Jamie T. Indiana

Pay Inequality

An honest question about why women are paid less than men in some areas.

Dear Future President,

As I sat in English class and my teacher explained to us the outline of this letter, all I could think about was how, for the first time in America’s history, we can’t write “Dear Mr. President” to start our letters. Its awe inspiring to think that America as a whole has transpired into a nation that has broken down barriers of inequality to the point where we have the opportunity to possibly have our first female president. So my question to you, President, is why is there still such a thing as the gender income gap? Being a female growing up in a society where my possibilities for the future are limitless, I want to know that I’m receiving the same income as my male co-workers when I enter the workforce. This year’s presidential election is the perfect example of why we need to make a change within our government to insure that women of the working class are receiving the same percent per dollar as the male workers in the same field.

The Equal Pay Act has been established within the government to insure that women are receiving the same pay as males within the same career, however women are still, on average, only receiving 78% of what men are making. I can’t come up with a logical reason as to why, in this day and age, women are still paid less than men when taking everything into consideration. Arguments state that women should go into higher paying jobs, but women already make up one third of the doctors and lawyers today. Higher paying jobs also usually include a more hostile environment that is less appealing to women. Others say that women should work the same amount of hours that men do, because 10% of the pay gap is due to the difference in the hours worked. What about maternity leave and household chores that are commonly left for women? The expenses of child care are left for a whole other letter, but I do believe that more affordable child care would help ease the gap. I also believe that giving the father the option for a maternity leave or some time off when an infant is born would also help decrease the gender inequality income gap.

I understand that I don’t know all the sides to this issue that upsets our nation, but I do understand that in only a few years I will be entering the workforce competing for jobs and raises amongst the others in my generation. I want to know that you, President, have done everything in your ability to make sure that not only myself, but my daughters, and their daughters are seen as equals amongst their male co-workers. I don’t want to wait until 2059, which is the expected year to have equal pay between the genders, but to see equal pay among men and women in the same career now. If growing up in American has taught me anything, it has taught me that anything is achievable if you put your whole mind and heart to it, and I believe that this above other issues is definitely an achievable goal for your presidential term.