Everyone knows what the pay gap is, right? The gender pay gap is the average difference between the salaries that men and women make in their jobs. However, pay gap is a little more complicated than just the average differences between the salaries that both genders make.
Unadjusted v. Adjusted Pay Gap
An unadjusted pay gap fails to take certain considerations into account. For example, an adjusted pay gap pays attention to the hours worked, specific occupations, job title, education, and job experience. An unadjusted pay gap tends to exaggerate the difference while an adjusted pay gap portrays a more realistic snapshot of the issue.
In adjusted pay gap studies, women who request maternity leave are factored into the study, and they often earn less than coworkers simply because those coworkers don’t need to take off for pregnancy. But even in adjusted pay gap research, the pay gap continues to exist.
Is the Pay Gap Shrinking?
For many years, the pay gap charted a rapid decrease. But more recently, economists state that the gender pay gap has stagnated. And it’s possible that women and other minorities will continue to earn far less than white males for more than one hundred years, unless the government cracks down on discrimination by creating better employment policies.
How Does Location Influence The Gender Pay Gap?
Location absolutely influences the gender pay gap, depending on what state you are in as well as if you are urban, suburban, or rural. While statistics often just show the national pay gap, the pay gap can be calculated for each state as well. In 2015, New York minimized the gender pay gap the most with full time, year-round working women being paid 89 percent of similarly situated men. Meanwhile, the largest pay gap was in Wyoming with women being paid 64 percent of what men were paid. Wyoming ladies, it’s time to move.
Does the Gender Pay Gap Include the Full Compensation Package?
When the pay gap includes the full compensation package, the gap widens. In fact, research shows that employers are less likely to offer female employees health insurance, paid leave, or retirement savings plans. Therefore, women will settle for leave without pay. Historically, the gender pay gap shrunk when women began to gain more on-the-job experience. However, today, the existence of gender pay gap is harder to explain since many women work throughout their lifetimes.
When Is the Gender Pay Gap the Worst?
Studies show that the gender pay gap expands the most in the late 20s to mid-30s for women. During this period, women are sometimes having children, which sidelines their career for certain spans of time. Although unmarried women without children keep better pace with men, they still lag behind. Employers tend to assume that women are less committed, more likely to follow a partner, or take time off if they do decide to have children.
Culturally, the care of the average home still remains largely the main responsibility for women rather than men. One partner follows the career while the other cares for the family and home. This trend continues to reinforce the pay gap and traps society in an unequal norm.
While some women choose to work less when they have children, most don’t. But, employers still pay them less. Studies show that employers pay employees more for working long hours while paying less for working flexibly. Although women do eventually catch up to male counterparts in pay, it takes them almost twice as long as it did for the men to get there.
How Can the Pay Gap Be Fixed?
The question of the century continues to be asked, but at least this means that we are still trying to solve the ongoing pay gap. A couple of things can be done to help decrease the pay gap within companies and even industries.
Encourage women to negotiate. Since women are less likely to negotiate, they receive fewer raises and promotions. In many circumstances, women still receive less than men and can even be penalized for stepping outside of societal norms. Therefore, create an environment where it’s safe for women to negotiate.
Increase pay transparency. When pay is kept secret, many employees do not realize that they are being discriminated against. Pay transparency increases the company’s accountability to equally paying job positions based on title and experience rather than gender.
If you have experienced wage-based discrimination due to your gender, contact an employment attorney now to hear your legal options.