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Although women are steadily making their mark in the business world and heading major corporations, the question remains, are they still earning less than their male counterparts? Throughout time there has been a definite difference between men and women and their median income. This wage gap cuts across a wide spectrum of occupations. However, in 1963 the Equal Pay Act was signed making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who hold the same job and do the same work. There may be many reasons for this gap in salaries; most of them may not be necessarily based on gender. The following research will investigate what causes the gap in earnings, if any, and examines various factors that may have an effect on the earnings of men and women.
I. RESEARCH PURPOSE
The purpose of this research is to determine whether or not women who are working the same types of jobs, with the same amount of education and experience are being compensated the same as men. Although women have made a significant pace in entering the workforce and in exploring a wider range of occupations, they may still be treading behind in wages earned compared to their male counterparts. Many years ago, it was thought that because women were not as well educated as men, did not have as much experience as men, and did not work as hard as men that the range of pay should not be the same. This is no longer true and women have been graduating from college at the same rate as men and are working just as hard as men. However, the wage gap between men and women remains and nationally, women earn 77 cents for every $1 earned by men (Head, 2008).
Thus, despite a sense of continued progress toward gender equality in the workplace the gap between men and women still persists. The significance of this research issue may reveal an underlying discrimination between the sexes that many may believe has narrowed. The importance in equality of gender pay is not only that it is the right thing to do, but an equitable and competitive pay package improves employee recruitment and retention. This concept benefits both the employer and the employee, male or female. Nonetheless, as long as this gap remains the more likely this issue will provide a main source of debate among the organizational workforce.
II. PROBLEM DEFINITION:
The study, by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, found that 10 years after college, women earn only 69% of what men earn. (USA Today, 2007) Defining the problem starts with an examination of the evidence to determine how big the gap truly is and whether discrimination is to blame. Essential variables that may have an impact on male-female wage differential such as ethnic background, age, and industry will be measured. Our team will research and find out how big the gap is what could be the cause, factors such as:
a). Hours of work- some tend to think that men are more likely to work longer hours.
b). Education levels-some tend to think that men on average is higher qualified and women invest less in their education.
c). Workforce participation and experience-industries tend to think that women spend less time at work because of their domestic responsibilities to their children and family. The majority of organizations assume that young women are going to leave the workforce when they have children, and therefore will not promote them.
d). Why is there such a gap between the amount on a man’s paycheck compared to a woman’s?
e). Occupation type- some think women are looking for an easy way out and they tend to seek out and cluster around a few occupations and industries because of the tastes of employers, male employees and customers.
f). Are women given the same opportunities for advancement as men?
Our team will investigate what percentage of these factors contributes to the difference in pay between these two genders and seek to find out if discrimination plays a part in this pay gap and will the gap disappear through educational achievements.
Why do woman not have equal job opportunities? Jobs held by women pay less than jobs held by men, even though the job requires the same education and skills. A newly hired woman will get a lower paying assignment than a man who started working there the same time for the same employer. Not only that also, women do not receive the equal chances in promotions like men. Equal pay has been an issue for all working women for the past few decades.
III. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
While some studies may reflect a sense of continued progress towards gender equality in the workplace, the federal government currently confirms that the workplace earnings gap amongst men and women is still prevalent today (About Management.Com). It is the educated guess of this team that men are paid at a substantially increased rate for performance in positions than women are paid to operate in those same positions. This hypothesis is deducted from observations made from current work situations, random peer discussions, and updated articles.
More than forty years after the Federal Equal Pay Act, hard working women are still being paid less than men are on the job. There are numerous speculations that can be made in an attempt to explain this is behavior, such as career selections being made by men and women. Women tend to make decisions about employment based on convenience, meaning that women migrate to positions that will allow for them to maintain a active home life and still maintain a 40 hour work week, whereas men will more than likely trade an active home life for longer work hours, safety risks, frequent travel, longer work hours and extended commuting times to make the higher pay. While these practices may not be fair, they are a reality.
The research provided in this paper will lead to three possible outcomes; it will either prove that men are paid at higher rates than women to operate in the same or similar positions, women are paid at higher rates than men to operate in the same or similar position, or men and women break even when it comes to wages and position.
Head, Lauren Lawley. (2008, April 23). Pay Gap Worth Steaming Over: Bizwomen.com.
Retrieved April 29, 2008, from http://www.bizjournals.com/bizwomen/index.php/2008/04/23/pay-gap-worth-steaming-over/
Coutts, Justin. (2004, February). Policy Backgrounder, Business Roundtable. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.nzbr.org.nz/documents/policy/policy-2004/PB_No1.pdf
Arndt, Bettina. (2006,October 16). Herald Sun.com. Why Men are paid More. Retrieved April 29, 2008 from http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,20586168-5000117,00.html