job listings for men and women. The higher paying jobs would be advertised exclusively for men. During this time, the average citizen might have seen the same job listed under both men and women, but with different pay, with men being offered a higher salary. On June 10th, 1963, the Equal Pay Act was passed, making it illegal to pay men and women a different salary for the same job based on gender alone. When the Equal Pay Act was signed, it began a movement to begin closing this pay gap between men and women. Since 1963, the gender pay gap has been closing at an average 1
Donaldsonrate of about a penny a year (Miller). Although we cannot deny that women have come a long way in the last fifty years, this process of closing the wage gap is moving at an alarmingly slow rate. In the last ten years there has been no significant change in the pay gap, and if it continues at this rate, woman will not reach pay equity until the year 2152 (Miller).In the U.S. we have this alarming national pay gap, but many do not realize that this ratio varies by state as well. In some areas, such as Washington D.C., the pay gap is much lower at only ten percent, but in other states such as Wyoming it is as high as thirty-six percent (Miller). Gender discrimination affects all women differently depending on their age and race. Women under the age of twenty-five, who are employed full time, earn around93.8 percent of what men make. By age forty-five, the average pay for women begins decreasing slowly, and by age fifty-five women earn an average of only 75.2 percent of what men make (Rowen). For men, their salaries continue to steadily increase with age up until they choose to retire.