Dear Future President,
I am Bella Trestrail, a 14 year old freshman at Northview High School. I am writing to you about the gender wage gap. This topic matters because it discriminates against so many women of different races.
The wage gap is a pay difference between men and women. It’s important because this has been a problem for a large amount of time. It has impacted so many generations of women negatively. Now is the time to take advantage of your resources as a President and change this gap.
For me, a girl who will soon pick a career to pursue; the wage gap is a fearful topic. If I get a similar education and experience to my male counterpart, there’s a chance I may only get paid 82% of what my male counterpart makes. This problem can affect me in just a handful of years and that scares me. It also affects my peers. After interviewing male and female teens, a common word the phrase “wage gap” made them think of was “unequal”. One response to my question of, “Does the wage gap make you fear for your future?” was, “Yes, it does make me fear my future because I don’t want to get paid less for doing the same work.”
The issue is this: women work ⅔ of the world’s work hours and earn 1/10 of the world’s income(womendeliver.com). If women work that many of the hours, why are they getting paid at such a low fraction compared to men? Some may argue that women choose lower paying jobs, or choose to work half-time instead of part-time like men. Yes, 64% of the wage gap is explained with factors women can control like how much they work. But, what about the other 36%? No one can explain the other percent and people believe that 36% is just blatant discrimination. This percent is what is bothering me and so many other women who believe in equality. Why should someone get paid more simply for being male?
Segregation in the labour market is a cause of this gap. Women aren’t properly represented in managerial and senior positions. Women represent only 17% of board members in big, known companies. Another cause of the wage gap is simply traditions. 60% of modern university graduates are female, but they are a minority in fields like math, computing and engineering. Women have been and remained a minority in these fields for quite some time.
Finally, direct discrimination causes this gap. According to the reporter for makers.com, African American women earn 64 cents on a Caucasian male’s dollar and Latina women earn 56 cents on the Caucasian male’s dollar. It seems race is also factored into the gap.
There are two possible solutions to the wage gap that are FREE. Implementing pay transparency can take care of the wage gap. This means that women will know what pay the men they work with make. So, they can know when they are earning less. Another solution is eliminating pay negotiations in job interviews. Women fear that if they try to argue their pay, their employers will dislike them. Men more often argue a higher pay, which leads to women being paid less.