Though women are still making less money than men in the workplace, we are, finally, narrowing the gap.
On April 20th, 2010, which is also known as Equal Pay Day (the day of the year when women have caught up with men in terms of wages for the year), the Labor Department released findings that state the wage gap between the sexes is narrowing – but don’t get your hopes up just yet.
In the beginning of the year, women had an average weekly earning of $655 compared to a man’s $844, which means we made about 79% of what our male counterparts were bringing home.
Ten years ago, women made 76% of a man’s earnings.
A decade has passed and the times they are a’changing (sorry, couldn’t help thinking of Bob Dylan here!)
We are edging closer, but this means there still exists a 21% discrepancy in pay. Trust me, 21% can buy quite a few bags of groceries or clothes for the kids when winter hits. 21% can put fillings in our teeth and casts on our arms. 21% is significant, and the fact that such a discrepancy still exists needs to be examined, quickly.
Why the difference between our salaries? Various ideas exist. Some include:
- Women have less education in similar jobs
- People are comparing women and men who don’t have the same amount of experience or time on the job
- Women tend to take more family time/maternity time/child rearing time than men
However, it doesn’t account for those men and women working the same job with the same education and the same time in.
A 3% increase in pay difference is great, but these days many homes are run by single working mothers. In addition, men are losing jobs faster than women, which means in some homes women are taking care of the entire family on their one (21% less) paycheck.
I don’t have to tell you how substantial a 21% pay difference would be in these instances.
Let’s hope by the time this report comes out next year for Equal Pay Day we have narrowed that gap.
Actually, let’s hope we have closed it altogether.