The Gender Wage Gap exists. Truly, it does. And you can’t just write it off (like Romney tried to) by saying women make different choices–they stay home with the kids and lose a few years of experience, or they drop out of school to start a family, or they take part time work so they can be home when school lets out. Economists have controlled for everything there is to control for–sex, age, education, majors, hours worked, full time or part time, experience, race–and women still come up about 77 cents to the dollar. (In Utah its 55 cents to the dollar. [But you know, all those wive’s incomes for one family really add up in Utah.]) So to fix this, here are 7 easy-peasy steps to end the wage gap and increase equality in the workforce.
1. End Salary Secrecy
Ever have a job where the boss tells you not to talk about your salary to other workers? Yeah, that’s because he doesn’t want you to find out that he’s paying you less than the dude next to you. If people can’t discuss what they’re paid, how will they ever know if they’re being cheated? It’s the perfect plan.
2. Raise Minimum Wage
2/3 of all people making minimum wage are female. [See Step 5]
3. Fix the Broken Career Pipeline
Get rid of the glass ceilings (women not being promoted), the glass elevators (men rocketing up the career pipeline when in a female-dominated occupation (teachers, nurses, caretakers, etc.), the sticky floors (keeping women on lower levels of jobs. Like the glass ceiling), and the glass cliff (if women do break through the glass ceiling and get promoted, that position is precarious. Such as the first pregnant women CEO–Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. Yahoo is failing, which is why she was promoted there).
4. Pass Family Leave Policies
Paid leave for things like maternity leave/paternity leave/family emergency leave
5. Increase Child Care Support
How can mothers both be in charge of the children and work all day long? It’s impossible! If only there was some sort of place that would care for other people’s kids during the day. You might even call it… Daycare! Problem is the average fee for full-time childcare for an infant exceeds 10,000 dollars a year in 16 states. The minimum wage right now of 7.25 an hour, for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year with no vacation equals 15,080 dollars a year. Do we see the problem in math here? [See Step 2]
6. Encourage Unionization
Jobs that are unionized offer better pay, better benefits, generally more family leave policies, have more flexibility in schedules, paths to negotiate, etc. The United States today is becoming increasingly de-unionized.
7. End occupational segregation
Still today, in 2012, there is occupational segregation. Women are still teachers, nurses, caretakers, while men are doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, politicians, etc.
There you have it. 7 simple-as-pie steps to end the wage gap between men and women and increase equality and fairness for all in the 21st century. Let’s get cracking.