Exploratory Essay - Gender Pay Gap The gender pay gap in the United states is something that has existed since women entered the workforce after World

Exploratory Essay - Gender Pay Gap The gender pay gap in...

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Gender Pay Gap The gender pay gap in the United states is something that has existed since women entered the workforce after World War ll. It has persisted until this day and shapes how the two genders are paid and which jobs they pursue. It’s no secret that time and time again, men have shown to consistently be paid more than women. As a girl myself, this wage gap will directly affect me when I choose a profession to follow and I want to try my best to understand how it will play into my life when the time comes. It is clear that there is gender pay inequality, but why does it still exist and how has it transformed over time? There are many reasons that explain why the wage gap exists and according to Carl Le Grand there are four major theories that explicate it. The first one being the “family obligation explanation” (261). Le grand says that because women are frequently responsible for household and family obligations it interjects with their jobs and can prohibit them from working full time (261). The effect is that there is “weaker labour- market attachment to women” and that has negative consequences on women’s work experience and their income (261). This explanation is logical and understandable but seems to derive from very traditional familial roles. In a society that is constantly changing, those roles are no longer accurate or reliable. The second explanation Le Grand discusses is the human capital one. This one argues that overall women usually possess less human capital like “education, job training, and work experience than men”(262). He explains that because women acquire less human capital they are at a
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disadvantage and are seen as less prolific than men, therefore being paid less. The lower human capital of women is justified by household expectations and responsibilities they hold. This drives companies away from wanting to train a female worker over a male one. The wage compensation is the third theory that Le grand expands on. It states that the wages atone for differences, predicting wages to be lower in jobs with more enticing settings and flexible hours, which are also ones that appeal the most to women (261). It makes sense that the environment in which a person chooses to work in is an important factor in determining how they are paid, but the work itself is also an aspect to be considered. I understand that higher pay for less desirable working conditions is used as an incentive to draw more people into doing that work.
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