The Gender Wage Gap In The Past And Present Ryerson University, Sociology Research Essay

2493 words - 10 pages

SOC 103: Why Do Women Earn Less than Men in the Labour Market?
Sunday November 18th, 2018
Dr. S. Guzzo
Daniel Stanciulescu 500904454
Sarah Lee 500750968
Daniel Trentadue 500618049
Introduction
Throughout history, the amount of human capital investment women have contributed towards the labour market has grown exponentially. Although this is the case, the gender wage gap still remains evident as women's skills and competencies continue to be undervalued. This wage gap is known as the difference in earnings and income between men and women in the workforce. Unfortunately, this is mainly due to a consequence known as the “Motherhood Penalty”, which is the belief that women are designated for caregiving activities rather than contributing to the workforce. This concept has been embedded in society and passed down for centuries through cultural teachings, causing following generations to inherit this mindset. The topics discussed above explain the evidence of the gender wage gap by looking at the problem through a historical lens, biological view, and cultural influences. These 3 views contribute to the reason women earn less than men in the labour market.
History
Over the years the gender wage gap has been a controversial topic as women have earned less than men. Due to gender stereotypes, the norm was for men to perform industrial tasks, while women stayed at home to clean, cook, and take care of the children. Although this was seen as ideal, women started to become more involved by getting higher levels of education and obtaining jobs similar to men. Unfortunately, as women had these qualifications, they were still making substantially less than men in the workplace. Studies show that “although women's participation in higher education and in the labor market has increased markedly in the industrialized countries, there are still striking gender differences in career success” (Evers & Sieverding, 2013). This is still evident in today’s labour force and the wage gap is still a topic of debate. A report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the “median weekly earnings for women who usually worked full time in 2012 was 82.8 percent of what their male counterparts earn” (Leith, 2014).
In the past, there was a understanding of the wage gap because of the difference in human capital investments. Some examples of human capital investments include, education, training, and work experience (Leith, 2014). These factors do not explain why the wage gap still exists in present day as women have made huge advances in human capital investments. This is demonstrated as “about half of all current law and medical students, for example, are women and among students enrolled in programs in the biological sciences, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine, women actually outnumber men” (Leith, 2014). Women have increased their human capital investment and have a large part of the labour market, which has increased their wages, ultimately decreasing the wage gap....

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