In recent years, some authors try to promote the idea of gender pay gap being a myth. However, scientists from the University of Vermont disagree.
No country in the world has attained the absolute gender equality so far, researchers established. Remuneration levels, opportunities for professional development and career growth, and representation in politics are showing inequality between men and women, despite females studying nearly as much as men in today’s world.
Even among top earners in Hollywood gender inequality in remuneration shows up profoundly. The infamous Sony hack revealed that Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid 7% of the movie profits while male stars Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale were awarded 9% for American Hustle. Charlize Theron was paid $10 million less for her leading role in Snow White and The Huntsman 2 than the male lead Chris Hemsworth, The Hollywood Reporter published.
On average, actresses in American-produced movies are paid 78% of what men earn, Forbes reported. Are they also not working as hard and don’t wish to be promoted, as the authors of the “gender pay gap myth” paradigm purport?
Lawrence said she was afraid to appear “difficult” or “spoiled” and therefore chose not to negotiate strongly. “If a woman speaks up and is assertive and has a voice, she’s going to be called a brat,” she wrote. Multiple Hollywood female stars talked about the issue of unequal pay and opportunities for women in the movie business but the situation still persists in this industry, just as in other areas of career and work.
However, the situation with gender equality in 2016 is much better than it was 30 years ago, statistics demonstrate. We are moving in the right direction albeit not as fast as we could.
Gender Pay Gap Is Far from Being a Myth, Statistics Show
Stephanie Seguino, an economist at the University of Vermont, analysed data from 150 countries over the past 20 years to find out whether the level of gender inequality decreased or not, Science Daily reported. The gender pay gap showed up to be statistically obvious in the modern society, rather than a myth.
As it turned out, the greatest successes were achieved in education. The gender disparity in education is only 9% (the level of women’s education is 91% of men’s).
- The employment rate of women in the labor market is lower: only 75% of men’s (up from 62% in 1991).
- The lowest attainments are in politics — female politicians constitute only 25% of the number of men in top echelons of power.
Initially, it was expected the equal education level will help to oveсome the issue of the gender gap. Educated women were supposed to become highly competitive and have the same opportunities to get highly paid jobs. But in fact, female workers still earn less than their male colleagues.
It has been calculated that women in the UK would have to work about 416 hours a year more to earn as much as men. UK female citizens earn on average 19% less than men and they are negatively affected by the gender pay gap in 90% of sectors.
It’s almost the same in the USA with 21% gender pay gap. Due to the payment inequality, it takes women much more time to pay off their student loans.
All over the world the share of women working in highly paid fields as compared to men has fallen by 20% since 1990.
Thus, Seguino believes that educational gains are not enough to overcome the gender disparity between the sexes.
Why Women Are Paid Less
The scientist underlines the two key reasons why women are paid less:
- Females have lower access to jobs with higher remuneration.
- Women do a greater amount of unpaid work (children care, housework).
The author offers the following measures to solve the problem:
- Provision of paid maternity leave.
For example, in Sweden parents are able to share 480 days of paid maternity leave (for 390 days they are paid 80% of their monthly wages). Moreover, 60 days of paid holiday are allocated to fathers. The Swedish state is determined to overcome gender stereotypes that only women can take care of kids. As a result, modern Swedish fathers spend much more time with children than they used to and help their wives more around the household.
- Affordable daycare
- Fair hiring policies
- Access to public transportation
- Available medical care in the countryside
- Introduction of gender quotas
Some governments introduced the so-called gender quotas to improve imbalances in society, particularly in politics. The quotas help to regulate how many women should be represented in the parliament. Seguin mentiones Canada as an example, where the number of women in parliament had increased dramatically after introduction of gender quotas.
In today’s world, the share of women in politics increased by 14% since 1990. Seguino emphasizes the importance of women’s equal representation in political life. It’s extremely hard to adopt laws promoting gender equality without women in the parliament.
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