For my white paper I would like to find out more about the gender wage gap and workplace inequalities. We all know that a gap in fact does exist; I am looking to get to the root cause of this divide. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women receive more college degrees than men and make up half of the workforce. Despite this, women are still only making 77 cents to every dollar that males are earning, a gap of 23%. They are the main providers or equal contributors to household income in four out of ten families. Because of this, the wage gap is more than just a women’s issue, it has become a family issue too.
In searching to see at what level of employment the gap emerges, I was shocked to see that it begins upon graduation! According to the American Association of University Women, there is a five percent gap in earnings between male and female graduates just one year after graduation. This gap could not be explained, “After accounting for college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, GPA, institution selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status, and number of children.” While I do not doubt that my male peers will all go on to achieve success, why should they be given an immediate advantage over my female classmates? Although the gender pay gap is smallest among the youngest workers, it is important to note that it emerges so soon after joining the workforce.
Historically, a wage gap can be credited to lags in education. I am eager to discover why we still face such a substantial gap presently despite the strides women have taken to reach equality.