Professor Hava Gordon
May 6, 2022
Gender-Based Pay Gap Part I
It is only in recent years that gender has been viewed as a construct rather than an actual binary category used in much social decision-making. Understanding the evolution of gender, gender norms, and gender roles is something that can take forever. It is especially true when it comes to gender and justice. It began with the fighting for the right to vote, then the right to inherit property, the right to divorce, right to be in spaces that were dominantly and stereotypically male, to mention a few. When it came to gender fighting for the same seat at the table, the attention to detail came when there was a need for equal rights within the same responsibility. It is where the social justice needs in closing the Gender-Based Pay Gap came along. With equity attained in many countries, it means that responsibilities and roles within the workspace were defined by position hence very specific job decisions. Based on this, it is expected that the positions would be paid in value by the amount of work done. Therefore, when there is discrimination based on gender, with females getting paid less than men, there is a need for corrective action. One instance that shows this is the alleged report of females getting paid a fifth of their male counterparts in The Big Bang Theory TV Show. By the reports presented, the females demanded more to find this out (McCarthy, 2021).
Over the last decade, the topic has raised a heated debate in so many industry sectors, with the media and the entertainment industries taking the forefront and becoming the public voice to take a stance. Outrage over the pay gap is universally recognized as it is a phenomenon that has been observed in every country. The trend is similar in all regions and points to a common problem and the lack of systemic integration of gender justice in the workforce. Across most professions, that problem had remained the same, with economic independence taking a back burner when it came to women and excuses over maternity leave and other studies done to try and negate the seriousness of equal pay demand (McCarthy, 2021).
Many companies’ earnings are based on affiliations that are sectorized by gender, but there is also the fact that there are fewer women employed in these positions than men. Thus, unexplained data ought to be looked at when statistics on the gender pay gap are compiled to have diversified measures (Blundell, 2020). Therefore, the facet of the gender pay gap cannot be unilaterally discussed as something that is legitimately worrying and considered globally as a causative need for action as marked as one of the United Nations SDGs. The SDG is all-encompassing, with concentration given to the attainment of stability and empowerment of women to reach the same level as the men.
More often than not, pay is often categorized and discussed to be a contractual issue. Still, when it comes to the gender pay gap, the problem is no longer an individual-based action and needs legitimization for differences to be cleared. If work conditions and responsibilities are categorized as similar, there is no justification why they would pay a male less than their female counterparts. Data points to the fact that women earn 32% less than males in the same position based on the global average (Blundell, 2020). The fact that this is widespread shows discrimination in a deliberate and systemic ingrained way such that policies and regulations in place take into account gender as a constraint or booster for better pay.
According to the World Economic Forum, it will take almost 260 years before the pay gaps are closed everywhere in the world. This is more years than it took for women to be allowed to vote once they demanded. Similarly, once women demanded equitable education, it took even fewer years. By this account, the question is whether this is more of an ego thing or an oppressive move for patriarchy to prevent balancing with matriarchy.
The binary nature of human existence is something that we cannot ignore. Within the elements of finding the difference that makes people unique, gender is one of the most glaring binary categories within these societal norms’ definitions. With the pandemic having caused an even worse shift in this aspect, the disproportionate pay and gender women’s economic sphere has shrunk, widening the gap by an estimated 5%. Law and practice need to be merged so that the implementation increases with improvement in systems development. The contribution to the needed change can only be made by looking at increased numbers of those who can stand up and speak out.
The totality of the discussion is distributed by understanding different elements such as race and education. However, it should also be noted that the data collected has often been regularly done for salaried individuals, and thus data in other forms of employment has been rarely forthcoming. At the same time, the analysis of this data wants to paint different pictures to both the public and the major stakeholders. The intention is often towards public relations rather than doing it for bettering the system itself. However, even with this “unclean” intention, it brings to attention the “victimization” element of lack of equity in the pay.
Comparable pay is something that the world is still going to struggle with. It will remain valid for a while as norms within the roles of each family change with time. Changing the perspective of what roles are played and by which family members add to the pressure and peel off the layers of problematic issues while also expanding the conversation in different ways and perspectives (Boll & Lagemann, 2019).
