“A Women’s Right to Equal Pay – Does the Equal Pay Act Work in a Women’s Favor? ” The issue of women and pay has stroke many controversies since time immemorial. Between the years 1950 and 1960, statistics show that men were getting between a percentage on 50 and 60 dollars more than the women were. It is also evident that most employers would prefer men than women. This is because of the fact that most jobs are more masculine than feminine. Since 1963, the statute books have been keen in explaining the events, which have occurred in the development of the pay conditions of women.
Between 2007 and 2008, the gap between the pay between woman and men had greatly decreased. In the United States, for instance showed that women were getting earning between $700000 and $2 million, up from the previous pay, which was below $500. Women, during this year were getting an average of 40%, when compared to that of men. Several laws and regulations have been put in place so as to try to harmonize the issues of women and men equalities in pay and although some countries have managed to curb this problem, some countries still portray disparities in how men and women are paid.
Since the World War II, women have been participating in activities, which have been earning them some pay. The rise of the industries during this time allowed many people to obtain jobs, some well-paying, and some poorly paying. The jobs were further divided into hard and simple jobs and women mostly participated in the simple jobs. This is because of the reason that women were associated with feminine activities, which were simple to, and earning less (Barnum, et. al. 1995). In the United States of America, the issue of unequal pay for women was addressed first by the National War Labor Board.
The Board requested all the employees to report the amount of pay they were getting and they came up with statistics of how the disparities between the women and men pay is. Their main idea was to establish the extent of the problem and to try to create ways of curbing the problem. This move was voluntary and even though it was not legislated, it was going to go a long way in helping the women obtain a better pay. Today, so many laws are fighting for women to obtain an equal pay. These laws are governed by the Pay Work Act.
This Act states that women have equal rights, just like men and therefore they need to be given an equal pay. The Act further gives the reasons why women in all the states should be treated equally, the conditions under which this pay is possible, and the scope of the jobs that women should do and the conditions under which they need to work. Quite a varied number of researchers have come up with different views concerning women pay. In this part, we are going to look at some of the contributions of some researchers and authors. Charlotte, (2000) is the first researcher whom we focus on.
In his research, he asserts that the wage differences which exists between men and women is against the fundamental rights that women have. He claims that both men and women should be seen as equal beings and therefore the jobs they do should be paid in the same manner (Charlotte, 2000). Although Charlotte believes that there are some jobs, which cannot be done by women equally as men, he says that that is a physical difference and therefore it should not be taken to apply to all the potentialities that women can bring forth in their workplace.
Charlotte brings to board so many struggles that women have gone through so as to be considered in equal pay as men. He asserts that even though many of the fights did not go through, the Equal Pay Act is there to stay and to revolutionize the women workplace. This researcher further states that compensation for women should be regarded similar to that of women. He comes up with a compensation program which needs to be followed when deciding on the compensation program for women. This is because women can never be the same as women in any way.
Such disparities, which exist before like the difference in the social security and retirements compensations, were some of the concerns by Charlotte. He claimed that the women should be given the same treatment as men when they are being transferred or are obtaining their retirement benefits (Charlotte, 2000). Martin (2009), states that there are some theories that women are associated with and have shaped the way in which women are perceived in the workplace. He asserts that employees need to understand these theories so that they can treat the women in the expected manner.
Martin calls these theories fallacies, which have shaped the workplace, where the woman is, regarded a special. Even though Martin says that women have different skills, abilities and capabilities in the work place, they need to be treated the same way as men because the difference in the physical characteristics they possess. Today, many employers do not take into consideration the issues associated with women in the workplace, thereby creating misunderstandings in the workplace (Martin, 2009). Feminism entails so many characteristics. Martin states that to be women means to be submissive to the man.
He further says that the woman is weaker than the man in all respects. Women are less physical, more sociable, more jealous than men, like eating every time, are concerned about their beauty all the time, less active in activities which involve the physical parts of the body and naturally lazy than men. Martin states that these are the characteristics, which employers often look in an employer. Women cannot participate in very involving activities because they often like talking and talking over and over, on issues which does not influence pay (Martin, 2009).
