Charlie F. Michigan

Gender Wage Gap

The Issue of Gender pay inequality has been an issue plaguing the United States of America for too long, with women pulling the short straw since our countries origin

Dear Future President,

After being exposed to the facts presented in the articles I read, a harsh realization came to me, a teenage white male, I have it easy compared to other people. Writing this paper and looking at the articles that contained such infuriating facts and statistics, I truly realized that I could be a lot worse off. I do not want my mother, sister and future daughter to have to be at a disadvantage just because of their gender at birth. I am advocating for a change. A change that will affect not only the empowering women in my life, but women all around the United States.

Assuming that a figure immersed in politics such as yourself, is generally informed of issues that are affecting the country whether they be positive or negative, I would like to discuss one such issue more in depth. From my days in preschool through the first month and a half of my Junior year in high school, there were only 23% of women with children aged 30 and above that were stay at home moms. The remaining 77% of women 30 and above with children were and still are all part of the workforce. Of those 77%, more than half of them are working to help support their families and stay above the poverty line. This daunting task can prove to be rather difficult for women, since according to a 2015 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, full time female employees make 79 cents to the dollar on what an average male full time employee makes, creating a gender wage gap of 21%.

When growing up, having a job can be a wonderful pain. Making real money and getting a check that you earned, every other week. Sacrificing time and gaining stress is the part that is a pain. Is it really worth it? Earning scrutiny from your teachers for not completing an assignment because you were tired. The responsibility of working a job, helps earn respect as well responsibility. For a teenage female, they may be questioning whether it is worth it a lot more so than a male peer, seeing as they statistically will not get a similar salary, which may create a more educational competitive mindset in order to make more than the average female as they grow older.

In a study from The Huffington Post, it was found that the U.S. is 28th in gender gap rankings, behind major countries such as Iceland, France and South Africa. Iceland ranks number 1 in the world in gender pay equality with France and South Africa coming in at 15 and 17 respectively. America is an amazing country that I am proud to call my home, but I don’t think it is the greatest country in the world, yet. In 2008, a large portion of Iceland’s economy(Big banks) collapsed leaving the country in poor shape. Just 8 years later, Iceland is closing in on where their economy once was building off of a base of a strong and educated workforce which consists of a 53% male and 47% female force. The recovery in Iceland was made possible by well educated and well paid women. In the United States, equality should be sought after in average salary since as seen in Iceland, without female workforce members, the economy would become much weaker and require lots more work. If we as Americans work to fight the gender wage gap, we can make a great country the greatest country with equality and freedom.

When I discuss women in the workforce, I am talking about all races, not just white female workers. In 2015, adding to the 79 cents per dollar claim, black women in the U.S. made only 63% of what a white male made, and for Latina women, only 54%. These statistics show that over the course of a 40 year career, black women lose out on average, $877,000 while Latina women lose out on over 1 million dollars. When seeing these figures, the word ludicrous comes to mind.

What I am attempting to do, is make a resounding argument in favor of equal pay among both genders and all races. I know this may not happen immediately in fact it would be very hard for immediate action, but steps in the right direction can be taken to have equal pay within the next decade.


Charles F.

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

All letters from this group →