Zoe E. California

Wage Gap

The wage gap is the large difference of salaries between males and females in the US. This gap has existed for decades and is still very prominent today.

Dear Future President,

I believe that the wage gap between males and females in the United States is a serious problem that I’m hoping you can address once in office. I have done lots of research into what the actual wage gap is, why it is, and the history of how it got like this. I believe that everyone should be treated and paid the same in the work place, whether they are male or female.

First to start off with the history of the wage gap in the US. One of the earliest steps taken to control and lesson the gap between men and women was the Equal Pay Act of the 1963(infoplease.com). This made it illegal for anybody to pay women less than their male counterparts based solely off their gander. Leading up to 1960s when this act was passed there was job segregation based on gender everywhere, the job listings for both genders were written separately in newspapers where the jobs were being advertised. The wage gap has shrunk immensely since 1963 when women made 59% of what males made. Currently data shows that women make about 77.3-80.9% of what men do based on various studies (infoplease.com). Although this difference between the two is much closer it is still unreasonable to give men more money for doing the same job because they are men. Most recently the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed by President Obama in 2009. This act is another step towards equal pay which states that women who believe they are victims of an unfair wage gap are able to file complaints to the government within 180 days of their last paycheck (americanprogress.org). Although there have been several steps taken to close the wage gap between the genders, but as the next president I hope that you will be able to take more steps the even this out.

Now to clarify exactly what the wage gap is it is the difference of salaries between men and women of equal jobs and positions in the US. The wage gap is calculated by taking the median salaries of full time, year round workers of both genders (americanprogress.org). There are some factors that go into and affect the difference of wages. One of these factors is the industries and jobs women and men gravitate towards. There is a large difference in the top jobs for men and women, this is partially due to the environment children grow up in and the jobs each gender are traditionally “supposed to be” (americanprogress.org).

The wage gap is still currently found between the salaries, however, there are a couple of factors that influence it. One of these factors is the stereotype that there are some jobs men never can join or women never join. Also contributing to the gap is the role of the mother and caregiver to children that women usually hold in the household. Due to the US being one of very few countries with advanced economies and no legalized paid sick days women tend to have to miss more work while carrying for family members. Along with the family topic women also don’t necessarily get a paid maternity leave, this leads mothers getting paid significantly less than women without children (americanprogress.org). Also employers tend to lean towards men employees since women are believed to be more likely to get distracted by their children and families.

Overall, the wage gap that is still prominent in the US is a serious problem for our nation. With the idea of equality being a much sought out right in recent times, it is very important that we eliminate the wage gap and allow equality among the genders.   

Thank you,

Zoe E.

Newbury Park High School

IB Lang & Lit HL 1 - Period 3A (Lilly)

Newbury Park's period 3A IB Lang & Lit course

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