As the basic principle of fairness states, Men and women should be given equal opportunities in life. Despite having significant progress, protests, and new legislation, there is still a constant gap between what women and men are being paid. On average, a woman earns around $0.81 for every dollar earned by men.
And if you look at the rate of progress, it will take plenty of years to cover that gap. But what factors are determining these numbers? Gender discriminations and a bundle of complex factors are constraining and influencing the options available to women. However, one of the vital factors behind the pay gap is parenthood. It is often seen that women are likely to get employed in more flexible jobs and enable them to manage their families.
However, another reason for this is that most women are likely to leave their job when they have a baby, and it is often called a motherhood penalty or the baby bearing penalty. A recent survey states that 25 percent of women are being paid less as compared to men even after having the same job, whereas only 5 percent of men are earning less than women at the same job. And 49 percent of women are experiencing gender discrimination at work, whereas only 20 percent of men are saying the same.
These days, the most common form of discrimination is considered as earning equality. However, factors that are more likely to affect the wage gap with much difference are difficult to measure, such as discrimination and unconscious bias against women. Let us look at the factors due to which the gender pay gap widens.
- Career Progression
The pay gap increases as women grow in their career, with women working at the executive level are earning $0.95 to each dollar earned by men when both are employed in the same job and making a considerable difference where women earn $0.68 to each dollar a man make regardless of their jobs, types, seniority, industry, location, years of experience, etc.
Moreover, it is often seen that women tend to progress in their careers at a slower pace as compared to men. This situation is known as the opportunity gap. For instance, an equal percentage of women and men begin their career as an individual contributor that means they don’t manage people. At the age of 20 to 29, 76 percent of women and 75 percent of men are in individual contributor’s roles.
By the age of 30 to 44, 30 percent of women are likely to become managers or supervisors, whereas only 36 percent of men did. At last, men are more likely to become executives or directors than women by 45 or older.
- Higher Education
Higher education does not contribute to paying equity. Moreover, the gender pay gap shows no improvement or minimal at higher education levels compared to high school degrees; men and women with the same education level have less difference between their pay gaps. But when you look at other degree levels share equal pay gap whereas some larger degrees have bigger pay gaps. Health professional doctorates and MBAs see a negligible pay gap.
However, bachelor’s degrees show much closer pay when managing for compensable factors. When you compare the data regardless of men’s and women’s education, the MBAs sector shows a significant gender pay gap. It means women with MBAs earn $0.75 on every dollar earned by the men. It is quite challenging to determine the perfect pay gap because men and women with MBAs have different job levels and job titles.
These statistics show that women with higher education are likely to take a less demanding job and hence less rewarding than their higher education has prepared them, or it is due to family considerations. Also, women with a law degree have a low difference in pay grade, but it worth mentioning that women earn $0.87 on every dollar men take home with a law degree.
Women are relatively paid less than men in any occupation, as discussed above. Moreover, women contribute to most of the workforce in service, support, and wellbeing-related occupations like education, healthcare practitioners, training & library, administrative and office support, healthcare support, community & social services, and personal care & services.
Thus, it is understandable that the gender pay gap will be negligible, where women dominate the occupation. For instance, in the legal sector, women contribute to the majority of candidates, while only 43 percent of men play their part in the legal industry. But in training & library, education occupations have the second largest gender pay gap. Despite having a majority of women participation, women earn $0.72 for each dollar earned by men as an educator.
The difference in this pay gap is due to the job level as women are more likely to teach primary school while men teach secondary and elementary schools, which open doors for men to work in administrative and superintendent roles with higher salaries.
Thus, these disparities result in harmful stereotypes that women are bad with finances or poor leaders, and these two disparities have thickened the glass ceiling. But when data is compared with the legal profession and social & community service profession, women are able to earn $1.00 for every dollar earned by the men.
- Industry Sector
When you look at the pay gap by industry, it shows a remarkable difference ranking from finance & insurance sector to warehousing & transporting. All industry sectors show a considerable pay gap, but in engineering and technology & science, women are earning an equal amount of share as men. Moreover, men and women with the same occupation in one industry earn an equal amount of bankrolls.
At the same time, sectors like healthcare, agencies & consultancies, retail & customer service, entertainment & recreation, art and rental/leasing & real estate have a tremendous difference in pay grade. It also shows that men and women are not having the same job titles or job levels.
Thus, the information mentioned above is related to why women are paid less than men.