Gender Stratification & Sexuality
Equal Pay for Men and Women in the Workplace
The participation of women in the paid labor force in the US and other developed nations augmented progressively throughout the 21st and 20th centuries. However, this increment has seen an increase in complex issues such as the wage gap based on gender. Women continue to be underrepresented in jobs that were initially labeled as men’s jobs. Even those in such positions might not receive the same compensation as their counterparts males. For instance, Schaeffer (2016) claims that a female physician might make $88,000, whereas a male physician makes $140,000. In this paper, I will focus on the issue of discrimination in the workplace in regard to the gender pay gap. Generally, the issue of the gender pay gap is ingrained in the American system and is reflected in human resource practices such as discriminatory hiring, monetary rewards, and promotion.
The gender wage gap is highly reflective of the American stereotypes, inequalities, and injustices. Traditionally, males have always been preferred to women in various jobs, particularly managerial positions. Schaffer (2016) claims that both men and women are even willing to accept a pay cut to have a male boss. Some scholars have even gone ahead to suggest that males are generally better leaders than females since they are more decisive, hardworking, less emotional, and highly ambitious (Pew Research Center, 2018). Others claim that males are better than females in the highly paying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs because their visual-spatial performance is superior (Hunter, 2017). These have been used to form stereotypes on the capability of women in the workplace and are among the reasons why females tend to be compensated less than males even when the two are in similar positions. Such differences are more evident when the race is added to the equation. Research shows that Latinas get about 53 cents for each dollar paid to non-Hispanic males, whereas black women get 61 cents for each dollar received by non-Hispanic and White men (Chiu, 2019). The intersectionality among these factors can help provide better solutions to the problem of the gender pay gap.
According to Starmaski and Son Hing (2015), gender inequalities might be inherent in an organization’s structure when there are departments that are gender-segregated and with job networks and ladders. These tend to form gender discrimination in HR practices. For example, suppose the HR policies have been designed in a manner that pay is based on the comparisons between individuals in a department. In that case, this is likely to result in a devaluation of the departments that are dominated by women. Women’s overrepresentation in particular jobs could cause such jobs to be regarded as lower status. Therefore, over time, as the number of women increases in these jobs, the pay brackets reduce (Starmaski & Son Hing, 2015). Given the status of women in most patriarchal societies is generally low, organizations tend to emulate these in their policies.
The degree of formal education, marital status, and the presence of children are among the majorly cited reasons behind the gender wage gap in the workplace. According to Stojmenovska and England (2021), there are usually gendered assessments of parenthood in the workplace. The ideal worker is usually considered one whose work will take precedence over their family life. For males, the ideal father is usually the breadwinner, and therefore a commitment to work is expected. On the other hand, females are given the basic responsibility of child-rearing, and as a result, a good mother is not expected to have a strong commitment at work. Such notions prevent most women from attaining major professional and managerial positions, which forms part of the gendered wage gap. Women with children are commonly considered less committed and competitive in the workplace, which causes them to receive lesser compensation. Research shows that mothers in the US normally receive 71 cents for every dollar made by fathers, accounting for about $16,000, which is lost in wages. Women have a higher probability of taking jobs that are considered flexible so as to make it possible for them to attend to their children whenever necessary. Even in countries like Denmark, where policies such as paid parental leaves are present, a gender wage gap of about 20 percent is still observed since Danish men have a lower probability of making use of these leaves compared to women (Hess, 2019). These are reflective of the stereotypical gender roles that are present in the current society.
Even though scholars argue that women generally earn less than men in the workforce, there is evidence that certain occupations pay women more than men. According to Schaeffer (2015), telecommunications line installation and hazardous materials recovery are among the jobs in which female employees generally earn about one percent more than males. Research conducted by Renzulli (2019) reveals that about 46 percent of American men in the US believe that the issue of the gender pay gap is political. Most of these men believe that the issue of the wage gap is non-existent since most of the problems that have been cited, such as less pay for equal work, have already been addressed. They also believe that the milestones made by women in the workforce, such as more women taking up managerial and previously “male” positions, have made it possible for women to earn the same amount as males. In their opinion, most females are in low-paying careers and also tend to work fewer hours, and therefore any pay gap is considered justifiable.
Whereas such arguments might be true, statistical evidence has shown that the gender pay gap, though narrowing, is still present today. Today, most women are equally as competent, qualified, and educated as men. However, the stereotypes surrounding a woman’s role in society, such as family obligations, play a major role in the pay gap that exists.
Generally, the issue of the gender pay gap is common in most societies today, albeit with the milestones made so far. Stereotypes surrounding the role of women play a major role in enhancing this gap. These stereotypes are observed in HR policies in organizations. Underrepresentation of women in certain educational programs and job types automatically locks them from obtaining prestigious and well-paying jobs, enhancing the pay gap. Child-rearing also takes a toll on the performance of most women, and therefore policies that are based on performance evaluation might enhance gender discrimination in wages. It is important to implement policies that can allow even women with children to work without the fear of facing penalties or discrimination for their family responsibilities. Paternal leaves can also help in this. Encouraging women and girls to take up lucrative careers such as those in the STEM field will also help narrow the pay gap between males and females.
Chiu, B. (June 13, 2019). Invisibility of Race In Gender Pay Gap Discussions. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniechiu/2019/06/13/invisibility-of-race-in-gender-pay-gap-discussions/#6c39fd445664
Hess, A.J. (2019). Women’s earnings drop after having a child—but men’s do not. CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/16/womens-earnings-drop-after-having-a-childbut-mens-do-not.html
Hunter, K. (April 25, 2017). Gender Differences in Math Ability: What’s the Science Say? Advancing Health Equity. Retrieved from https://www.etr.org/blog/gender-differences-in-math-ability/
Pew Research Center. (2018). Men or Women: Who’s the Better Leader? Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2008/08/25/men-or-women-whos-the-better-leader/
Renzulli, A.K. (2019). 46% of American men think the gender pay gap is ‘made up to serve a political purpose.’ CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/04/46percent-of-american-men-think-the-gender-pay-gap-is-made-up.html
Schaefer, R.T. (2016). Sociology: A Brief Introduction. McGraw Hill Education.
Stamarski, C. S., & Son Hing, L. S. (2015). Gender inequalities in the workplace: the effects of organizational structures, processes, practices, and decision makers’ sexism. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1400.
Stojmenovska, D., & England, P. (2021). Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Workplace Authority. European Sociological Review.
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Gender Stratification & Sexuality
This week, you learned a lot about gender roles and how gender, race, and ethnicity affect our daily lives and our achievements.
For this assignment, you will write about gender stratification and sexuality.
For the past several years, the topic of equal rights for persons with any gender identity. For this assignment, please explore the topic of discrimination based on sex, gender, or sexuality. Please select an issue related to discriminatory practices against persons based on their biological or chosen identities to examine. Examples of paper topics could include transgender military ban, marriage equality, equal pay for men and women in the workplace, gender-neutral restrooms, and single-sex educational institutions. Be sure to discuss the arguments raised by those who support and oppose equal rights. Most importantly, support your paper with scholarly evidence from peer-reviewed publications.
4 double-spaced pages (not including the cover or references pages), 12-point font, and APA format.
Reference at least two outside sources in addition to your textbook, and cite your sources appropriately.
See the How to Score Well Rubric (Links to an external site.) to understand how you will graded on this written assignment.
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