At this day and age, many college kids can easily identify the presence of gender discrimination in the workplace. Personally, I am most infuriated by the wage gap. In our nation’s history, women entered work outside of the home much later than men. Because of this, they faced presupposed set-backs in the grand scheme of career life. However, many many years later, these setbacks remain very much intact.
This may seem far fetched or over-analyzed, but let me put things into perspective. In 2015, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team beat out Japan in the FIFA World Cup finals. The women were awarded $2 million for their win. In 2013, the German Men’s National Soccer Team won the same title. This team was awarded $35 million for their win. Just think about that. FIFA awarded the US Women’s National Team $33 million less than the German Men’s National Team, for the same title. Whether a sports fan or not, this statistic ought to shed light on the absolute absurdity of this issue.
After discrimination allegations arose over the women having to play in harsher conditions than the men, FIFA claimed that these gender inequalities exist under the notion that women’s sports are simply less popular. Yet, the championship game between the women of the United States and Japan broke the highest game viewing record in U.S. soccer history. The wage gap exists in every aspect of professional sports, not just championship games. In addition, the wage gap exists in most aspects of career life, not just the televised ones.
While the issue of wage discrepancies may not pertain to your current carefree college lifestyle, the future is coming fast. Your graduating classmates, your sorority sisters and your hall-mates are all studying to become successful working class members of society. In a few years, we will be ditching our beloved town of Blacksburg, and entering the workforce. Sadly enough, we will be entering a male-dominated workforce, working just as hard for 20% less than our male counterparts.
Let me ask you this: how would you feel graduating with the same GPA, being hired for the same company and continuing to earn less money than that annoying guy in your Econ lecture? Does that sound like an ideal way to start adulthood? That sounds like hell to me.
When I graduate, I hope to enter the real world on a straight-shot path to success. Of course, I cannot predict exactly where the wind will blow me, but I do know that I will let nothing stand in my way; not even a wage gap. We as students have the chance to change the world. We are the future of our country and the future of working-class women. In order to solve issues we must acknowledge their prevalence in our everyday lives. The glass ceiling of unequal income can be shattered if we use our voices to strike it head-on. As director Neil LaBute once said, “The future is now. It’s time to grow up and be strong. Tomorrow may well be too late.”
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