Addressing Gender Discrimination Through Equal Pay

Gender discrimination is a serious issue, particularly in the workplace. It might manifest, according to professionals like Kampf Schiavone & Associates, in the form of harassment and workplace bullying, but not always. 

In many cases, the clearest form of gender-based discrimination displays itself through uneven pay between men and women. Equal pay, therefore, is something employers should strive for in to aid in halting gender discrimination.

Today, we’ll take a look at recent efforts to achieve equal pay within the workplace, along with some recent developments that may affect how those efforts play out in the near future and beyond.

Equal Pay For Equal Work?

According to the most recent studies and statistics, women (on average) earn a mere 80 cents for every dollar made by men. Legal experts like the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak note that this is in spite of the fact that the Equal Pay Act mandates men and women be paid the same:

“The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Job content determines whether jobs are substantially equal.”

That disparity grows even wider when race is taken into consideration. Black women earn only 62 cents to the dollar, Latinas only 54 cents, and on a whole women’s median earnings are $9,766 than that of men. This means women have to work a whole three months longer to earn what their average male counterpart makes in a year.

Why is this the case? According to the United Nations Women, the answer lies in systemic inequality. Women are often trapped in lower-paying positions because they are overrepresented in jobs at the margins of society. 

Even in professional settings, though, women are often paid less when they secure an entry level position, trapping them on a lower pay tier for their entire careers. Then there’s the motherhood penalty, which widens the gap for women with children, and the list of factors working against women in the workplace doesn’t stop there, so action is necessary to correct the issues.

That action, according to experts, should include further legislation to bridge the gap between amel and female pay, as well as greater transparency about pay decisions within businesses to help curtail biases that harm equality. Additionally, the ability to organize and collectively bargain and the establishing of minimum wage floors will be critical in ensuring no workers are left behind.