My wife will soon be entering into a full time professional career as a Family Nurse Practitioner. And I’m not ashamed to say, she will be the primary wage earner in our family. She’ll be the one pulling in the big bucks and putting bread on the table. I have no doubt will survive just fine and be able to support a family. What’s disturbing though, is to know that, without intervention and advocacy, it is very possible she will be denied a fair and equal wage. I believe the wage gap is wrong and you can be assured I will stand up for the rights of my wife and other women to receive proper pay for their work and talents.
The Chart below is from The WAGE Project and uses US Census data. According to the chart, Mindy will earn $30,000 less a year then if, say, I went ahead and had gotten a Master’s degree:
Today is Equal Pay Day, a chance for Women (and the men around them) everywhere to stand up and demand that our bosses, supervisors, CEO’s and businesses put aside the discrimination and inequality and begin paying Women an equal pay. If your a husband, father, or son, I suggest you try and sit down and do your best to put your listening ears on and ask your female loved ones if and how they feel they have been discriminated against. If your a business owner, boss, or anyone with any authority over pay scales, I suggest you start doing some research and agreeing to take action on this issue today.
I’ll be writing more about this later, but for now I’ll just close with this brief summary from The WAGE Project.
Why Is There A Wage Gap?
The wage gap is the result of a variety of forms of sex discrimination in the workplace, including discrimination in hiring, promotion and pay, sexual harassment, occupational segregation, bias against mothers, and other ways in which women workers and women’s work are undervalued.
Hiring, Promotion, Pay
First comes what most people think of as sex discrimination: the simple and straightforward refusal to hire, promote, or fairly pay women who are just as qualified as men.
Few people realize that sexual harassment also constitutes wage discrimination. After long and repeated sexual harassment, women leave or lose their jobs, potential raises, promotions, opportunities, emotional stability, ability to work, and sometimes their lives.
In 2000, two-thirds of all US working women were still crowded into twenty-one of the 500 occupational categories. And, then women’s work is consistently paid less than men’s work. Are janitors really worth more than nurses’ aides, parking lot attendants more than child care workers, construction laborers more than bookkeepers and cashiers? According to American payrolls, they are.
Many people believe that the wage gap exists because women choose to care for children. But do they really choose to be paid less for doing the same work they did before giving birth? Forget the mommy track: too many women find themselves shunted unwillingly onto the mommy sidetrack. Frustrated women talk about how, once they came back from maternity leave, colleagues began to treat them as unreliable and unpromotable—almost willfully overlooking any evidence of productivity
Undervaluing Women Workers
Everyday, women workers suggestions are dismissed — only to be discussed seriously when made by a man. Or when employers turn to old boy networks rather than public postings to recruit new talent. Or when interviews or screening tests prize male strengths or deeper voices, even though women’s strengths and communication styles could accomplish the job just as well.