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- Unfair societal stereotypes and discrimination contribute to the gender pay gap.
- Job choice differences contribute to wage disparities between men and women.
- Lack of flexibility at work can lead to fewer promotions and lower wages for women.
- Different educational levels and skill sets contribute to the gender pay gap.
- Lack of transparency and disclosure can make it hard for women to prove inequity.
The gender pay gap has long been a controversial topic among Americans. The gap persists despite numerous campaigns, corporate promises, and governmental laws. Recent figures reveal that women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn, and this gap is even more significant for women of color. Many people are trying to unravel the reasons behind this and asking what could be causing it. Here are the reasons behind the wage gap between men and women in the U.S.
Unfair Societal Stereotypes and Discrimination
Women tend to be paid less than men because of societal stereotypes and discrimination they often face. Historically, women are expected to perform specific household and childcare duties, leaving them with less time to devote to their careers. This often leads to the perception that women are less committed to their careers than men.
Furthermore, women who do succeed in male-dominated industries face discrimination and bias. Employers may unconsciously reward men where they would overlook women for the same achievements or commitment or be more likely to promote men rather than women.
Differences in Job Choices
Studies show a significant difference in the types of jobs men and women take. Women are more likely to work in sectors labeled ‘caring professions,’ such as education, healthcare, and social work. Conversely, many men often work in high-paying jobs, such as engineering, finance, and law. These sectors tend to pay more than the traditional female roles, so that they may contribute to the wage gap between men and women.
Lack of Flexibility at Work
Many women bear the brunt of taking care of their children, elderly parents, or disabled relatives, which makes it difficult for them to work standard hours. Women, therefore, often adopt more flexible working patterns, which tend to reduce their chances of promotion and often come with low wages. Without proper access and acknowledgment of the difficulties women face at work, with family responsibilities, they continue to struggle in their careers and pay.
Differences in Education and Skills
Education and skills play a crucial role in determining career opportunities and salaries. While the number of women attending college has steadily increased, men still dominate in many well-paying fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). These fields usually require higher education and experience, but women may still face discrimination when trying to join them, leaving them with fewer opportunities to progress in their careers.
Lack of Transparency and Disclosure
Without transparency or disclosure of the salaries, behaviors & attitudes toward women’s work, and opportunities for women, there are only anecdotal reports or rumors. Thus, it’s challenging for women to have the facts or proof they need to make their case and show that they’re not being discriminatory.
Furthermore, it is hard to assess the decisions that may impact their pay regarding training opportunities, career progressions, new roles and projects, and networking opportunities, as those issues remain hidden. Thus, employers are critical in assessing their progress and performance, creating a fair and inclusive environment, and making things transparent.
Side-Hustles For Independent Women
The above reasons demonstrate why the existing wage gap persists between men and women in the U.S. As a woman, waiting for things to change is not worth it. Instead, consider taking matters into your own hands by having a side hustle on the ready. Here are some of the best side hustles for the modern woman.
If you want to sell something, jewelry is one of the best options. The global luxury market is worth billions of dollars, and selling jewelry might be easier than you think. First, set up a website or sign-up for an online marketplace like Etsy. Then, decide what type of jewelry you want to sell and start marketing your products online. If you want to stand out, consider editing the photos of the jewelry you sell. You can search for how to edit jewelry photos in Photoshop. It’s an easy way to understand the fundamentals of editing jewelry. This can ensure that the photos you post for your clients are of the highest of qualities.
Freelance writing is another side hustle that can provide a great income for independent women. Freelance writing provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who enjoys researching and writing about different topics. You can offer content creation, copywriting, marketing research, and editing services. To get started, create a portfolio of your writing samples or build a blog to show potential clients that you’re proficient in the services they need.
Virtual Assistant Services
The demand for virtual assistant services is growing as more businesses seek help with administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, customer service, data entry, social media management, etc. Virtual assistants can easily do these tasks from the comfort of their own homes and make good money doing it. Being a virtual assistant also allows you to work flexible hours without being physically present in an office setting.
The gender pay gap between men and women is deeply rooted in society. It’s time to take action to bridge the gap, and these side hustles can provide women with the independence they need to make more money and gain financial freedom. As each woman takes charge of her financial security, she can positively impact closing the current wage gap.