In last week's article Gender Roles & the Perception of Motherhood, I touched a little on how men and women are treated differently in the workplace:

[My husband] isn't defined by his home life the way women are, because historically it didn't matter whether [men] have zero to a hundred illegitimate children as long as he could get the job done.

Whereas women are less likely to be hired, especially if they have children, because employers are worried that they will be "distracted" and "unreliable" (most likely because when little Kenzie gets sick, guess who has to stay home with her and ply her with Tylenol?).

So now I'm going to follow up on this with a more in-depth discussion.

By now, we all know that women are paid only 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, a 20% wage gap that widens as we age. The reasoning behind this is often explained away as being "a byproduct of the choices women make: choices to work fewer hours, take on lower-paying jobs, or opt out of the workforce for longer periods of time than men" (source). Other accountable reasons include less work experience due to maternity leave for example and men often work in higher-paying industries such as construction, mining, etc. and women do not.

That being said, 41% of the wage gap is unaccounted for, speculated to be caused by reasons ranging "from overt sexism to unintentional gender-based discrimination to reluctance among women to negotiate for higher pay" (source).

Here's something that really makes my blood boil though:

A woman would need a doctoral degree, for instance, to earn the same as a man with a bachelor’s degree, and a man with a high school education would earn approximately the same amount as a woman with a bachelor’s degree.

As a woman who is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree, I'm infuriated at the idea that someone with four years less knowledge and experience could make the same amount as me.

Tune in next week for Gender Roles & the Workplace Pt 2: the Influence of Caregiving.

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