The disparity that lies between the average earnings of men and women is what constitutes the gender wage gap (Correll 1304). This difference is always expressed in median or mean wages or in terms women’s earning’s to men’s or even as the percentage of women’s earnings over that of men. It has been observed that women are more likely to work part-time than men, and that such part-time works generally pay lower wages (Hirsch and David 6). This therefore makes the gender wage gap for the full-time workers, which is generally used for this assessment, to contrast that which is calculated for all the workers. There also exist a variance in the pay gap based on weekly wages, and the gap based on hourly wages.
Records have it that in the 20th century American women earned nearly 60 cents to that of a man’s dollar (Mandel 960). This gap, however, began to narrow in the wake of 1980s, and has since maintained this trend, although at a very slow rate from the 1990s. This deceleration in convergence brings forth a tussle for the social scientists who are struggling to come to terms with what is actually not working out well for the women. The women have been unremittingly improving on their human capital, striving to move it towards the educational standards of the men within the workforce; nevertheless their wages have not been showing a positive growth towards that of men in the recent years (Myeong-Su 118).
Women should shade off the old ideology that that some fields like engineering, medicine, business and other well-paying professions are left exclusively for men, and that they can only perfect themselves on the social fields which in real sense lead to low waged professions. When they succeed in doing this then the gap can be narrowed or totally eliminated. Such concept was proposed by Erin Cech (Erin 25).
Cultural beliefs within professions, according to Erin Cech, the Rice Assistant Professor, may appear benevolent and a bit salience on the outer side of a profession's borders, but may well play a significant role in the wage inequality (Erin 25). Cech made use of survey data from the National Science Foundation to analyze the engineering profession. She demonstrated that the patterns of gender discrimination and the biased wage for women break regularly along the lines identified by what he referred to as the engineering's technical/social symmetry, which is a conceptual divide between the technical and the social engineering minor fields and the work activities (Erin 28). This study spelt out the need to understand the contribution of the professional cultures to inequality in the professions. They serve as the criterion for drawing conclusions on the professional competency, brilliance and fitness, yet such cultures are basically overlooked in the current inequality studies(Cecilia and Correll 207)..
Cech realized that the wage gap in engineering was largest in a specific field where work was viewed as most technical (Erin 36). She claimed that the general perspectives that men are inclined more to the technical oriented professions and women to the social oriented professions get drawn on this dualism and have wage consequences. Women engineers are poorly paid not because they engage in the social activities, for instance management, but because of their technical work (Erin 37).
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