Women and the Wage Gap. Gender and Equality. Women’s Rights. All of these things play into each other, painting a complicated tapestry of issues and modern applications. To conclude the study of women and the wage gap, applying everything we have learned stresses this modern issue. As reported by National Committee on Equal Pay, women today still experience a wage gap at approximately 80 cents per male paid dollar.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, on a national level, BYU is has the highest gender wage gap 10 years post graduation. BYU Idaho follows as a close second. Collegiate education contributes to Utah’s larger problem of general wage discrimination, being 2nd nationally for highest gender wage gap. In Louisiana, the lowest ranked state, women only receive 65 cents to the male dollar. Even more fascinating, even in the best ranked state, New York, women are still only earning 87 cents to the male dollar. This means that though New York does have significantly better pay than states like Louisiana and Utah, women are still only being paid 87% of what their male coworkers are making. The Gender Wage Gap is still alive and well, plaguing women across the nation, simply in varying degrees.
Recent attempts at equality legislature have made a significant impact on the gender wage gap. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, made it easier to file claims concerning unequal pay. This Act has not only affected women nationally, but it opened the door for more women to fight back. Multiple court cases were taken to court because of women continuously fighting for their rights granted by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Fair Pay Act has helped women liberate themselves from wage discrimination across the country.
A second piece of recent legislature, though it failed in Senate, is still receiving attention from the public. The Paycheck Fairness Act, filed in 2014, sought to open the limitations of the Civil Rights Act of 1963. Changing limiting factors to ‘bona fide’ reasons, “such as education, training, or experience.” The Senate ultimately turned down the Bill, claiming that it would not accomplish closing the wage gap. Those who opposed the Bill insisted that other methods would better close the wage gap and that those opposed in the Paycheck Fairness Act were merely repetition of the 19th Amendment.
The Gender Wage Gap is not only a modern issue, but one that we should be actively fighting. According to CNBC, if current trend continues, the wage gap will not close until 2058. Is that really acceptable to us? And both of the most recent legislative acts, though one was turned down, are great examples of action. The Lilly Lebetter Fair Pay Act opened the door for women to fight against unequal pay. And though Paycheck Fairness Act was not passed, it did help Americans understand what needed to be changed. The methods proposed seemed unacceptable, but that means that as we change and adjust our approach, we will create a better solution.
Women’s wage gap remains today. But that doesn’t mean it needs to stay.
To read Daily Universe article about Gender Wage Gap Score, click here.
To read Times article about Gender Wage Gap Score, click here.
For Wage Gap Table, click here.
For a State by State Gender Gap Map, click here.
For a State Ranking of the Gender Wage Gap, click here.
To learn more about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, click here.
To read the Paycheck Fairness Act, click here.
To review the CNBC Article, click here.