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Letter to the editor: Gender inequality still present in the workforce

Letter to the editor: Gender inequality still present in the workforce

[quote]By Eliana Greenberg
Guest Writer
Graphic by Ana Bicolli [/quote]

Since World War II, women have been a part of the workforce. If it weren’t for the women who worked when their husbands were off fighting in the war, our country would not be where it is today. However, the male has always been paid more than the female. The only difference between a female cashier and a male cashier, is their gender. To this day, the woman earns 79 cents to the man’s dollar. That is a differential of 21 percent between genders. What’s the reasoning behind it? None. There needs to be a considerable change to the unfair pay between the sexes.

At my first job, I was paid less than my male co-workers for no apparent reason. I approached my manager after overhearing him speaking to a potential new employee during a job interview, when he said, “we’ll start you off at $9/hour.” At this time, I was making $8.50/hour. I worked hard, came in early for my shifts, never disrespected my bosses; I deserved to make $9/hour, I even deserved a raise. During the conversation with my manager, he said “just keep working, we’ll see.” I never got a raise. This was the first time I encountered this situation. Later, I found that another employee, also a male, who always came in late for his shifts, was earning $9/hour. I, again, approached him with the same question, “Why does he get paid more money when he isn’t deserving of it? I work ten times harder than he does.” My manager uttered the words, “That’s just the way it is.” Find the flaw.

Women work just as hard as men, yet we get paid less. It is beyond frustrating that this is still how the workforce runs today. In 2014, the ratio of women’s and men’s median annual earnings was 78.6% for full-time/year-round workers. Women averaged earnings of $39,621 in 2014, compared with $50,383 for men. That is an astounding gap of 21.4 percent, which is a considerable difference in percentage. Women’s pay has been continuously growing at a slow pace since 1960, yet sitting around and waiting until men and women reach the same pay equity is not the path we should take. Everyone should realize that the amount of work put into a job is what should be primarily considered when allowing wage to affect an individual. If society doesn’t act by trying to make a difference in pay equity now, statistics show that men and women won’t have equal pay for another 44 years, in 2059.

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In Illinois alone, there is an $11,000 difference between the salary of a male and a female. In fact, location does matter. In Washington D.C. there is approximately a seven thousand dollar difference in salary, whereas in Louisiana there is a seventeen thousand dollar difference between the male and female salary. The reported salaries per state is appalling. Even within this unfair advantage of males with higher wages, women still are able to find success despite the limited opportunities available. Women are capable of pursuing any job a man can. Many people believe that women cannot fulfill all the job qualifications a man can due to the fact that women may become pregnant and go on maternity leave or are “too emotional” around a certain time of the month. This does not mean women are “weaker” than men. I’d argue that women are emotionally stronger, but I’m biased. With the right qualifications, a female should earn an equal wage to her male counterpart performing the same job responsibilities. The female might even be more qualified than the male, but she would still get paid less. Me, alongside all females in the workforce, would just like to say thank you to those who declared women should earn less than men.

There is no silver bullet to this issue. The only way to truly solve this, is to take action. We need to vocalize this issue and ask the one real question, what is the actual reason for difference in pay between genders? I don’t believe there is one honest reason for it. I would like to speak to the person who believes they have an answer. With the Presidential election coming up in November, there is a chance that our country’s next President will be a female. The President earns an annual salary of $400,000. If our next President is a woman, where she would be doing the same job with the same qualifications as our past male Presidents, would she get paid less? If so, I, along with every other female, would like to know why.

View Comments (13)

Comments (13)

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  • A

    a person that is right all the timeMar 24, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    the wage gap is not real

    Reply
  • E

    Educate YourselfMar 24, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Good thing the solution has to this problem has already been around for over 50 years in America! see: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm

    Reply
  • C

    Concerned Metea StudentMar 23, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Why are we talking about the wage gap? We should really be talking about the real issue in America, the thigh gap.

    Reply
  • M

    Matt FitzgeraldMar 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    To be perfectly honest, the real gender inequality is that men are the ones discriminated against. Men have to pay much more than women for all the different types of insurances. For car insurance, your average man has to pay about twice as much. The reason that is given, Men are apparently likely to get road rage and women are not. That is not a ligament answer because in my personal experience as a driver and passenger, Women are more likely to have road rage, not men. So if we are going to fight for something that is not existant, then why don’t we fight for equality for men in insurance.

