April 12, 2016. What is so special about this day? You may ask.
It's a day which symbolizes and motivates to gain mindfulness of the gender wage gap. Also, it informs how much more work women have to put in to gain the same amount of salary men automatically get. In the United States, Gender wage gap has been an issue ever since women were given rights to work. Back in 2009, there was a study done focused primarily on freshly graduated MBAs and how gender would influence the earnings between men and women. Following a year after business school, women were making about $115,000 for every $130,000 salary of a man's. That doesn't seem so bad, now does it? Just wait right there. About nine years down the road after graduation, men made a whopping $400,000 for that of women's $250,000. And if we do the math, men made 60% more than women.
There are many reasons as to why there is even a wage gap. Some of them are mainly because of discrimination in the promoting, paying, and hiring areas. Higher officials just refuse to do these things because they assume women are incompetent to serve in demanding positions. Many also say that the choices regarding life (like motherhood) are the MAIN reasons why this gap exists. But, I think that this is a ludicrous oversimplification. It is very true that demands of motherhood need to be met such as staying home and cutting back on work hours to take care of their children. These women face something called the "motherhood penalty" which means they are less likely to be employed once they have kids whereas men's outlooks improve.
There have been countless instances where women were paid way less. Recently, almost five women from the U.S. women's national soccer team filed a lawsuit towards the U.S. Soccer Federation in order for them to get the same pay as their fellow male equivalents. It does not seem entirely fair because, they brought in a revenue of about $20 million more than the men's team and also, won the 2015 World Cup. Another example occurred last year when Jennifer Lawrence brought to light Hollywood's gender gap. She found out how much less she was paid compared to men when the Sony hack happened. Immediately, she wrote an essay filled with anger and disappointment for the Lenny Letter newsletter. She is in the list of actresses like Meryl Streep, Patricia Arquette, Emma Thompson who have taken a stand and spoken up about this issue in the entertainment industry.
SO what now?
What can women do?
Women can minimize the wage gap by taking this serious matter into their own hands and branching out/conversing with the people who decide how much they get paid.
What can we do?
Well, as a community, we need to start pushing for equal pay laws to be strengthened which can in turn cause women to challenge against pay discrimination. We can try as hell to crush the pregnancy and motherhood discrimination. Also, we can push to make equal work schedules and give fair paid family leaves and sick days so, mothers are will not necessarily be disadvantaged.