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Wage Difference Between Genders (by Angelina Kim)

As of 2022, there is still a noticeable wage gap between men and women. While a male is earning a dollar, the average female earns around 82-83 cents. Although this may not seem like that big of a difference, women are losing close to 20 cents of their pay compared to their male coworkers. Despite the continuous debate on this issue, for the past 15 years, there has not been much of a change in how the average woman is still earning less than the average man in a similar job.

Those who argue for the difference suggest that the reason for this difference is because of the lack of experience or consistency women experience in the work field because of their temporary leave. In a large number of families, women leave or take breaks from their jobs due to raising their families and taking care of the household. Due to this reason, there are many instances where employers are seeing that female workers have been on unemployment for an amount of time. When it comes to performance, there is not much of a difference when both male and female workers are placed in the workforce. There have been many different studies where women are better suited for manager positions or HR positions because they are more open to diversity and equality in the workplace.

In hindsight, the difference may not seem like much, but if one were to calculate the loss that women would have in annual pay, that would be thousands of dollars. Additionally, people of color also experience a significant loss compared to the average white employee. Therefore, if there were a woman of color, she would experience an even more significant loss in the end.

As of recently, the pandemic has also been a large factor in which closing the wage gap has been pushed even more. Before the pandemic, professionals predicted that it would take a decade to close the gap, but after the lockdown and the economic situation that the world is left in, it is not even sure how much longer it would take. 

As the wage gap issue continues, America has passed an act where pay transparency is enforced in companies. Pay transparency is the act of the employee and employer negotiating pay depending on skill and not solely on prior experience. Most people being surveyed suggest that if companies practice pay transparency and are more honest in their salary conversations, they would feel more likely to apply for the job. Besides pay transparency, people also search for companies that acknowledge those who are working diligently and benefit the company. Those who reward their employees with raises and bonuses are more attractive to job seekers. People value the opportunities of earning additional incomes from their performance without considering their gender or racial backgrounds. 

With social media growing exponentially in recent years, there has also been a lot of attention to companies on opposite sides of the spectrum. Now that many companies say that they are woman-owned, there has been a boom in consumers purchasing those products because they are aware of the struggle women face when it comes to equal pay. Accordingly, traditional companies that have been in the business for years may start to lose customers if they fail to promote equality. In the end, showing equality in pay and respect would allow companies to earn more. In theory, there is no reason for companies to not practice equal wages for both males and females.

Are women who take breaks from the workplace less qualified when they return to work? What are improvements or changes that companies can make to strive toward closing the gap between women's and men's wages?

About the Author

Angelina Kim is a student of Cal Poly Pomona studying Hospitality Management with an emphasis on event planning. She was born and raised in Cypress, California where she attended all of her elementary, junior high, and high school years. As a hospitality student, Angelina has learned many skills that will help her post-graduation. She strives to be an employee who appears to be diligent and maintains a positive attitude when it comes to professional settings. Whether that is the workplace or an important conference, she is willing to learn through her errors and improve on skills that she already has.

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