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Reflections on the Gender Wage Gap Essay

Project id 1013033
Subject area Other
Document type Essay
Words 1149
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The gender wage gap is a complicated problem that has persisted despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that guaranteed equal pay for equal work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, women on average earned 81 cents for every dollar men earned, making concern among scholars, policy makers, and the press, and lingering questions regarding cause (2011). Though the wage gap has shrunk considerably from the nearly 50 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, many contend that the gap hasn't narrowed fast or far enough. Although, a complete understanding of all necessary and sufficient causes remains elusive, a number of causes and contributing variables are observable, for instance, demand-side issue of occupational discrimination, the supply-side problem of occupational segregation, and the cultural pervasiveness of traditional sex roles that place a lot of the burden of family responsibilities in women. Occupational Discrimination While women constitute a significant portion of the labour force, few women get to the top of the occupational food series. Notable leadership scholar, Peter Northouse (2010) finds that girls constitute 46.7 percent of their labour force, maintain 50.8% of the managerial and professional positions and have earned more Bachelors degrees than men, encompassing 57.5 percent of degrees earned (p. 305). Yet, only 3% of all companies in the Fortune 500 have women as their CEO, just 15.2% maintain board seats in these very same companies and only 16.8% are members of the U.S. Congress (Northouse, 2010). The discrepancy is suggestive of a glass ceiling preventing women from attaining the same career growth as men signaling occupational discrimination of a form. There is significant legislation in place to pr...

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