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The Wage Gap: Show Us the Movement

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Broward chapter.

This article is from our very own, Katherine Matthews! Enjoy….

Who in the world would want to work as hard as everyone else but get paid less? While there is clearly a wage gap between men and women, women can still try to combat this issue by protesting and standing up for equal pay for equal work. The wage gap between men and women exists, and while there is only a limited number of options, women can and will change the inequality.

The wage gap is about dollars and cent–a difference in the amount of pay for equal work. The gender pay gap means that there’s a difference between male and female earnings. This difference exists when it comes to evaluating equal work for unequal pay in the job force. Not a myth, but a reality. It is not myth that men earn more than women for equal work—it is reality even when companies and businesses claim that they “don’t discriminate.”

Among the many causes for the gender discrimination in pay, there is first, “direct discrimination” just for being the opposite gender. Another cause, according to “Striking Women,” is that women’s skills and competences are “undervalued,” resulting in less pay. Further, different jobs tend to be gender-stereotyped and designed specifically for “just women” or “just men.”  Many women and men pursue careers and jobs at which they are naturally good. Some argue that the gap exists because women have more domestic and caretaking skills. The one small exception to this belief is that education levels of each gender, accounting for as little as a five percent gap differential in pay.

 Although the Equal Pay Act passed in this country 55 years ago, the Women’s Forum points out that across the job spectrum, women still face a gender wage gap. The uncontrolled gender pay gap shows the ratio of median earnings of all women to all men has decreased by $0.05 since 2015, so women still make only $0.79 for every dollar men make in 2019, according to the Women’s Forum. The median salary for men is roughly 21% percent higher than the median salary for women, according to Pay Scale. Even with a narrowing wage gap, it still exists.

As with other major social movements, one begins by taking a stand. Actions such as protesting, signing petitions, and just standing up against those who support the gap can help quicken the pace for any permanent results in making a change. Significant historic leaders of social change, like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., led the march for social, political, legal, and moral justice. In the demand to increase the minimum wage, journalist Alanna Vagianos encourages women to negotiate, talk with co-workers and employers more about their pay inequity, and work toward getting new legislation for equal pay passed, speak up, ensure access to affordable childcare, eliminate patriarchal systems, and join protests or strikes. Heroic past efforts–petitions and legislation to close the pay gap–did not fully eliminate it.

Although data collected over the decades does show the wage gap shrinking, it still exists and will continue into the future until corporations and businesses are forced to offer equal pay for equal work. It takes a years and years to bring a case against an employer who will have far more resources than an individual employee. According to some calculations, women are expected to reach pay equity in 2050.  But if progress continues at such a slow rate, women might not reach complete pay equality until 2119. Based on these statistics, it will take another 40 years to see wage gap between men and women eradicated.

Even if the struggle for wage equality takes another, who wants to do equal work for less pay?  Nobody! Yet if the gender gap still exists, women and men remain unequal. The difference in pay is fact, not myth. Just as in the Women’s Equality Movement, there must be a movement to end the wage gap once and for all. Women, as well as men, need to stand up and demand equal pay for equal work.




I'm Miss. Congeniality of Broward College North Campus, Events Coordinator of the Psychology Club at Broward College North Campus, new president of Her Campus Broward, I work for Student Services at Broward College North Campus, and I just like to get involved in many great activities that benefit my personal growth.