Why Is Women's Pay Suffering?

Updated on November 6, 2017


No matter who you are, you had to work hard to get to the place you are at right now. No one can tell you that you do not deserve where you are at today. You and you only, worked hard to get there. Most people are aware of the pay gap for men and women, but what about women compared to other women? Women with children are paid less than both, women with no children and men with children. According to How the Gender Pay Gap Widen as Women Get Promotions by Harvard Business Review, women who spend more than one time a week taking off from work, or leaving early for family functions are paid 4.3 percent less than men. Even those who leave one to two times a month are still paid 4.2 percent less than men. This is startling information because companies are encouraging women to have families and a life outside of work, but this is preventing us from moving up in the work force.

Due to women missing more work hours than the average employee, women with children are not being considered for promotions. There is something called the motherhood wage penalty. The penalty is decided on one’s income, so a higher income earner pays less, while a lower income earner pays more. Either way women with children are paying a specific amount of money. Fortunately, for women without children, they do not have to pay this penalty, and men earn the fatherhood bonus. The fatherhood bonus is exactly what it sounds like, a wage bonus for recent fathers. The government accountability office shows that women with children who have a management position, still only make seventy-nine cents for every dollar, compared to men with children.

According to Shana Lebowitz, 2015, a study showed that men are fifteen percent more likely to get promotions than women. This affects the way women are working and setting goals for themselves. They are not pursing top executive positions because they think they will not get the jobs and that men will, even though women are twenty percent more likely to stay at a job than men. is questionable why an employer would want to risk having a top executive that has a higher potential of leaving the position verses someone who would stay in the position longer. Women with children are also fifteen percent more likely to want a top executive position, but ninety percent of men and women say that they fear leaving work for their family. Knowing it can potentially hurt their careers in the future.

Unfortunately, women with children are reconsidering applying to these positons because they think they will not get the promotion from leaving too many times for family reasons. The GAO reported that even though today, women are more educated and productive, the still do not receive the amount of money they should. Although, all this information about the pay gap is from America, I want to compare how Denmark values women. According to Ivana Kottasova, 2014, women are in better paying jobs than men and earn two percent more than them. This is only one of four other countries that women tend to make more money than men. The other countries are Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, and Malawi. Even though these are all in Africa, it shows the globalization that women, with children can make the same or more money than men.

As women are going to school, getting a degree landing their dream job, they eventually want to have a family. Unfortunately, they are being penalized by not receiving the pay and promotions they deserve. Men and women without children can apply for the top executive promotions and have a chance of getting that job, while women with children who really want the job, are not considered for the positon. As we find out more information about other global countries that treat women in a more equal way, it should make us re-think that women with children do deserve the same chances anyone else who is capable of doing the job has. There needs to be a smaller wage gap in the United States, if there needs to be any. Women need to stand together and realize our pay is suffering all because we want to have a family. Our employers need to understand that we are mothers but we are also hard workers. We are focused and driven in all aspects of life and we should not be punished or treated differently because we have given life to a younger generation. Women can get their jobs done, with children, and we deserve to have the opportunity to demonstration that.



Works Cited

Authenticated U.S. Government Information. New Evidence on the Gender Pay Gap for Women and Mothers in Management. Congress of the United States, Joint Economic Committee, Washington D.C. Available at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shrg61713/pdf/CHRG-111shrg61713.pdf Accessed: 10/20/2017.

Frank, L. (2017, April 11). How the Gender Pay Gap Widens as Women Get Promoted. Retrieved October 21, 2017, from https://hbr.org/2015/11/how-the-gender-pay-gap-widens-as-women-get-promoted

Kottasova, I. (2014). U.S. is 65th in the world on gender pay gap. Retrieved October 31,2017, from http://money.cnn.com/2014/10/27/news/economy/global-gender-pay-gap/index.html

Lebowitz, S. (2015, October 01). A new study from Lean In and McKinsey finds exactly how much more likely men are to get promoted than women. Retrieved October 31, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/women-are-less-likely-to-get-promoted-2015-10

© 2017 Amber Nugent

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