In this research paper we will discuss the problem of gender wage gap. According to European Commission, gender pay gap is the difference between females’ and males’ hourly earnings (“Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union”, 2014, p. 2). This problem is being debated for a long time. In most cases, it is believed that women earn less than men. The purpose of this research paper is to discover the problem of gender wage gap and answer the following question: Is there a significant difference between men’s and women’s earnings?
Gender Wage Gap in the European Union
/> According to European Union statistics, on average, men earn approximately 16% more than women. The distribution of gender pay gaps is different between countries. It is lesser than 10% in such countries as Malta, Slovenia, Italy, Romania and Luxembourg. But in the following countries the gap is more than 20%: Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovakia and Estonia. Generally, the width of pay gap has narrowed over the last ten years. However, in some countries (like Portugal and Hungary) it has been widening. The authors of the statistics information note that the difference between earnings even doesn’t depend on the employees’ performance. In European Union, women are more likely to reach at least upper secondary school education than men: 83% of women compared to 77.6% of men (“Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union”, 2014, p. 2).
There are many causes of gender pay gap in the European Union. First and foremost problem is discrimination in workplace. Despite the fact that both men and women can do the same volume of work, in some cases, men’s salary is higher than women’s. This issue is called “direct discrimination”. In such cases employer appreciates women employees less favorably than men. Discrimination in workplace is strictly prohibited in all European Union countries. However, it still may take place in some workplaces. Another cause of the gender wage gap is that men and women often work on different jobs in different sectors. For example, health care and nursing jobs are primarily made by women (80% of all employees are women). This sector has lower salaries than those where men are dominating. In addition to the mentioned problems, men and women have a different access to training and career development. Women often should pay attention to childcare and, as a consequence, they are forced to work shorter time. Women are more likely to find part-time jobs, which are usually low-paid. As a result, men are more likely to develop their career to management positions. The different view on how the rewards should be distributed among employees often result in wage gap. Historic factors or culture traditions sometimes also affect the principles of salary distribution (“Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union”, 2014, p. 5).
Gender Wage Gap in the United States
In the United States, the problem of gender pay gap is still a factor of determining salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, a woman earns approximately 78 cents to a man’s dollar.
The causes of this issue are similar to those in the European Union. On April 14, 2015, CNN Money has published article named “78 cents on the dollar: The facts about the gender wage gap”. In this article authors explain various nuances related to the problem. According to the article, a survey was performed in 2009-2013. There were over 3.5 million of participants, American households. The results of the study show that there are different areas of work and different professions for men and women. For example, certain professions, like teachers, nurses, secretaries are considered as women professions. Men usually tend to work as salesmen, drivers and investment managers. This fact explains the problem with the gender wage gap statistics: it doesn’t take into consideration the tenure, experience and job choice of workers (CNN Money, 2015).
But even in specific and equal conditions the wage gap is still takes place. According to CNN Money article, male teachers in a middle school earn on average $1,096 a week, when women’s salary is lower: $956 a week. In this example, gender gap is approximately 87 cents to dollar. In addition, women employees in retail business earn about 70 cents to a man’s dollar, women lawyer – 83 cents. According to the American Association of University Women, “there is a 7% wage gap between male and female, college grads a year after graduation, even controlling for college major, occupation, age, geographical region and hours worked” (“Gender pay gap stubbornly persists”, 2015).
Eileen Patten in her article for Pew Research Center explores the key facts on the issue of gender wage gap. According to a Pew Research Center survey, most part of men and women see gender wage discrimination in a workplace – 63% of male respondents and 77% of female respondents agree that the government should perform better in taking measures against gender wage gap. E. Pattern writes that, according to the White House, on average, females earn about 77% of what males earn on the same positions. This means that in order to earn the same amount of money, women should work approximately three months more (on a yearly basis) to earn equally to men. The gender wage gap is quite smaller for young employees: women earn about 93% of the males’ earnings. However, things are not so bad. If we look in past, the gender gap has narrowed significantly. In the United States it is estimated at a level of 16 cents today, compared to $0.36 in 1980 (Pattern, E., 2015).
That’s why men are more likely to take managers positions than women. In last decades women have taken more high-paying jobs, however, the average indicators still show that women earn less than men. Even despite the fact that governments in the United States and in the European Union fight the problem of gender wage gap, the problem still persist. Generally it is explained by the fact that women are forced to take career interruptions (for example, to take care about children). Such breaks have an impact on the long-term career development and wage.
O'Brien, Sara Ashley. "78 Cents on the Dollar: The Facts about the Gender Wage Gap." CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/13/news/economy/equal-pay-day-2015/>.
Patten, Eileen. "On Equal Pay Day, Key Facts about the Gender Pay Gap." Pew Research Center RSS. Pew Research Center, 14 Apr. 2015. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/on-equal-pay-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap/>.
"Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European Union." European Commission, 2014. Web. 21 July 2015. <http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/gender_pay_gap/140319_gpg_en.pdf>.