- Kathryn Patterson
What is the Gender Pay Gap?
While I avoid labeling myself a "feminist" because of the overabundance of man-hating rhetoric associated with modern feminism, I do want to contribute to the burgeoning equality of our society. A few weeks ago, online media spewed a plethora of articles about the question, is there a gender pay gap? What I found missing was a definition of "gender pay gap" and why it's important.
What does "gender pay gap" mean?
gender pay gap: the difference in the amount of money earned between two people of disparate genders for similar work, with the difference rooted in gender as opposed to other factorsThat's my definition, and in simple English it means that for every dollar a man makes in the workplace, a woman makes statistically less than a dollar. For clarity, I haven't found any data for transgender or other non-cis people, so I am leaving them out of the discussion for the moment. Several studies have been done to determine if women get paid less than men, using a variety of technique and methods. I've read through several, and I can say with certainty that there is a gender pay gap, both here in the United States and in the European Union. I don't have research from the rest of the world, but I assume that there exists a gender pay gap most places. The problem is that no one can agree on how much a woman is paid, and how to fix the problem. I've seen estimates as low as 66¢ up to 95¢ for what a woman earns for every dollar a man earns. But until the number is $1.00, we have work to do. To compound the problem, how much a woman is paid changes based on years of experience and job description. In general, women just entering the work force face a much smaller pay gap then women who have worked for decades. Also, blue collar jobs tend to have a smaller pay gap than white collar jobs.