Letter to the editor

Letter+to+the+editor

Dear Editor,

A gender wage gap does exist and is based on math, not myth.

According to the Pew Research Center, the American Association of University Women, the U.S. Department of Labor, among others, women’s earnings compared to men’s (full-time, year-round workers) is approximately 79 cents.

This number is even lower for women of color: 63 cents for African American women, and around 50 cents for Latina and Native American women.

While, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men work longer hours (men work 8.2 hours compared to women who work 7.8 hours), who is doing the domestic labor?

According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey of parents, mothers are still responsible for more childcare and domestic labor, thus subsidizing men’s paid labor. Women’s unpaid labor is the “backbone of the American economy” (Marketwatch, April 2018). Such systemic patterns disclose how men are able to work longer hours and why they receive higher pay.

Implicit (and explicit) biases about what constitutes a worker’s worth also drive pay-gap data. Not only do women with the same educational qualifications receive lower salaries, when large numbers of women enter male-dominated fields, pay drops over time, even for men in that field.

When large numbers of men enter a female-dominated field, pay goes up, over time, for all workers in that field.

These patterns demonstrate that our society values men’s work over women’s, and this is evident in occupational pay (AAUW).

The gender wage gap is not about talent or education. Pay disparities are the result of implicit (unconscious and automatic) processes and the gendered, racial and other stereotypes that guide them. It is these processes and stereotypes that block the road to pay equity.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rebecca J. Ulland,

Director,

Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Dr. Sarah B. Jones, Department of Philosophy

Brooke Tharp, Co-President, Women for Women
Nick Valiquette, CNC Technology Major