Equality in the workforce. A symbol of progression for the female gender? Or a taboo of the working woman who ‘thinks’ she has it all? In recent discussion of equality in wages among women in the workforce, a controversial issue has been whether women have progressed in society or do they still face the glass ceiling by enduring wage discrimination.
On the one hand, some argue that women have come a long way. From the perspective of Christina Hoff Sommers, American Enterprise Institute scholar and author of Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why.
It Matters Today, American women know that they’ve succeeded and feminism was a thing of the past. On the other hand, however, others argue that the fight for equality is still not over. The Center for American Progress states that “progress has stalled in recent years and if progress continues at its current rate, it will take 45 years to eradicate the wage gap.”
According to this view, the wage gap between men and women need to be addressed immediately and steps such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has yet to pass into law, would be an important step further to close that gap.
Women have long fought the battle of equality and rights. Persevering through times of turmoil and incomprehensible obstacles in the working, social, and political world, they dared to break the constraints, which for so long kept them shackled. Up till now, women had showed the world that they are as every bit capable of anything the men can do. They deserve every victory and praise they get for ...
I believe that women deserve financial equality in the workforce and although I agree that women have come a long way in the past few decades and some are able to achieve the equality that they so long have fought for, many still face day to day discrimination in wage earnings. This issue is important because if women are not able to obtain equal leverage as men do in the workforce, then we will be forever drowning under the glass ceiling of society.
Women throughout recent history have been depicted in many different ways, especially in the workforce. It wasn’t long ago that the ‘American Dream’ for a woman was to live in the suburbs with her husband, the breadwinner, and be a stay at home mother with her family.
Many wondered if this was the life they actually wanted or was it possible to be a ‘Superwoman’, a homemaker and successful business woman. After WWII and the Vietnam War, Americans had transitioned from that picturesque image to one of more anti-war protests for world peace and the fight for more equality among all.
As Americans experienced this transition, they began to yearn for a better and richer life and with this, the new ‘American Dream’ was born. This dream was to make money and have individual success. Women began to fight for more equal rights as they entered the workforce, and with America becoming more and more diverse as each decade passes, the increasing number of women in the workforce has made vital contributions to the American economy.
Their diverse educational, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds has bred a more productive and innovative workforce. It has been shown that diversity is a key factor to a strong and growing economy and essential for it to survive and thrive. However, women are still subjected to the glass ceiling and glass cliff. Although there has been much growth and development for women in the workplace, they still continue to struggle for basic rights such as equal wages.
Women have continued to face the paradox of wage inequality even though studies have shown that women are better educated than ever. According to the United States Census Bureau, “Among the employed population 25 and older, 37 percent of women had attained a bachelor’s degree or more as of 2010, compared with 35 percent of men. In contrast, among all adults 25 and older, 29.6 percent of women and 30.3 percent of men had at least a bachelor’s degree.”
... 7 2000 40. 6 total workforce includes men and women As indicated by the figures presented above, women today make up a ... wages of 31 cents an hour and sweatshop conditions, women in Japan are enjoying more educational opportunities and managerial positions. While some American women ... which took effect in April 1986, called for equal opportunity and equal treatment in the job market for members of ...
This shows that although men overall have a slightly higher rate of bachelor degree’s, women trump the men when it comes to being educated and in the workforce. The United States Census Bureau is right when it comes to the statistics of women in the workforce, however, there is still the underlying issue of wage inequality.
There have been more women enrolled in institutions of higher education than men but The Center for American Progress argues that women are still earning only .77 cents to every dollar a man earns and earns less than men in 527 out of 534 occupations listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These statistics show and prove that although women are educated, they are earning less across the board from their male counterparts. I believe that these hardships that woman face on the forefront are constant struggles that have made it difficult if not impossible to break the glass ceiling.
In this controversial issue of wage inequality, Christina Hoffman Sommers has emphasized that American women know that they have succeeded and have achieved the goal of equal pay for equal work. She argues that the statistics of the averaged median wage gap of .23 cents is incorrect when factoring other relevant differences between men and women such as occupation, age, experience, education, and time in the workforce.
She states that the adjusted wage gap after factoring in those differences diminishes drastically and is actually about .05 to .07 cents. Sommers implication that the average wage gap between men and women is that it has nothing to do with the discrimination of individuals who hold the same jobs.
Furthermore, she notes that the .05 to .07 cents wage gap may actually be attributed to women’s supposedly inferior negotiating skills. She also has other implications of why women still face the .05 to .07 cents wage gap which is because of their expectations of their future employment. She suggests that women who are in the workforce often plan their careers around the understanding that they are going to have children and start a family.
In the 21 st Century the number of women enrolling in higher education institutions is surpassing the numbers of men enrolled. The graduation rates of women from high school and higher education are most often higher than for men. The number of women graduates from most professional occupations, including higher paying medicine, law and business, will exceed the number of men graduates in the near ...
This leads to seeking careers that are flexible and can enable them to be able to work and have the family at the same time. Sommers advocates the extreme aspect of this by insisting that “One of the greatest harms that feminists have inflicted on American women is to send the message that women are only fulfilled if their salaries are equal to men’s, and that a preference for more time at home is somehow flawed. Neither men’s nor women’s education and job choices prove social inequality.”
I do not deny that men or women’s education and job choices prove social inequality, nonetheless, I do question whether the .05-.07 cents wage gap is solely contingent on the women’s choice to have a family or lack of negotiating skills. I believe that there is still a bias against women in the workforce and in society in general.
The American Association of University Women agrees that there is evidence of a small margin of bias and states “A large portion of the gender pay gap is not explained by women’s choices or characteristics.”
The evolution of feminism has played a huge role in the outcome of women’s position in society and even though there was legislation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, progress has been stagnant in recent years. Ultimately, what is at stake here is the growth of women in society as a whole. Without progression, we as American women, risk losing ground gained in this ongoing battle.