There is a tremendous difference in what men and women are paid in this country, and not only that, but males dominate many of the managerial positions at companies of all types and sizes. This gender discrepancy is also true in that males hold the majority “power positions” in politics, executive boardrooms as well as CEO positions, and so many other roles. It is terribly unfortunate, even more so for those women who are struggling to provide for their families.
We have reported on the poverty rates of single mothers and how difficult it is for them to pay the bills, raise their kids, and provide for their family. Getting paid 80 cents on the dollar of what a male earns makes it that much more difficult for them. In fact, that would in theory mean the single mother needs to work 52 hours a week for every 40 hours that a male works to earn the same income. So how is a single mother expected to ever do that, while raise the kids at the same time? Impossible.
There are also of course countless women from 2 parent households who go to work everyday to help provide for their family. They too are undervalued and under-appreciated. All the hard-working women in this country are only paid, on average, 80 percent of what a male makes.
Not only are women not treated fairly in the workforce, but they face several other barriers in the US and worldwide per Human Rights Watch. Women in Saudi Arabia are still not able to legally drive a car. Women in India (all 500 million + of them) are treated as second class citizens and do not have rights. In India, sixty percent of men “proudly” admit to using physical violence to control their wife or daughter, they are demeaned in public, sold for marriage, etc. Women in Indonesia also face violence daily. Tens of other counties, and hundreds of millions of women (if not over a billion) across the world are treated as second class citizens per Human Rights Watch, whether it comes to wage gaps, violence, no legal rights, forced marriages, and more.
Gender pay gap and poverty
Bring it back to pay, female workers in the US make on average of 80% of a male worker. As the data indicates, it is worse for minority women (with the exception of Asian), and their average income is lower whether black, Hispanic, or some other race. These gender discrepancies are true for almost all jobs and positions.
Now some fields are more transparent than others when it comes to wages, so corporations may be fairer in how they pay out the wages. This can be the case in hourly type positions, such as retail clerks, dental assistants, servers, nurses, and other positions in which hourly wages are set. The gender pay gap is most severe in Salary roles, in which an employer hires someone at a rate of “X” dollars, in which “X” is negotiated between the female worker and the employer.
Salary and pay is one thing, but males also dominate the higher-level positions in corporations, politics, government agencies, and countless other fields and they wield the power in this roles. That not only holds down the career opportunities for women, but also holds down their salaries and leads to an even bigger gender income gap. Look at some of this data.
- Of the Fortune 1000 companies, about 30 have women CEOs per Fortuner magazine. What a joke. That is about 3%.
- When looking at the board of directors of Fortune 1000 companies, women make up about 21 of a board per the Gender Diversity Index (GDI).
- In Congress (both Senate and House of Republicans) women hold about 19% of the positions per a Rutgers study.
- Look at all the recent lawsuits (Weinstein, Fox News, NBC Matt Lauer, and thousands of others) in which males in power positions took advantage of women, fired them, demeaned them, etc. unless the female did exactly as told.
- And of course, we still have never had a female president.
The gender gap is huge, unfair, and not even close to being solved. There was even a report from the Institute of Women Policy research that said if females were paid the same amount as men, that the poverty rates for single moms would be cut in half and the poverty rates for single women living on their own would be reduced by about 60%.
The gender pay gap is serious issue for many reasons. But when bringing it back to financial needs, and the battles that single women run households, single mothers, and other women face, it could reduce poverty rates for them (and any children they have) by 50%. The gender and career discrepancy are unquestionable one of the reasons for poverty in this country.