Women continue to earn less money than men each
year, $13,087 less, according to a 2000 Census Bureau report.
According to Kristen Gerencher of CBS MarketWatch, more women
are graduating from college and attending top schools in law
and medicine, but women in general are still represented as
having more jobs in retail sales and teaching, according to
the U.S. Department of Labor.
“We feel that discrimination is still
a problem,” said Alyson Reed, executive director of the
National Committee on Pay Equity. “Even when men and
women have the same [credentials] for the job,” she added.
Historically, men were expected to work more, and pay the bills,
so they earned more. Women were expected to stay at home—cook,
clean, and raise the children. If they worked, it was only part
time, a way to add a little extra to the family income.
World War II changed that. Since the war, more women have to
work due to the increase in single-family homes. According to
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of single mothers
has risen almost 10 percent since 1975.
According to Divorce Magazine, in 1997, 43 percent of all new
marriages ended in divorce. Statistics for 2002 stats show that
10 percent (up from 8 percent in 1990) of the population is divorced.
Single women are forced to transition from domestic life to the
workforce, where they earn less because jobs start at entry-level
pay based on lack of training. After more experience, they earn
higher pay; however, the annual pay still lags behind their male
According to the Census Bureau, a white male with a college diploma
earns in excess of $66,000 a year, more than any similarly educated
man of any other race, or woman. Among men with bachelor’s
degrees, Asians earned more than $52,000 a year, Hispanics earned
$49,000, and blacks earned more than $45,000.
A white woman with a bachelor’s degree typically earned
nearly $37,800 in 2003, compared with nearly $43,700 for a college-educated
Asian woman and $41,100 for a college-educated black woman. Hispanic
women earned least, $37,600 a year, according to the Census Bureau.
White men earn $28,200 more than white women; Hispanics men earn
$11,400 more than Hispanic women, Asians men earn $8,300 more
than Asian women, and Black men earn $3,900 more than Black women.
According to the Dept. of Labor, women earn 76 cents for every
dollar a man earns.
The unequal pay can affect a women’s social security and
pension plans in the long run because women will have to work
longer hours and more years, while men who have a shorter life
span, won’t have to work as long.
The same is true of men and women with graduate degrees. The
National Committee on Pay Equity is a national coalition of organizations
that work to eliminate discrimination and achieve pay equality
between men and women in the work environment. According to the
committee, “on average, a woman who has a master’s
degree makes $6,456 less than a male with a college degree.”
Many are working towards breaking the gender barrier, so that
women and men can earn equal pay.
It’s difficult to determine how long it will be before
women and men have equal salaries, but it is fair to say that
women deserve fair pay, and more women are needed in the workforce.