One fallacy that Martin says has influenced the way the women are perceived in the workplace is the Christian beliefs that women are lesser than men are. Christians believe that they women can never be the same was men in every manner because the Bible says so (Martin, 2009). This fallacy has influenced the way in which women are perceived in the workplace because employees will never consider employing women because they cannot perform other tasks and duties. It is true that women cannot perform some activities that women do, but this idea should only give a clue the employer to consider having the disparities in the wage rate.
The trend in the world today has been towards harmonizing the jobs in most of the industries so that the pay can be the same across the developed and developing countries. The equal pay for jobs of equal value is a philosophy, which has been characterized as an upcoming issue in the world. Donald (1982), greatly researched on this matter and he established that even though it is important to put into consideration the wage level versus the kind of job, many countries differ in the level of development, thereby hindering the process of harmonizing the jobs.
The only way that Donald says is possible to equal, the pay for jobs with equal value in the workplace is to consider one specific country like the United States alone. His assumptions are based on the development and application of the Pay Work Act, which has been in place in America for a long time now. Another renowned researcher who demonstrates the importance of Pay Work Act is Repa, (2007). In his book ‘Your Rights in the Workplace,’ he asserts that every human being, regardless of gender should be treated equally. This is because the work environment does not give a different view of the jobs, when done by women or men.
Repa believes that the workplace is a place to excel and develop potentials. Everyone therefore should be given an opportunity by motivating them, training, increasing the pay, improving the work environment, and performing career growth development (Repa, 2007). The development and improvement in the Pay Work Act has been going on for several years especially in the United States of America. Repa asserts that every employer and employees should get access to the contents of this Act so that they are able to deliver the expected services in the organization.
Pay, just like any other element of the work environment is a factor to be considered with great emphasis. The human rights commissions have been put in place in many countries so as to ensure that individuals obtain their rights in the environments that they are based in (Repa, 2007). Any breach of these human rights will lead to the law being practiced. As Repa asserts, the Pay Work Act in conjunction with the human rights policies has seen the tremendous changes in the improvement of the pay across many employees in the organization.
Pettman has focused so much on the development progress in developing countries like Australia. He asserts in his research work that women need to have equal pay with men, given the problems, which exist, in the world today. Pettman’s argument is drawn from an economic point of view where he understands that the forces of demand and supply drive the wage level of individuals. Because there are so many problems facing the human being today, there is need to harmonize the level of pay. An individual in Arizona should not be paid less than an individual in Washington DC.
Women either should not be paid less than the men because they deserve the same rights across the countries (Pettman, 1977). Though Pettman’s research, it is evident that even though there are economic factors which need to be considered when determining the wage level of workers’ in an organization, it is important to also put into consideration the need for the women and men to earn the same salaries in the workplace.
Wandfogel, (1998) claims that the gap in hourly pay between men and women pay is narrowing in the 80’s and 90’s. e however notes that although this is experienced, there is less done on the difference on the pay of women with children and those without. This gap has been widening especially in the US. This is based on the reason that the institution dealing with women pay issues has dealt so much on policies concerning equal opportunities, equal pay, but little on policies including childcare and maternity leave. He says that although it is shown that the link between women’s pay and family policies is tentative, maternity leave is more evidenced.
Research carried out in the US, Japan, and Britain showed that the coverage on maternity leave might increase women’s pay. Increasing women’s retention over the childbirth’s period increases their wages and allows them to maintain good jobs. Therefore, maternity leave coupled with other policies prove to be an efficient remedy for such a gap. Goldon (1990) says in her history of the pay gap in gender that the ratio of women to men earnings per hour has had a significant rise from 70’s to the early 80’s. It became constant for some years and then rose again for majority of women in the late 80’s.