McCarthy’s (2021) article focuses on education about the gender pay gap and the impact it has all over the world. In a way, descriptive elements bring to attention the gender parity issues. It points to the different facets of the discussion and allows the reader to understand the target of this information. Using data from different world organizations, the paper allows for the discovery that can use variable data to explain the same phenomena, and categorizing the importance of that data is essential to recognizing change.
On the other hand, Blundell (2020) looks at the discontinuity threshold that affects females at work and implies that pay for women is contractual and individual-based. It points to the fact that many women would accept pay lower than men, and within that, the fault is given to them. This implication cannot look at that gender pay from only one perspective. However, it allows for recognition that “exploitation” can be a factor taken into account when the conversation is brought up. Recognizing that can take advantage of women within the systems should be valued within gender pay gap solutions. Just like Boll & Lagemann (2019), it is noted that the universality of the problem is based on patriarchic society and thus recognizes that other factors that are culturally centered facilitated the degree of the problem from one locality to another.
In consideration of the information provided, the most convincing information is the ones that have both sides of the argument, for and against the gender pay gap. The need to look at the realistic way can discuss this subject is crucial as it will allow the focus to be more defined and easier to convince. The arguments for recognizing the gender pay gap focus on generalizing information and data as f all environmental factors applied. While on some level that might be true, arguments against such as the fact that women are likely to accept less pay bring another way to look at the problem. It points to the socio-economic factors as important parts of the discussion and elemental to the reasons why there is a need to be explainable basics in the general outlook of the discussion. Data is taken generally by just looking at salaries and within this a loss in more information that could be derived for factors such as cultural and economic needs.
The gender pay gap problem persists due to the systems that are the foundation of both leadership and roles within society. Many of the focus in play is given through excuses that there are environments that women cannot go to, their circumstances that women cannot handle, and women get to leave the work more, especially when it comes to either marriage or pregnancies. The elements that make up a bigger chunk of these excuses have been sued to negatively stereotype women and hence the justification of why the less payment. At the same time, for many years, pay has been confidential in an organization such that human resources have almost mandated it to be secretive. The culture of sharing and the etiquette surrounding this has been nonexistent until the coming of age of social media. Social media became an avenue over which could easily make complaints and comparisons. Hence, a pattern could be observed slowly, and the court of public opinion had stronger evidence for “persecution.”
These articles include various aspects of the pay gap issue, so I prepared to ask interview questions based on these aspects. I plan to interview a man and a woman to make a clear comparison. The literature review provides a foundational basis from which the discussion will start. It also includes observation of development trends on the subject matter to make it easy to formulate new insights. The present trend developing here gender is no longer based on biology will change the topic in ways that have yet to be addressed as the magnitude of this change hasn’t even been fully felt within the existing systems. It is by this account that the gender pay gap can’t be boxed into one objective. Looking at the past, the present, and the potential future guided by day is the way forward, and that, in addition to justification, can be provided by literature review. However, significant gaps can be seen in the discussion by lacking the ethnographic data necessary to formulate a competitive outlook. Looking at circumstantial data only from salary alone negates other existences that could be informative. Three themes are inspired by the literature review, the effect of gender roles on accepting job responsibilities, the impact of socio-culture on women who accept less pay, and the gender pay gap as influenced by socio-economic background.
Bennedsen, M., Simintzi, E., Tsoutsoura, M., & Wolfenzon, D. (2019). Do firms respond to gender pay gap transparency? (No. w25435). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Blundell, J. (2020). Wage responses to gender pay gap reporting requirements. Available at SSRN 3584259.
Boll, C., & Lagemann, A. (2019). The gender pay gap in EU countries—new evidence based on EU-SES 2014 data. Intereconomics, 54(2), 101-105.
McCarthy, J. (2021, March 11). What Is the Gender Pay Gap and How Do We Close It? Global Citizen Newspaper. Retrieved from https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/what-is-the-gender-pay-gap/