News / USA

US Gender Pay Gap Still Exists

In the past, a popular explanation for the gender pay gap was that women received less education than men.  However, women last year earned 58 percent higher education degrees for the first time in US history
In the past, a popular explanation for the gender pay gap was that women received less education than men. However, women last year earned 58 percent higher education degrees for the first time in US history

Multimedia

Tatiana Vorozhko

Despite some gains at the higher income levels over the last two years, women in the United States still earn less money than men.  This according to the federal Government Accountability Office.  The GAO presented a report last week  to a House of Representatives committee which indicates that salary parity between men and women in the United States has not yet been reached.

Those findings grabbed attention of policymakers and the media: a bill called the "Paycheck Fairness Act," which toughens employers` legal responsibility to eliminate gender discrimination, is about to be introduced in the U.S. Senate.

The research studied the compensation of male and female managers in 2007.  It found that women managers earned 81 cents for every dollar that men made.   The study also showed that while women make up 40 percent of managers at all other levels, they constitute only three percent of all Chief Executive Officers.  These data reflect only a slight improvement over the situation in the year 2000.

"Women are stuck," Ilene Lang, Catalyst, Inc said. "Despite decades of efforts to create opportunities for advancement, deep inequalities persist."

In the past, a popular explanation for the pay gap was that women received less education than men.  However, women last year earned 58 percent of all Bachelor's and Master's degrees and, for the first time in US history, received the majority of PhDs.  Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is unhappy about the findings.  

"Even though there's a bright spot in that more women are gaining education. We're closing the education gap but we're not closing the pay gap," Maloney said.

Others feel there is still gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Ellen Galinsky is President of the Families and Work Institute. "Prejudices that exist are based on ideas that are from another time, another kind of economy, another type of family life that doesn`t exist today," she said.

Some have suggested that women are more modest and do not negotiate their salaries the way men do.  The GAO research showed that female MBAs during their first year out of college earn $4,600 less than men with the same education and professional experience. One TV network conducted its own experiment on salary negation.

Half of the men in the experiment asked for the maximum rate.  But only a third of the women did the same.  

In contrast to the overall trend, single, childless women in metropolitan areas -- between the ages of 22 and 30 -- earn eight percent more than men in the same category.  And Black and Hispanic women out-earn their male counterparts by an even larger margin. Those findings by Reach Advisers, a consumer-research firm, were released in the beginning of this year.  

But for married women with children, the old-style disparity is still true. The GAO research indicated that femaile managers who have children earn 79 percent of the salaries received by male managers with children. It has also been suggested that mothers may be less eager to move up the career ladder if doing so involves travel or long working hours.

According to a recent magazine survey, some companies such as IBM, PriceWaterhouseCooper or Bank of America seem to have grasped what women want. It is not only equal pay for equal work. It is also having opportunities to lead a more balanced life: to be able to adjust working hours based on family responsibilities, to use flextime or telecommute, as well as to have quality day care close to the workplace.  These companies offer such benefits to men as well."

In a modern economy, in which women make up half the workforce, experts say fair compensation is important for the well-being of their families, for a number of reasons:

Women are more likely to be employed in recession-proof sectors of the economy than men -- who often hold most of the
jobs in hard-hit sectors such as construction.

Women also make most of the decisions on family purchases.

In addition several recent studies have shown that companies where women are better represented at the senior executive level perform better than companies with fewer women in high positions.  One of these companies is Campbell Soup. It recently announced the appointment of Denise Morrison as its new executive president.

You May Like

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, No voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve and do not want to take a risk by endorsing independence More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Spacei
X
September 17, 2014 4:20 AM
The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid