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United States women's wages and the wage gap as compared to their male counterpart - Essay Example

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The term ‘equality’ seems to be deterring from women even in the 21st century. The period when women are taking giant strides towards successful career and achieving global heights, the demon of equal pay rights and equality at workplace still haunts…
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United States womens wages and the wage gap as compared to their male counterpart
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Download file to see previous pages The term ‘equality’ seems to be deterring from women even in the 21st century. The period when women are taking giant strides towards successful career and achieving global heights, the demon of equal pay rights and equality at workplace still haunts.Federal government confirmed the earning gap persistent between men and women despite various laws and amendments made by the government (Longley, ‘Why Women Still Make Less than Men’). Despite some dramatic reductions in the male-female pay gap since the 1950’s gender differentials persist in all industrialized nations (Blau and Kahn, 533). Both gender specific factors like gender differences in qualifications and discrimination, and overall wage structure, the rewards for skills and employment in particular sectors, importantly influence the gender pay gap. The large gender pay gap in the United States compared to other advanced countries seems primarily attributable to the very high level of U.S. wage inequality (Blau and Kahn). According to Goldin, the ratio of female to male earnings among full time workers was roughly constant from the 1950s to the early 1980s and the segregation of occupation of sex is substantial and has declined only slightly across the last century (Burstein, 17). According to the American Women, a report prepared by Commission on the Status of Women; the role for women ‘most generally approved by counselors, parents and friends is the making of a home, the rearing of children and the transmission of them in their earliest years of the values of the American heritage. It should be noted that during that period only 10 percent of families were headed by unmarried women and most of the women’s job were in ‘low paid categories’ such as clerical work which is still existent even today as shown in Table 1. However the time is changing rapidly as Shiver reported that in 2009, half of the U.S. workers are female and mothers have become the primary breadwinners in 4 out of 10 families (A Women’s Nation). However the fact remains that there is large gap in wages between men and women as the gap had widened during 2007 and 2008 as women’s weekly earning on an average was $657 as compared to $819 for men (It’s time for working women to earn equal pay’). Basing on the facts and figures mentioned above, this paper attempts to present analytical discussion on United States’ women wages and wage gap differences as compared to men at workplace. 2. U.S. Women Employment and Wages Figart, Mutari and Power (3) stated that women have been always working which was essential in providing food, clothing and shelter throughout history and across cultures. It took decades before the women first occupied place among the men. Today, women represent nearly half of the U.S. workforce wherein the United States total workforce consisted of 72% men and 58% women in 2010. The labor force participation for women increased from about 33 percent in 1950 to 61 percent in 1999 but has remained less active and spent fewer weeks in the labor force as compared to men (US Dept. of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, 28). According to report ‘Worlds Women 2010’, 90% of the women’s workforce was employed in service sector while only 9% in industry sector and 1% in agricultural sector. The data (Table 1) reveals that there is demand of women in service sector as only 68% men are employed within the sector. Table 1: Distribution of Employment in Developed Countries Source: World’s Women 2010, United Nations (COR) The domination of women in service sector was the result of increasing representation of women among the ranks of managers in organizations in the U.S. which was considered as a dramatic shift in the sex composition of an occupation since clerical work became a female dominated field in the late nineteenth century (Jacobs, 282). It is evident from the above data that women are equally contributing to nations GDP as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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