For this weeks proposal I am going to focus on society’s views about the gender wage gap. This section will undoubtedly provide me with the most information as there are many organizations, scholars, and think tanks that look at this issue. One resource that I have found particularly valuable is the American Association of University Women (AAUW). They are a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ‘advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research.’ One resource they have provided is a document that looks at the simple truth of the gender pay gap. In this document they discuss how the gender pay gap affects different races in different ways, in what industries there is a pay gap, and the role that life decisions have on wages. One section I found particularly useful discussed action that individuals, employers, and the government could take in order to help eliminate the wage gap. This section gave me a few ideas for how to ultimately solve this issue.
Another organization of use is The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPS). It is the leading think tank on domestic women’s issues and they conduct vigorous research that addresses the needs of women and promotes public dialogue. Their research has helped to clarify many misconceptions about wage inequality and has been used craft new policies, create funding strategies, and to develop programs that encourage gender equality. Current research by them suggests that it will take another 50 years for women to finally reach pay parity. One remedy they suggest is to have more integration of women into jobs primarily held by men. Progress has been made in the past but their studies show that progress has slowed dramatically in the last decade. Lastly, they have worked on many consent decrees which are court approved settlements where the defendant does not admit guilt for sexual discrimination but agrees to to implement new practices that will prevent further discrimination. I feel that these two organizations are very reliable sources of information considering they pride themselves on their research and are very much so in the public eye.
However compelling these arguments may be, there are others in society who do not attribute the gender wage gap to sex discrimination. I have found a report written by Consad Research Group that was sent to the U.S. Department of Labor discounting the idea that the pay difference is due to gender discrimination. The research suggests that fundamental differences in the choices made and the behavior of men and women is the reason for the wage gap. Factors such as occupation, industry, work experience, and career interruptions are the main reasons cited. They also note wage compensation like health insurance and other fringe benefits more directly impact women and are more beneficial. I do agree that all of these factors do impact wages. However the wage gap already takes into account many of these ideas and adjusts the numbers for them yet there is still an unexplained difference. This difference is thus attributed to gender discrimination.
The last piece of research is something I do not agree with and will be arguing against. I am not sure how reliable the information. However since it was conducted and prepared by a legitimate company, I would assume they stand behind their work and prepared it with the most accuracy they could. The statistical research from the think tanks and nonprofits is definitely reliable. I currently plan on talking about the role of these organizations and their importance in helping to spread awareness and ultimately eliminating the gender wage gap. The final angle of my paper, the business side, will be crucial. I am very curious to see how businesses react to the claims of gender discrimination and whether or not they accept it as a problem or not.