    Reply
    • B

      Bob SagetMar 24, 2016 at 12:42 pm

      *Sigh*
      I’m sorry, but HOW THE HECK can you use insurance rates as the over encompassing evidence for gender inequality against men? First of all, the evidence showing why men have to pay more for car insurance is completely legitimate. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, men are 10% less likely to wear a seat belt and are 9% more likely to speed. Also, 536,202 men were arrested for DUI’s compared to 174,149 women arrested in 2013.
      Also by the way, a ligament is a piece of tissue, not an answer.
      Men are treated too well in comparison to women. THE GAP BETWEEN PAY FROM WOMEN TO MEN IS 21% IN 2014! It has improved, but is not even close to what women deserve. And don’t even get me started on sexual trafficking. Women are abused sexually constantly. One in five women in america are sexually abused compared to one in 71 MEN.
      And I’m Bob Saget. I’m a man and I know what I’m talking about.
      Matt Fitzgerald, I’m sorry but man up and give women what they deserve.

      Reply
    • R

      Rohin BhasinMar 24, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      For sure, Matt! I’m sure the entire conflict on gender inequality thus far has been completely uncalled for. Thanks for opening up our eyes to the real problem! Discrimination against males, who knew. Without your privileged opinion, we probably never would have realized the true issue. Most of Bob’s argument is probably invalid, and you should probably go inform the entire feminist movement that discrimination against them doesn’t really exist. They’d probably appreciate that you’re saving them the work that they’ve done trying to bring about equality. You’re a true visionary, Matt Fitzgerald.

      Reply
  • 9

    93249355Mar 23, 2016 at 10:05 am

    At the cost of some credibility, I would like to make a correction. I meant 50 cents, not 5.

    Reply
  • 9

    93249355Mar 23, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I wanna make a rather major correction here, women have been in the workforce since WW1 broke out. Women worked in dangerous conditions back then, making munitions without safety from the dangers of faulty artillery shells exploding, or working with poisonous substances when crafting bullets. But they didn’t just make ammunition, they also helped to make rifles, farm for food, and any job a man would’ve had, a women would’ve taken at that time. Now this isn’t the same for America, but that is how it was in Europe, and WW1 helped to pioneer women’s rights in Europe, such as being allowed to vote. When you compare the work safety of that time period, and the safety of today’s period, along with the pay gap that was there back in 1914-1917, conditions and payment for women in the workforce have improved substantially, so when you think about whining for being paid about 5 cents less than men, just remember that for women 100 years ago, it was a heck of a lot worse in every aspect.

    Reply
    • 7

      73820027Apr 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      you can’t compare women’s issues now to issues that were relevant 100 years ago. that’s like saying that black people shouldn’t speak out against racism because at least they’re not slaves anymore. the feminist movement is focused on raising women to the same standard as men. you can’t discredit it by saying that women had it worse before. women have it so much worse than men that even with all the strides that we’ve made, we still haven’t reached equality.

      Reply
  • J

    James ReevesMar 22, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Alright I’ll start off by pointing out that you are you are us ring outdated statistics; 2014 is not very relevant in 2016. In 2015 the ratio of annual earnings for women vs men was 84.2% so that makes the pay gap 15.8%. But I’m not done. Men make more on average per year because they work more. What? Yes, according to the bureau of labor statistics men work 40.8 hours per week compared to women who work 35.9. So that means that for every hour men work women work .88 hours. So if you do a little math that if women worked as much as men do they would make 91.4% of what men make. So just so we’re clear there is a slight wage gap but it’s about 8.6% now, factor in the fact that 9/10 of the lowest paying carreer paths are dominated by women and 9/10 of the highest paying carreer paths are dominated by men, you understand why extremist feminists are the only ones who yell about the “wage gap”. Now that we have the facts on the table lets get to it, you had a sexist boss. That’s unacceptable but it doesn’t warrant writing a rant on the school’s news site about how unfair the world is. You’re boss was a prick and in life you’ll have to deal with a few people like that.

    Reply
  • A

    AdonisMar 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I just don’t know why women and men aren’t paid equally.

    This is one of the biggest problems, and I hope soon that this will be resolved and we get one step closer for gender equality. Also, this manager seems like a bozo.

    Reply
  • Z

    ZachMar 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    Another paper rattling the wage gap myth, despite whatever personals story the writer claims to have experienced, the U.S. department of labor in 2009 wrote that any wage gap is “may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”.

    Reply
  • P

    Prashant ShankarMar 22, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Your comparison of average earnings is misinformation, if not a straight up lie. Average earnings compare ALL of women’s salaries to ALL of men’s salaries. It’s practically comparing a female teacher’s salary to a male physicists, and vice versa.

    Women on average make less than men on average because generally speaking, women major in social work more, which pays less than something like a STEM job.

    Whether or not women go into lower paying jobs due to societal stigma is up for debate, but it’s plain dishonest to just compare average earnings.

    Reply
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Letter to the editor: Gender inequality still present in the workforce