Queens! What if I told you that you were being robbed?! From the moment you start working, there is a strong chance that you’ve been underpaid for the work you’ve done. Not because you are underqualified. Not because you are unknowledgeable. Not because you are working fewer hours. No, ma’am, you are note receiving equal pay due to your gender. Ever heard of the Gender Wage Gap?
What is the Gender Wage Gap and how bad is it?
According to Robin Bleiweis for an article in Americanprogress.org, the gender wage gap is defined as the difference between what men and women earn in working wages (2020). In the year 2021, you would think that men and women doing the same job would be receiving the same pay. However, you’d be wrong. In fact, women only earn 82 cents to every $1 a man earns (Census Bureau 2018) for doing the same job, with the same educational level and experience. Now 18 cents may not seem like a big deal when compared to a single dollar but when the numbers get bigger, so does that difference. A quick calculation comparison of a man earning $60,000 a year would equal a woman earning only $$49,200 a year!
If that isn’t bad enough, the gap also varies amongst races between women. The 2018 Census Bureau also showcased a chart graph of the gender wage gap amongst women based on race. Caucasian women on average made 79 cents on the dollar, African American women made 62 cents, Latino/Hispanic women made 54 cents, Asian women made 90 cents and American Indian/Alaskan women made 57 cents.
To add insult to injury, women currently lead men in higher education achievement. To put it simply, women are more educated than men, making us more qualified, yet we are reduced to the sum of our anatomy and skin color when payday rolls around.
Disparity between the wage earnings of men and women continue to flourish despite the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The only thing this act seems to have done was ensure that minimum wage pay is equal across the board. While this is appreciated, there is room for improvement.
What is the impact of the Gender Wage Gap?
Because women are leading the charge in the pursuit of higher education, we have student loans that we’re unable to pay off promptly due to the pay differences. Additionally, since women currently earn less money over the entire course of their careers, we ultimately earn less in social security wages and pension! It is estimated that we only receive 70% of the total retirement pay that a man of any race would. So not only are we not receiving equal pay while we bust our humps, but our quality of life after we are too old to work could suffer as well. In the end, we could be left retired and in debt with very little social security income to finance our bare necessities.
Join the Fight for Women Everywhere
Hard work and dedication should be the only factor in how much a working human being is paid. Neither race nor gender should have anything to do with how much someone is paid if the content of the job is the same. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was supposed to ensure that no matter your anatomy, everyone doing the same job should be paid the same. This includes salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit-sharing, and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. In 2021 we should not still be fighting for this kind of equality. It’s downright shameful that we are still experiencing this type of bias as a nation, and I think that it’s time we get serious about a solution.
Equal pay is not an unreasonable ask, and frankly, I’m tired of asking. We are entitled to every single cent! It’s my money! It’s your money! We work hard for it and we should have it! Thousands of women are fed up and you should be too. As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So, let’s get together and rupture some eardrums for justice.
Tiffany Walker is an active duty member of the United States Air Force in the medical field. She joined right out of high school and has been serving for 13 years. A decorated service member, she has deployed to Afghanistan as a convoy medic and to Africa as an Independent Duty Medical Technician. Tiffany currently holds an A.S in Allied Science and is pursuing a degree B.S.N in nursing with an overall goal to be a Nurse Practitioner. At age 11, Tiffany was published in a collection of poetry books and is now an aspiring fictional novelist. As an African American woman, Tiffany leads diversity and inclusion briefings amongst other Air Force members and is an activist for equity awareness. In her free time, she volunteers as a crisis counselor when she isn’t chasing behind her two year old son as a single mother. Tiffany has a passion for writing, helping others and dreams of being an active part of the change she envisions.