Remember all those reports about women making 70 – 80 cents less per hour than men doing the same job? Those were short-term reports. The gap is even larger, according to a 15-year study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. They say it’s actually 49 cents for every dollar a man makes in the same job.
Yes, there are laws that are supposed to secure pay equity. But they’re being ignored or circumvented by such devices as hiring two people to do the same job yet giving the man one title and the woman another title.
That gap really affects families and children, because half of the people in the workforce are women. If you’re a single mom, that hurts. If you’re a two-salary family out of necessity, that hurts. If you’re a child in either situation, that hurts.
This, then, is more than an economic or fairness issue–although it’s decidedly both. It’s also a human issue, one that puts women and children, and even men, on the edge of financial disaster and out on the streets.
Women are just lazier than men. That’s the argument New Hampshire State Rep. Will Infantine makes for higher pay for men. He calls the pay gap “justified” because men willingly do riskier jobs and work more hours. Read more about this at the Huffington Post.
If you think there’s any truth to what he claims, you can read the report by the American Association of University Women, “Graduating to a Pay Gap.” It looks at men and women a year after graduating from college with the same major and accounts for other factors that might affect the results. That 7% pay gap is still there.
The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.
The Insight Center for Community Economic Development reported that median wealth for black and Hispanic women is a little over $100. That’s much less than one percent of the median wealth for single white women ($41,500).
Other studies confirm the racially-charged economic inequality in our country. For every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.
The economy may be improving, but the rich are getting richer and the rest of us? Well…. Here’s an unnerving statistic: the gap in income is currently the largest that it has been since the early 1930s–yes, the Great Depression. Today, 1% of the people are getting 95% of the income.
This is having an effect on all of us, but especially the poor who are trying to climb up out of the well the recent bad economic years have put them into.
Why are women seeing red today? Because it’s Equal Pay Day—a symbol of how far into 2013 women must work in order to earn as much as men earned in 2012. There are many misconceptions about the pay gap, including the belief that it either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter. Here are five common MYTHS (yes, untrue beliefs) about the wage gap:
The size of the pay gap depends on how you measure it. The most common estimate is based on differences in annual earnings.
There is no such thing as the gender pay gap – legitimate differences between men and women cause the gap in pay, not discrimination.
But the pay gap is not my problem. Once you account for the jobs that require specialized skills or education it goes away.
Women are responsible for the pay gap because they seek out flexible jobs or choose to work fewer hours. Putting family above work is why women earn less.
We don’t need to do anything; the gender pay gap will eventually go away by itself.