This was mainly attributed to the rise in the human capital of women as a result of their investment in education and reduction of their labor market time. Fuchs (1971) asserts that the big difference in gender pay in the US in the 1980’s has a biblical background. The book of Leviticus says that a woman is 20 shekels of silver less worth than a man. It has however, increased and women are seen to have swam upstream in the pay rise. This increase in the ration of the gender pay could be a result of new cohorts entering the labor market.
Each of these cohorts is known to encounter a better chance compared to the previous one. Other than entry of new cohorts into the market. There has been a growth I earnings within a cohort especially for the older women; this has resulted in an observed smaller gender gap in those cohorts, which are considered young Age has also been found to be another factor that leads to difference in wage ratios. The high ration in younger women is said to decrease as they age, hence, their tendency to move out of the labor market.
Considering gender difference in pay, the main focus of the economists is always on the differences in male-female skills and on how equally qualified men and women are treated. These are considered as gender specific and are found to greatly influence the pay gap. Research carried out on these factors showed that men are averagely more skilled than women and women therefore, get less paying jobs than men. Having this in mind, it implies that the general wage structure gives an effect on gender pay gap. Kahn and Blau (1994), in the research they carried out on the US trends on ender gap, find out that men and women are compared in terms of unmeasured and measured characteristics in the labor market.
These characteristics are therefore used to determine the amount to be rewarded. By the fact that women are known to be less experienced than their male counterparts, they are assigned duties in the low paying sectors. They suffer so much in cost due to the increasing prices of the measured skills. Furthermore, they assert that the less number of available women with unmeasured skills and even discrimination have led to a notion by employers that women have low measured skills too.
This has led to a decrease in women wages. Although these factors are known to affect the women greatly, the increase in skill price had never shown equal impact on women and men until late 70’s (Murphy, 1992)however finds out in the late 80’s that women whose educational level were below college degree were favored compared to their male counterparts for output in industries. Men were on the other side favored more than women if they possessed a college degree. Generally, demand shifts portrayed a favor on women than on men.
Gatti and dollar explain that the result of less women’s pay is traced back to the early years. People invested les in the girl child than in the boy child. This was simply because they considered that women have fewer benefits to the family than the boys. This made the current women have fewer skills to take a similar job that a man does. The women are therefore, given unskilled and less paying jobs. Because most women occupy such positions in any institutions, the overall women pay is therefore found to be less than that of their counterparts.
In the current world, both men and women have been given equal education opportunities and therefore the women to men ratio on their pay have been found to converge. The beginning the year 2007, saw the beginning of new laws in terms of equal pay for women. This was particularly removing the biasness between gender and women with different color. Research had indicated that as compared to the men’s earnings in dollars, both the African and American women had different levels of pay too. With the passing of the Equal Act in 1963, women who were permanently employed had a reason to smile.
The law saw them getting compensation an average of 50%, basing on that of men (Barnum, et. al. 1995). Before the Act had taken effect in most countries, in the US median wage in more than 25 industries showed that men were obtaining the highest remuneration, even in professions, which would be better done by women. The Institute of Women’s Policy asserts that compensation for women was seriously needed because without it, women, who are regarded as the key players in family development would be affected adversely. While the effect of the disparities would affect the women alone, the entire family is anticipated to be at risk.
Remuneration inequalities, annuities, social security gains, additional pecuniary resources, and annuities are some of the benefits and advantages that women were missing when they were locked away from the benefits that men were obtaining (Macpherson & Hirsh, 1995). The development of the American Association of University Women is probably the beginning of proper and better wage for women. This body majorly dealt with the development of pay in colleges and universities. It ensured that the employees in colleges were treated equally in terms of pay, regardless of gender.
The association further improved when women who went from the college careers went out and formed an association, which would defend other women in other organizations and companies. Basing on this association, occupation, parenthood, and the general tasks that men and women participate in, there was needed to harmonize their pay. Women even have a bigger role of raising up the child, a situation that prompted even the need for developing equal pay rights. The following table shows the results, which were, obtain in a research done in colleges and universities (Pettman, 1977).