The ever-growing feminist movement often has a tirade about women getting paid less than men. We have seen Hollywood actresses speaking about it on various events and functions, demanding to be paid as much as their male counterparts. But how true is this claim made by the feminist activists?
What are the authentic facts and figures behind this narrative which they spread? The actual statistics show that it is not so that women get paid less for the same jobs that men do, actually most of the women either:
- Work lesser hours than men,
- Opt for posts which get paid less,
- Are qualified in fields which are paid less,
- Have different priorities than males like family etc.
Women make around 70 to 80% of what men earn, say reports.
“an interesting report shows that freshly graduates and childless ladies often earn more than their male colleagues.” (ABC News, September 1, 2010)
Here we will go through some such motives which are realistically the reason of why women generate lesser money than men. Let’s have a look:
1. The choice of subjects made by women
Studies show that women usually opt for subjects which are less technical and yield less money. In fields such as engineering, technology, computing, men are way more present than women while on the other hand, social sciences and humanities have more female students.
2. The age at which women start working
Normally women start working at a later stage in their lives than men. Women often start working as an after-thought, to spend their time in a productive way. It is also seen that parents are sometimes reluctant to let their daughters work and similarly, husbands too, often, refrain their wives from work.
3. The average hours worked
Men usually have less to worry about at home. The most that is expected of them is to earn money for their families and look after them financially. Women, in contrast, have a lot of responsibilities at their home. Men are willing to work odd hours and work overtime as well.
4. Being in competition and being ambitious
Women usually have a casual attitude toward their work and their colleagues. They like to work in a comfortable environment and are less willing to take on challenges.
5. Accepting the terms and conditions they are offered when getting hired without much negotiation
Women usually work, not for the sake of earning money, but for the sake of their interests. Men usually want quick advancement or promotions in their line of work whereas women usually accept the terms offered to them hoping that they will improve and excel gradually.
6. Passion and interest over money
Women are more driven by their ideas such as “changing the world” and “bringing a revolution in society” rather than by how much money they can earn. In this age, even now, the common perception is that the men must be the bread-winners, and the money women earn are usually for their own use. It is uncommon for the women to work day and night as men do “to make some extra money”.
7. Pay raises, bonuses and promotions
Women are more likely to leave a job due to their personal reasons than men which make them a liability and earn them fewer bonuses and promotions as compared to men. Women who are truly dedicated to their work can excel but that is less frequent.
8. Vacationing more
Women vacation more than men. They are more willing to overlook their work for travel and leisure. Men take fewer leaves because they cannot afford deductions in their salaries, therefore they work without taking much of a break for their personal pleasure.
9. Family over job
Women’s ultimate priority is always their family and home. Women are more likely to leave their jobs due to numerous reasons like marriage, children, or other personal factors.
10. Child-birth impacting the job
Many surveys show that women take longer breaks from work after the birth of their firstborn. Women also cut their working hours more for their children and tasks related to their kids than men, like attending school meetings, matches, looking after them when they are ill etc.
11. Retiring earlier
Reports show that women, on average, retire 2.2 years earlier than their male peers. This gap has reduced from the past when it was around 15 years earlier than males. This means men earn more in their lifetime than women do.
12. Less dangerous jobs
Women are more comfortable with office jobs than field jobs. Women make a huge part of the labor force but men die 11 times more while on the job and this even does not include military forces. Most of the jobs that carry some sort of danger usually pay well, but women are usually reluctant to opt for such professions.
13. Sexist attitude
There are still some places where women are subjected to physical harassment. Men have a bias against them and don’t allow them to excel in their field rather than supporting them.Therefore women are put at a disadvantage as compared to their male colleagues.
14. Being a colored woman
Statistics show that colored women, no matter how qualified are less likely to land a job which has a good salary. They are very improbable to get executive jobs.
15. Working in male-dominating fields
There are many fields which are already male dominated and for a woman to make a mark is a monumental accomplishment. When women enter such fields, they rarely get top notch posts, usually have to settle with getting lower posts with lower salaries.
These are some of the practical reasons we think cause women to earn less money than men but there is no hard and fast rule and can vary from company to company and from region to region. Women are as dedicated, as qualified and as driven to succeed as men are, the difference just lies in their priorities.