Mind The Gap

By Michael S.

While it is true that women in the American work place have made significant gains in closing the gap of income inequality with that of males, a gap still remains. A more recent study done by the Paw Research Center suggests that the current pay gap between men and women is 16 cents. According to the survey, the causes for the closing of the gap are that men’s average wages have fallen, more women are better educated than they once work and many have moved into occupations with higher pay rates. However the research also stated that the gains made in closing the gap have not been as substantial as they were from 1980 to 1990. In this decade, women managed to close the gap by 11 cents. From 1990 to 2000 however the gap shrunk by only 3 cents and saw a slightly better increase between 2000 and 2010 of 6 cents. Some suggest that the reason for the persistence of the pay gap is that women are still the main source of child care and that many women have taken significant time off, cut back their work hours drastically or even quit entirely to care for their families. Despite laws and reform to prevent against gender discrimination in the workplace, some prejudices still exist. It is also shown that women of younger generations are holding off longer and longer to have children. Employers may see this as a reason to avoid hiring women in the 30 plus age group in fear of them losing employees to maternity leave. Finally, the study also showed that women dominate more positions in office management and administration where median income is just under $15 per hour. Men however hold more jobs in the fields of science and engineering where median income is closer to $30 per hour.

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