Why Equal Pay Will Help Women Achieve the American Dream

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The American Dream: The idea that every citizen of the United States of America has an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity though hard work, determination and initiative. Why now, more than ever, is this goal for so many fading further into obscurity? Unfortunately what people don’t understand is that in order to achieve success, they need to be given the opportunity to begin with, and for women and minorities it seems pretty bleak at best. For one to gain the upward social mobility that he or she needs to obtain such a goal, the general consensus is that family life should be sought after, as well as having a career that offers long term opportunities (plus the know-how to excel in said career).

However; though not impossible, Americas women and minorities face an epidemic in that may forever kill the American Dream for those who it was originally intended for.

Enter: Heidi Wilson, a hardworking Citicorp employee who thought that only great things could come from a promotion into a management position at the Citicorp Service Center in 2009, only to find out that she wouldn’t be receiving a pay raise or bonus despite the new, larger workload she would be taking on.

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Being aware that her male predecessor had been making significantly more, for doing the same job, Wilson requested a market analysis to be done within their company after being passed up for a raise a second time, a couple of years later.

With her higher-ups not moving forward with her proposal, Wilson sued Citicorp for violating the “Equal Pay Act” and won almost $350,000 in back pay.

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Although this may be a more extreme example, this kind of thing goes on, unpunished for far too long, simply because people are too afraid that they would lose their job, or has some other repercussion put onto them for standing up for themselves. Even though a lot of women had uncovered the ugly truth of inadequate pay, they still find it difficult to demand the money they deserve. With over half of men requesting their employers for a raise, while only 7% of women doing the same.

Recently though women especially have been on the up-rise, reconnecting with the ideals of the roaring twenties, and making themselves known to the world yet again – only this time it’s for payment equality. Take for example, the tire company, Goodyear. They have only just became infamous for such a crime after telling employee Lilly Ledbetter that “Men should be paid more”. The truth is, that even if a woman don’t take off time to literally birth a child, or even just needs a bit of flexibility in their hours, they end up being paid in cases up to 77 cents less for every dollar their male counterparts make. While being underpaid doesn’t automatically make someone a victim, it should count as a sign for them to become aware, and not to become one.

The need for payment quality is not only something that needs to be urgently addressed by America’s leaders, but it’s also quite possibly the most integral part of the American Dream, and what may be the only thing that will be able to keep it alive. For families where the wives and mothers makes the majority of the household income (as mine was), the American Dream looks a bit skewed. Perhaps though, there was never one universal “dream” however; customizable dreams to fit the needs of every man, woman, and child.

Where at one point in time we thought that liberty and freedom was all one could ever ask for, today we now grow more complex desires and find that the ideas of the past no longer satisfy, nor could apply to today’s world. So in my twisted mind, the American Dream was is dead, not because nobody believes in it, but because to have one dream that everyone is reaching for is unrealistic and could never hold up. People need things to conform to them not the other way around. Achieve your American Dream, rather than one that society has fabricated. As best put in the American Dream cartoon “That’s why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it”

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Why Equal Pay Will Help Women Achieve the American Dream. (2023, Mar 23). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/why-equal-pay-will-help-women-achieve-the-american-dream-essay

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