Workplace Inequality: Female Discrimination Essay

2772 words - 12 pages

Workplace Inequality: Female Discrimination

Over the last 60 years, women have seen their rights evolve and improve; however, many believe the separation between man and woman is still too great especially when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Today, in the workplace, women face inequality in pay, ability to receive promotions, and ability to obtain a leadership or executive position. Women on average earn .77 to every $1 a man earns and face discrimination and are often overlooked for promotions. In addition, even successful women tend to hit a “glass ceiling” when it comes to receiving leadership roles and executive positions. Women in executive positions also, on average, ...view middle of the document...

However, even with this legislation in place, a 2013 study conducted by the US Census Bureau found the female to male earnings ratio to be .77 (Smith, Jessica). In recent years, President Obama has pressed Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close the wage gap and give women the necessary protection against employers. Congress has opposed the Act stating that earnings inequality does not exist and it would only lead to unnecessary lawsuits. The Paycheck Fairness Act would level the playing field and give women the essential enforcement tools against employers. Even with these Acts in place, women are still facing discrimination when it comes to wages, promotions, and reaching executive positions.
Although wage inequality still exists, Congress has been firm in their position in not passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, voting against it four times since 2012. Congress reasons their decision to vote against the Act by stating that the number of unnecessary lawsuits would increase and wage inequality, in fact, simply does not exist. Congress “Opposes the bill because it makes it easier to sue corporations over allegations of pay inequity, or, in their view, encourages frivolous lawsuits (Carmon, Irin).” The Paycheck Fairness Act would make it illegal for employers to punish, in any way, workers who challenge or probe about their wage. Due to this, Congress believes frivolous lawsuits will increase as women and lawyers will sue at any chance they get since the worker cannot be reprimanded. Additionally, Congress believes that wage inequality does not exist and the .77 earnings ratio is skewed. They state that this ratio does not take into account factors such as education, experience, occupation, and industry. The main factors are “Occupation and industry… If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent (Mataconis, Doug).” Whether the ratio is .77 or .91, this statistic, nonetheless, still proves that there is inequality and in today’s world and economy no income inequality should exist.
The wage gap, whether big or small, is due to gender discrimination and needs to be addressed. The Paycheck Fairness Act would allow women to inquire about their wage or salary and require their employer to justify the wage they are receiving without facing punishment. A 2007 study conducted at Harvard University “Found that women who asked for raises were perceived as demanding. Men, meanwhile, faced no backlash (Drexler, Peggy)” Currently, women are at a disadvantage when it comes to asking for a raise or why they are facing pay inequality. Because there is a fear of facing punishment for being “demanding,” women often elect to not raise the issue. Passing this Act would eliminate this fear as the Act states an employer cannot seek any retaliation against those who ask about pay inequality or for raises. In order for wage discrimination to disappear, women need...

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