What can be done to close the gender wage gap?
- Deirdre OLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
We need to police business and fine those who refuse to follow the law. Miniumum wage needs to be increased. Better child care and early childhood education which is governed for consistancy and safety not to mention affordability. Men and women must take equal roles in child rearing. There must also be workplace fairness and flexibility for men and women who are parents. Government should press for more gender equality in education as well.
- 1 decade ago
Feminism didn't do it. The law hasn't thus far not done it. I haven't got a lot of belief in the capitalist system to correct itself. Capitalism was after all built on the nuclear family. Men were expected to work in factories while the women stayed at home to be the drudge, cooking and cleaning and keeping the working classes healthy, with a couple of kids to be the next generation of workers. Healthy workers produce more and have less days off. Women in this system couldn't have equal pay as they need to be tied to the home.
But that was then. Trouble is the idea that womens work is periferal and of less value has continued stubbornly. A shift in perception is needed before any change can be expected in the work place. It starts in the home where equality ought to be the norm. Schools have a responsibility too, by inculcating political awareness with an emphasis on equality. Career advisors ought to be less rigid, and more enlightened in what they recommend to young people.
Finally the law makers ought to tighten up loop holes so that companies cannot squirm out of giving fair pay to men and women.
- JunieLv 61 decade ago
Truly, much of the gap actually exists between childless women and mothers. (3x greater than the gap between men and childless women) This is partly because women make different decisions about their careers. We can support mothers in our society in many different ways, but we should look at the research first to be sure we are doing what American women actually want, and what is in the best interests of their babies first. (Hint: It's not taxing the SAHMs to pay for institutional child care.)
Women are often paid less than men because they don't realize what their time is worth. Of course, we can't really pass a law about this - companies always pay people the *least* amount they can get away with, and if the women don't notice, they end up with smaller paychecks. Women need to take an active role in researching how much the average person in their field, at their level, is making.
Women who are interested in higher pay would be wise to study technical, mathematical, or computer-related subjects in college. They have the benefit of being mostly male - ie, highly valued and highly paid - without the downside of physical labor or danger.
A preschool teacher may well be the only thing stopping a child from turning into a future unabomber, but our society doesn't see fit to support her efforts by supplementing what the parents can reasonably pay. Any traditionally female job is likely to be low-paying, partly because our culture views "valuable" skills as only those skills taught in college or mainly learned by men. A skilled and competant nanny has as much to offer society as a skilled and competant accountant, but not according to immigration laws - the nanny is officially "unskilled", no matter what she knows or what services she provides.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The reality is that for males in power there is no incentive for this at all. You get a woman who busts her butt to be able to compete and you get to pay her less. Only thing better is slavery.
Affirmative action to begin with. Once women have more control in terms of management and salaries things will get better.
I think however this practice of not paying equal pay for equal work applies to minorities of others races, sexual orientations and ages and I don't see that changing any time soon.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
We're just going to have to force employers to be more accountable. Keep track of what men and women are being paid. If there's an obvious discrepancy within one company, it should be brought to the employers attention and they should have to answer for it.
Telling women to work harder or take on multiple jobs is a really stupid response. Then you're just giving irresponsible employers exactly what they would want- a work force that will work twice as hard for less and less compensation. How would that improve the situation? If this was the accepted philosophy, then eventually it wouldn't even benefit men. Once an employer realizes they can get a woman to do the same work for less, why would they hire a man? Telling workers to accept whatever a corrupt and unfair employer deigns to give them just leads to a race to the bottom for everyone.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
It's tough to say what we can do. It's easy to say that we can just start balancing out the salaries of men and women to bring them closer to equal levels of pay, but actually doing it is another thing. I think this is a problem that is slowly being resolved, but it's still a bit ridiculous that this is even a problem in this day and age. I think the biggest thing is people just not standing for this disparity in salaries.
- ?Lv 41 decade ago
Increase the minimum wage for all workers. Make it $2 more per hour for adult minimum wage workers and an additional dollar per hour per child for adult workers with children. IE minimum wage 10 for teens, 12 for adults, 13 for adults with one child, 14 with two children, and so on. One of many ideas that would help poor working women.
- not yetLv 71 decade ago
A couple of things that are very empowering to women are learning to negotiate for higher salaries, and choosing careers that have a high salary associated with them, as another poster mentioned.
I've included some links to other questions that may provide more info on the topic.
I asked a similar question recently: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AoYIo...
And here is another similar question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AoCEM...
It is important to keep talking about it. Only by giving it enough attention can we hope to change things.
- Phil #3Lv 51 decade ago
It's very simple:
When women tackle the dirty and dangerous jobs and devoting the same dedication to their work as men do, they will be paid like men are.
Sitting behind a computer is hardly worth the same pay as one down in a sewer or working outside in below zero temperatures on an oil rig.
There is no pay disparity other than imagination. Men and women are paid, by law, the same wages. The only thing holding women back on their paychecks is the women themselves.
- 1 decade ago
Hey hey! Look no further, it's already cloooosed!
Why men earn more: http://www.warrenfarrell.net/Summary/index.html
CNN Money: What the Wage Gap doesn't show us: http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/21/commentary/everyda...
National Center for Policy Analysis
Independent's Women Forum: http://www.iwf.org/issues/issues_detail.asp?Articl...
So you see, if there IS a wage gap, negotiate higher pay. That's your only option.