It is not up for debate whether women are discriminated against in the workplace, it is evident in census data; in 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid. It is said that the organizations that are pro-equal pay, including some unions, support the idea that the government should set wages for all jobs. To the contrary, the organizations that are proponents of equal pay are not for job wages being set by the government-they wish to have the discrimination taken out of pay scales from within the company. Commonly, this pay gap is attributed to the fact that women in the United States are still expected to attend to familial obligations over work.
Data shows that women do attend to family obligations, like having a child, caring for a sick family member, or caring for an elder; but they also do not give up on work. Yes, women often chose lower paying jobs in exchange for flexible hours and do spend a lower number of hours per week long-term at their jobs than their male counterparts. Because women are socialized to be the primary care givers they are kept at these lower paying jobs that are more flexible, the jobs allow them to care for their family yet still retain an income (possibly a second income for the household). Women’s changing roles in society has resulted in this workplace problem. Women are allowed and often encouraged to work but they are not rewarded or compensated at the same level, for their efforts, that men in the work force are. The pay gap would be narrowed if companies were more conducive to family schedules. Men and women would receive equal pay for the same job. Companies would benefit by retaining quality employees. Men and women need to start out making the same amount of money for the same job, companies need to offer women ample maternity leave, families need to be offered childcare (or childcare compensation), there needs to be a flexible work environment, and men should never be discouraged from taking paternity leave. It seems that women workers have reached a plateau in society. In order for women to be respected (as men are) in the workplace there needs to be a redistribution of domestic and family work. It’s acceptable now for women to work; but this acceptance into the workforce has not drastically changed what they, women, are expected to perform at home. There is no way for women to move forward to equality in pay if they are not recognized as contributers to their job (i.e. women are still expected to perform outside of work in the family setting as well in a way that men are only expected to perform at work and not at home).
As soon as more domestic and family work is allocated to men then women will be able to attain equal pay. Women, with less work at home, will be able to commit to full time jobs, have to leave the workforce less, take less leave, and be able to climb the corporate ladder just as men are today.
Since 1942, gender inequality,...