Gender Wage Gap

The issue of the difference in pay between women and men has garnered a lot of attention in the past couple of years. This source of discrimination towards women is best summed up by this excerpt from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research:


“Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children. They receive more college and graduate degrees than men. Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2017, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.”



This gender discrimination affects many women in Michigan. In fact, women in Michigan make $11,000 less annually than men. This wage gap indirectly affects many children as well. According to statistics from the National Partnership of Women and Families “If women in Michigan were paid as much as men, they would be able to afford 81 more weeks of food for their family, or nearly one additional year of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or 13.5 more months of rent, or more than 18 additional months of child care each year.”


This gender wage gap is apparent across all industries and skill levels. Luckily since this has been discussed more frequently, the government and different companies are making strides towards fixing the issue. For example, at Zillow women made $1.01 for every dollar a man made and women get 16 weeks of paid maternity leave. Also, Massachusetts passed “An Act to Establish Pay Equity” or Bill S.2119 that is fighting this issue through reporting of salary history. 




Why do you think the gender wage gap exists? Do you think it should exist?


What are some ways that everyday people can fight the gender pay gap?


What are some legislative actions that can fight the gender pay gap?