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Why are women paid less than men at work?

There has been some interesting and current developments around the gender wage gap, especially with the recent controversial ITV 4 interview between Cathy Newman And Jordan Peterson. And it’s time for us all to stand back and try to fairly critique some of the latest facts and factoids surrounding the gender wage gaps. This articles aims for a balance of views. So in order to analyse some of the claims of the gender wage gap from both sides here is a list of five points that sum up different ideas of whether there really is a global gender gap wage disparity:

1) Agreeableness in the workplace

Some studies have been able to pinpoint that difference in the wage gap may be due to how open and agreeable certain people are. This higher agreeability personality traits namely affect women in the workplace though. This means that women are as a result less likely to ask for pay rises or for more ambitious projects that entail a higher pay rate. It could be said that bosses need to allocate ambitious work equally among all colleagues but at the same time a business also needs to be readily competitive and disagreeability is a more favourable character trait for such as area. However, broadening the work allocation of bigger projects could pay off in the long run, as it would help spread out the workload, and it would also be a fairer work environment if bosses started giving women equal opportunities at work without women needing to ask for it.

2) Hours worked per week

While men on average do put in more overtime and work on a more full time basis than women, it is important to note that women aren’t just doing nothing. In fact half of women put in more than 13 hours a week doing housework which is like taking on another part time job, so this shows that there are certain cultural expectations in place for women to overcome. However, if men are putting in more effort at work while women put in more work at home and the bills are split fairly on a pro rata between the husband’s and wife’s different income rates then does it really matter who earns what, as long as men and women still work together as a team to keep the household running? Or maybe men and women should do three quarters of a full time job and split the housework evenly, if it’s even possible to do ¾ full time that is...

3) The UK and the US are not in the top 10 countries for the best levels of equality

Whilst the Scandinavian nations unsurprisingly ranked as some of the best countries for wage equality, the UK and the US are not ranked alongside it in the top ten most equal wages for men and women. In fact, Rwanda ranked above the UK and the US, so in the west two of the key countries that are supposed to be regarded highly for their equal opportunities and egalitarianism are actually not as far up the list as one might imagine.

4) Occupational Variation

There seems to be a big debate around whether or not women “choose” to go into lower paid jobs or whether they are subjected to different cultural pressures that coerce women into particular professions. Maybe society inherently views the types of jobs women go into as less valuable although it could also be due to certain risk factors that are often missed out of wage assessments as shown below.

5) Health risks at work

Thus, on the other hand, we should also keep in mind the fact that a lot of working class men do more of the dangerous jobs that pose a risk to their lives. As in the US 93% of work related deaths are male. So while paying women less for the same job is always wrong, there could also be valid reasons like occupational hazard as stated here where men literally put their lives more on the line for their jobs more than women on average. So it’s only fair that the people who do the dangerous jobs are paid more for the higher risk of stress, injuries, and in some cases death.

As shown in this article, there are many different factors for the wage gap discord some reasonable and some unreasonable. But instead of just pointing out the existence or absence of the wage gap, here the underlying factors were examined from both sides of the argument. So, do you think the analysis here was fair? Comment your answers below and feel free to comment any other factors for the wage disparity in the comment section below...

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