Don’t believe there’s a gender pay gap? Google it

Don’t believe there’s a gender pay gap? Google it

Yes, the pay gap between men and women does exist. Before you read any further, drop your preconceived notions, pull up Google and do some research. You might be surprised by what you find.

Tuesday marked another Equal Pay Day – a day to show how much women, as a whole, have to work into the current year to earn what men earned for the previous year. Currently, women make about 79 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

Now, that might seem a little skewed, mainly because it is. That number doesn’t take into account the type of professions that men and women have, the number of hours per week they work or the time that some may take off for childbirth.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a disparity between how much men and women are paid.

According to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women faced a pay gap in almost every single occupation in the United States in 2015.

When you break it down and look at the average salaries for men and women fresh out of college, who have the same educational degree, same experience level and same job, that gap shrinks to a percentage in the high 80s or low 90s, depending on who you’re getting your information from.

The bottom line is that there’s still a gap. Eighty or 90 percent is not 100 percent and if that doesn’t bother you – no matter your gender – then you are part of the problem.

Am I a feminist? Yes. Do I believe in all facets of equality? Yes. Do I think that the whole business and economic system is out to get women and pay them less on purpose? Not exactly.

I think that there are a few different reasons why women are paid less than men for the same work.

First, I think that it’s a subconscious issue of “Well, it’s always been done this way.”

The people signing our paychecks and deciding on our salaries are almost always people who have higher-ranking positions. Those people in those higher-ranking positions are almost always of the older generation.

I’m not saying they’re sitting in their office chairs, tapping their fingers together while they’re laughing maniacally and declaring women unfit for a fair wage. I’m saying that they honestly might think that paying a woman less is acceptable and common practice – it’s just what they grew up knowing.

Another reason might be because women are less likely to negotiate their salaries from the very beginning. If you start off making less, you’re going to end up making less.

This is all just one facet in the huge realm of gender issues, but the bottom line is that it’s 2016 and the gender pay inequality is still an issue. The fact that I feel the need to write this article is proof enough.

It’s simple, really. Women want equal pay for equal work. Is it really so hard to understand that?

SAMANTHA GRISWOLD

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