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Business / Career

It’s 2019 and the Gender Pay Gap Remains Prominent

by Cassie Dorian | January 31 2019

gender pay gap

Women are still being paid less than their male counterparts.

In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law making it illegal to discriminate pay on the basis of sex, yet the enforcement of this law has proven difficult as there are so many factors that go into wage discretion. It is a known fact that in most industries, women receive a fraction of the pay of their male coworkers for the same work. As of August 2018, women on average were earning 80.5 cents for every dollar men earned.

In a recent study on compensation trends, 600 people across the U.S. were surveyed to collect data on their pay. From the responses received, it was found that over half (57%) of the women surveyed fell in the bottom two pay brackets, meaning they made less than $45,000 per year, while only 43% of men surveyed fell under the same categories. Alternatively, only 9% of women surveyed made over $86,000 per year while 19% of men surveyed did.

In today’s age, you’d be hard-pressed to find many high-level business associates (think CEOs and CFOs) who believe that the gender pay gap is justifiable, so that begs the question: why are women still being paid less than men?

One possible contributing factor may also be found in the study previously noted. This study also looked at the differences in what motivated men and women to work harder at their job. While both genders were most motivated by the possibility of a raise followed by their love of their job, the comparison between the percentages of each is worth noting. More women surveyed (51%) were motivated by love of their job, the work ethic of their coworkers and the company culture than men surveyed (41%). On the other hand, a larger percentage of men (59%) than women (49%) were motivated by the possibility of a raise and the possibility of a promotion. While more men value monetary rewards for their work, most women are more motivated by if they love what they are doing and their place of employment. This finding, of course, in no way justifies the pay gap, but may provide some explanation (besides age-old social constructs) as to why the gender pay gap is still occurring in American society today.

The pay gap is something that has been brought to the attention of Americans since women joined the workforce. While definite progress has been made since that time, there is still a long way to go for there to be equal pay in the United States. One sure step in the right direction is understanding all the possible motivations to women receiving less pay than men in an effort to find solutions that address the underlying issues.


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