Gender Discrimination as the Main Reason Women are Paid Less than Men – Research Paper Example

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The paper "Gender Discrimination as the Main Reason Women are Paid Less than Men" is a worthy example of a research paper on sociology. The issue explores the dramatic rise of women workforce during the century, the subsequent gains that they have received and reasons as to why the gains have been always lesser than what is being given to men. While the arguments of Rose and Hartmann suggest that gender discrimination is the major reason, Lopez argues that other variables also contribute to the wage gap beyond the gender factor. The participation of women in labor force has seen a drastic increase during the turn of the century and one cannot deny the opportunities that are increasingly being provided to women to prove themselves in the global workforce. While gender discrimination in salary was more evidently present during the 1950s, the passing of the Equality pay and civil rights acts in the early ’60s ensured that payment of wages was based on equality of labor and not on gender. By this person who displayed equal skills, effort and responsibility were paid similarly. This trend continued well into the ’90s when the gender wage gap was almost closing in, however, more recently there has been a decline in the wages earned by women compared to men. The causes for such an effect has been varied as some argue that gender bias still looms large and is the major reason while others argue that the number of hours worked, experience and training play a vital role in determining the wages earned by any person rather than their gender. However detailed studies reveal that the field of study and age chosen plays a vital role with regard to wages earned by an individual and this is also evident even among men. In fields such as architecture, environment and engineering women in the age group of 25-34 years earn about 95% and 99% wages as paid to men; while women aged between 35 -44 years have begun to earn more than men in the same fields. Hence gender bias cannot be considered to be a major reason behind lower pay packs for women. Another factor being analyzed in the issue is the time factor. Marriage and children do not enable women to log in more hours of work like men despite the fact that they have the ability to earn more wages per hour than the menfolk. Hence economists state that the domestic responsibilities taken up by women do contribute to more than 8% of the wage gap. However, the recent changes in family structure with regard to the number of children borne by the women, the age of childbirth and sharing of household responsibilities by men are helping women earn a fairer and sometimes better wage than men. Additionally, in contrast to the glass ceiling referring to the lesser number of women occupying top managerial positions in companies, labor statistics reveal that a majority of women hold management positions and this is likely to increase in the near future. Women entrepreneurs are also emerging successfully and the number of women-owned business is steadily growing. However despite this steady rise of women in the workplace has not put an end to gender-based discrimination, which still largely persists. However, if given equal opportunities as men women will succeed and achieve an equal status to that of men at a workplace.

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