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The Gender Wage Gap Exists

Hiroki Soler

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With the rise of strong women standing up to inequality and discrimination, it feels like the perfect time to be reminded and stay aware of the huge gender wage gap that still currently exists in the United States and around the world. Many people believe that due to there being laws in place preventing unequal pay, this is a myth and the gap is closing quickly or is already closed, but this concept needs to be accepted as completely untrue. It comes as a surprise to everyone that women are still not getting paid equally for the same hard work they do.

 

A study conducted by the Labor Department in 2016 shows that women generally make 82 cents for every dollar men earn. This gap widens when race and ethnicity is involved. In fact Hispanic women earn 54 cents for every dollar a white man earns, and Black women earn 63 cents for every dollar men earned. These numbers tend to add up to a lot of money. Even with the 20 cent gap, a woman that is employed full time will lose $418,800 over a 40 year career. This means that Black women should be making $840,000 dollars more over a full time 40 year career, and Hispanic women should be making over a million dollars more than they are in a full time 40 year career. These statistics are concerning and horrendous, they prove the huge wage gap that actually exists.

The gap exists in the athletic world as well. Women make tremendousley less money than men, as a professional athlete competing in the same sport; at the same court, field, etc; in the same league, tournament, etc. A good example is basketball. According to an article from Vice Sports in 2015, the gender wage gap in professional basketball is worse than what it is for average women. It has also been proven that this isn’t because the difference in money that is generated by the WNBA and NBA, but because the WNBA is only paying its players about 33 percent of league revenue, a far lower number than the NBA’s 50 percent. Which means even if hypothetically the total revenue between the two leagues were the same women would still be paid 22% less than the male athletes in the NBA. Not only does this happen in basketball but it also occurs in all other sports. An article from NY Times explains how just last year, Serena Williams won the same grand slam tournament in tennis as Roger Federer and earned $495,000 compared to his $731,000, 32% less. ESPN shows that in 2015 the female winner of the US Open in golf got paid $810,000 compared to the male winner which earned $1.8 million, 55% less. Also, according to The Atlantic the women’s national soccer team has to win a game to earn a bonus, while the men only have to play in a game to earn a bonus. Not to mention that while men earn $50,000 to make the World Cup roster, women only earn $15,000. It is extremely upsetting that we live in a world where men dominate athletics, when women work just as hard working their butts off doing the same exact thing.

The sad part is that the wage gap isn’t closing any time soon. At some point there was a big push to make gender wage equal and women were set to have had their equal paychecks by the year 2059. In recent years the progress has slowed down, now it is said that the wage gap won’t close until 2119 and for women who are minorities it will take an additional 129 years.

 

Some may still ask, why is it important that the wage gap closes?

If helping women and creating equal oppportunity isn’t a good enough reason, there are economical aspects that also are tied to the wage gap.

Studies show that by paying women equally to men we would be able to decrease an estimated 45% of poverty in the United States, from 5.6 million to 3.1 million.
Approximately 25.8 million children would benefit from the increased earnings of their mothers.
The United States economy would produce an additional $512.6 billion dollars if women received equal pay.
Less women will have to be on a food stamps program that costs $70 billion a year to operate, coming directly from tax payer money.

How can I help solve the problem?

The main way to solve the problem is by speaking out against the wage gap, against discrimination, and pushing for the equality all women deserve. As a person and especially as a student it may feel as if your opinion isn’t valued in such a big world. This is completely untrue. Every person helps make a movement stronger and with more people pushing a cause, the further and faster it will be solved. It is so important to express your opinions and talk about the things you believe are unfair or unjustified. Remember it is always better to make speak out against causes you don’t stand for, than watching and ignoring them.

Hopefully with increased awareness and progress more people will help speak out against the wage gap and other issues that women are forced to deal with through everyday life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap

http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/15160220/big-gap-earnings-men-women-professional-golfers

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/10-reasons-women-need-equal-pay-and-are-still-figh/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-reyes/why-the-fight-for-pay-equ_b_6595804.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/14/things-we-need-to-do-to-close-wage-gap_n_7056322.html?slideshow=true

The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/26/news/economy/womens-march-equality/index.html?iid=EL

https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/wn3mmy/basketballs-gender-wage-gap-is-even-worse-than-you-think

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