The gender pay gap: Any solution in sight?

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

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The United States of America prides itself on equality between gender, race and class but there are still serious problems on “equality” in our country. When it comes to the gender pay gap, there is a solution in sight but no viable solution in the near future.

Before I am attacked for what I am about to say, the U.S. is a very equal country and is far more accepting and prosperous than other countries. However, there is no denying the issues in the country, especially when it comes to the pay gap between men and women.

According to The Equal Pay Act (1963), “To prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.” The Equal Pay Act was the one of the first federal laws passed that addressed gender discrimination and gender discrimination in the workplace, but it has been many years later, and women still receive lower pay then men.

According to US Census Bureau, on average, a woman earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, and the median annual earnings for women are $10,086 less than men. Other charts done by The Business Insider illustrate the difference between states when it comes to the gender pay gap. While some states are not as bad as others, there is still a prevalent gap, and this is unlawful under the federal law. It is unsettling that so many states and, in turn, employers, blatantly violate The Equal Pay Act on a regular basis, and it goes against the ideals of freedom and equality that the U.S. was built on.

There is also a gap between women of different races that were done by the Business Insider. They show that African American and Hispanic women face the biggest pay gap when compared to white men. On average, black women’s annual earnings are 63 percent of what white men make, while Hispanic women’s annual earnings are 54% of what white men make.

There is a very shocking inequality in overall income between men and women, and it does not end with the normal everyday middle- or low-class worker. This effects the high class and Hollywood as well.

The projection that stood out the most to me when researching for this article comes from the Women’s Institute of Policy Research. Based off a decennial census from the American Community Surveys, The WIPR projects that the pay gap will not be solved overall in the U.S until the year 2059. Given that The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, that means that there is a possibility that it would take 96 years for the gender pay gap to be solved.

This is outrageous. This is a projection, so there is no way to tell if it will really take this long to solve the issue, but even today, it has been 55 years since the act has been passed. Imagine if it took 96 years to follow other major federal laws, the U.S. would be in a frenzy.

To answer the question I stated earlier, there is a solution in sight, but it is not the solution you wanted. Look into the statistics yourself, and you will see the blatant disregard for the federal law by many different employers.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]