Pay Inequity And Sex Discrimination In America

1451 words - 6 pages

Even though the treatment and working conditions of the workers have significantly improved since the Industrial Revolution, some of those problems still linger today in American occupations. Women are still paid less than men, despite the fact that they share the same job. They are viewed as feeble people who do lighter tasks than men do. On another issue, jobs that include cutting meat with a sharp knife in a slaughterhouse make workers operate in compact spaces. While most Americans avoid doing dirty jobs, undocumented immigrants will seek refuge in them. Because the workers’ gender and legal status determines their worth in the workplace, it prevents them from having a satisfying job.
Employers assume that women are not capable of doing much work, causing them to get paid less. Almost a century ago, a majority of the women worked in “lightweight” jobs as nurses, teachers, or in textile factories. Doing masculine jobs that usually required physical work was discouraged or prohibited from women. Today in American society, women can obtain masculine jobs such as police officers, soldiers, or firefighters. However, in some jobs that include female workers, women earn less than men do in the same job. Hazel Dews has been a janitor for twenty-five years, working five days a week. Besides running a scrub machine, she has the same responsibilities as the male janitors do. She cleans and vacuums the floor, as well as pushes a trash truck. Despite working for almost three decades and doing the same tasks as men do, Dews earns $22,000 a year while men earn $30,000. Additionally, men can advance five ranks in the career, while women can only advance by two ranks (Barko 617). Regardless of her experience as a janitor, she still earns less than a man who recently started the job. Dews cannot move up three more ranks because she is not qualified to operate a scrub machine. Because of her gender and her incapability to operate a scrub machine, she cannot progress to the upper echelons. Women in other jobs have salary gaps as well; female engineers have a gap of twenty-six percent, even after having years of experience in the field and possessing the same qualifications (Barko 618). However, Barko mentions the biggest reason for the pay gap is not discrimination against individual women; the reason for the pay gap is discrimination against women-populated jobs. As more women occupy a job, the wages begin to decrease. Occupations that have more women in the field earn $3,446 more per year than women who work in gender-balanced occupations. Men who work in female-based jobs earn $6,259 less per year than men who work in male-based jobs (618). The lowered wages show proof of women’s worth when working alongside with men, even though they both possess the same skills.
While some Americans believe that the pay inequity is caused by sex discrimination, others believe that biological traits determine what kind of jobs is appropriate for each gender. It has...

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