sociology

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The Pay Gap Between Men and Women

As all over the world people are more concerned on new concepts, researches, evidences and theories, it is evident that significant development has been achieved in escalating the cause of gender equality of the labor market over recent years. Since the increasing level of globalization and law, human rights and due to other social trends women are moving rapidly into new occupations, professions and some managerial positions previously occupied by men by tradition. Some believes that access to higher education and training, furthers to improve, give opportunity to women, to decorate with the much sought qualifications to lead senior management jobs. Due to government organizations, trade unions & feminists’ organizations put a large extent of thought and energy to eradicate the attitudinal and institutional discrimination against women, some sort of trend which is favored to reduce the pay gap or increase the wage rate for women is motivated. Due to traditional thoughts, norms and concepts, women are made them away from particular jobs and make barrier to women’s career development, obstructer to reaching higher rank jobs. According to the many researchers especially International Labor Organization research disclosed that discrimination is highest at where the most power is exercised. With this background many researchers claim that women annual pay is lesser than that of men for the same position which is called the wage gap discrimination (Jun et al, 1991).

Reasons for pay gap difference

Different views are for and against the quote ‘The pay gap between men and women is closing at its fastest rate …’ under many backgrounds. But in different context, different regions of the world, different race and different religions this quote is in questioned. So the major concern is not the “Reduction of pay gap’’ but the “what are the reasons for pay gap”. Many reasons have been identified. According to the researchers, they state that although women have the necessary qualifications and related experience to take highest level responsibilities, the challenge is the slow rapidity in achieving top jobs with power hence the pay is less (Morris, 1998).

Especially under the insecurities in world economy, in efforts to settle work and family commitments, are the terrifying challenge women and men are to be faced. The ultimate result is persistent job separation such as men's jobs and women's jobs. But it is not just and efficient. Although many countries claim that they are with well-built track record for promoting gender equality, still they have high degrees of occupational separation. This leads to say that men do “much tough jobs”, "more skilled", and “responsible” than women are doing. This reason again causes to escalate pay gap between men and women. Sometimes inequality in access to particular jobs leads to pay gaps for men and women (Katz and Murphy, 1992). In addition, rates of pay for both might be similar; the real earnings differ due to various salary packages offered, which provide various fringe benefits and access to certain schemes for boosting bonuses.

Some authors state because women are hired into all of the lower paying jobs, leaving no room for men in these careers, men have an unfair advantage. Others claim that this is due to their own poor choices of jobs, and if they choose better jobs, will close the pay gap. The next point is that the average full time male works more than the average full time female cannot be substantiated. Even if it could be, more time at work has nothing to do with performance, effectiveness or contribution of deliverables (Blau and Kahn, 1993)

Some declares that there are some careers where women are paid more, and this is unfair to men. Examples are given as technical sales, modeling. Although with lower basic pay still women can bridge the gap by commissions. But the statistics expose that the pay gap takes place after women have children. For example single, childless men and childless women earn about the same amount. The statistics shows that there is a correlation to increase the pay for men and decrease the pay for women, each child that they have (Arrow, 1973).

Next point is that the average full time males are working more than the average full time females are unable to be bear out. Even if it can be, more time at work is nothing considering the performance, effectiveness and contribution of output. With the developments of job evaluation methodologies, they have demonstrated that some jobs occupied by women actually need levels of skills, responsibilities and complexity that are similar to the higher paid jobs held by men. So here if they cannot bear them, it is unfair to employers to pay at similar rate. The other claims that there are some careers where pay for women higher than men. This is unfair to men. Examples are technical sales, modeling. Again studies states that on average women, work longer hours than men in most of every country and women continue to perform most unpaid work in this case women are discriminated.

Gender differences in different qualifications have analyzed by using the human capital model (Mincer and Polachek, 1974). Under the traditional division of labor done on the base of gender in the family, accumulation of labor market experience in women is less than men. Furthermore, as women wait for shorter and discontinuous work lives, their motivation to put in market-oriented education and on-the-job training, and also their resulting smaller human capital investments is less, will lower the earnings compare to that of men. However, collectively these reasons may fuel the pay gap between men and women with the help of some other reasons.

Whether legal aspects complied by human resource managers causes to reduce the pay gap

Human resource managers have the accountability of recommend the equal pay for both men and women in accordance with the labor laws and escalating concern on human rights. Although his task is to enforce the laws and regulations, still sometimes he has to obey with the company specific, country specific or religion specific norms, customs and other terms. In that case he is unable to practice them and would lead to pay difference between men and women.

With the idea of pay gap between men and women is narrowing down, it is difficult to conclude that the major reason for that is the legal enforcement complied by human resources managers. Because although the 156 countries are ratifying the Equal Remuneration Convention of International Labor Organization in 1951, still there is pay gap continue in most of the countries which means the pay gap between men and women cannot be bridged solely by legal enforcement (Lawrence, 1996). So up to certain extent it might be helpful to reduce the pay gap between women and men but there might be other reasons like social and environmental reasons.

What so ever now it is widely believed that, women and men have equal rights in terms of almost all human rights under that, it is highlighted that women have rights to receive equal pay for the job done by which should be equally to job done by men. This right is coming under labor law and other labor regulations which highlight the equal pay and other equal opportunities to the women. But in practice, in South Asian and some African countries where still men dominated society is exist, labor law is not widely practiced in proper way and still men are dominated and given them the priority and fringe benefits while under value the job done by women.

Whether is it a reflection of a long-term social trend?

With the rapid globalization of the world powered by the new technology aroused after the world war, people are more concern about the information where both men and women are supposed to be informed on current situation up-to-date. With this background people try to explore the knowledge with available technology despite their gender especially in western countries. But with the time, it gradually penetrates the other part of the world with new information technology as a social trend. So women are considered major part of knowledge hence they have position of knowledge economy. Since the process of turning to educated society, the human rights developed and wider spread among the countries (Francine and Ferber, 1987). As people understand the power of women and education as a tool of development, they eager to be educated and open the doors of education to the any one.

So then women enrolment for education is increased at alarming rail and it was recognized that education as a powerful tool in boosting the status of women. Now evident that enrolment of women for post secondary level (third level) is reaching that of men’s. Now forty seven per cent shares are going to women worldwide. More women than men are enrolled at this level in the Americas, Europe and Oceania. As women education level goes up rapidly and their contribution in development goes up the pay for them is increased with the effect of some other reasons too (Francine and Loeb, 1997).

Discussion

As conclusion it is difficult to say on the base of evidence that pay gap between men and women narrow down with the cause of legal matters or due to a social trend. Even it is very difficult to conclude that the gap is decreased when consider about the income of both gender in South Asian part of the world.

According to the available statistics, information and data, it is said that some part of the world, the pay gap between men and women has decreased significantly over time. But on the other hand some evidence available to prove that pay gap has increased over time due to many reasons. With the increasing knowledge on equal human rights for both men and women and increasing capabilities of women demanding same amount of wage income for their work. However some employers do not will to pay them equally on the base of their low working efficiency and low working power, which is evident in non-executive jobs especially in field works.

This issue is needed to be addressed properly in order to reduce the pay gap between men and women as addressing the continuing inequality in pay for women and men is important in consideration of many other related issues. So here, we can recommend that it is needed to increase the minimum wage and it should be legally enforced, develop enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws, assist women succeed in higher-paying, traditionally considered male job (such as engineer, mason), and generate more flexible, family friendly workplace polices to women.


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