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Causes The Gender Wage Gap

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By Author: Ruby Martin
Total Articles: 5
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Women consistently earn less than men, and the gap is wider. There should be equal pay for women as well. The wage gap calculations reflect the ratio of earnings for men and women across all the industries. They do not reflect a direct comparison of men and women doing identical work. Calculating it in this way allows the experts to capture the multitude of factors driving the gender wage gap that include:

Different industries or jobs
By calculating a wage gap, the researchers can see the effects of occupational segregation or funneling of men and women into different types of jobs and industries based on gender norms.
Women jobs that had a majority female workforces like home health and child care workers tend to offer lower pay and fewer benefits than men’s jobs that had male workforces like jobs in trades such as construction and building. These differences are true across all industries and the vast majority of occupations at all levels from frontline workers to mid-level managers to senior leaders.

Years of experience
Women are disproportionately driven out of the workforce to accommodate caregiving and unpaid obligations and tend to have less work experience than men. The access to paid family and medical leave makes women likely to return to work and to return sooner. Around 19 percent of civilian workers had access to paid family leave through their employers and 40 percent had access to short-term disability insurance benefits to deal with their own medical needs.

The difference in hours worked
As women tend to work fewer hours to accommodate caregiving and unpaid obligations, they are also likely to work part-time. It means lower hourly wages and fewer benefits compared with full-time workers.

Discrimination
Gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal since 1963 but is still a frequent, widespread practice especially for women. It can thrive in workplaces that discourage open discussion of wages and where employees fear retaliation. Beyond explicit decisions to pay women less than men, employers may discriminate in pay when they depend on prior salary history in hiring and compensation decisions. It can enable pay decisions that could have been influenced by discrimination to follow women from job to job.

These are just some of the major drivers of the gender wage gap. Some of the other factors help narrow the gap between women’s and men’s earnings. The increased educational attainment by women when women have more education than men can help narrow the gap.

Unionization can also help narrow the gap as workers often have greater leverage to push for workplace changes, combat discriminatory practices targeting specific groups of workers, bargain for better working conditions and wages, and more. However, the cumulative effects of factors such as these are not large enough to close the gap entirely. It is important to note that many of these factors can be directly and indirectly influenced by discrimination based on gender and race or ethnicity.

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