Women deserve equal pay for equal work

By: Olivia Martin

You might have heard before that men have higher wages than women. Why is this? Do women just gravitate towards lower-paying jobs? Do more women work part time than men? Are women too busy taking care of their children?

Recently, there was some controversy over actress Jennifer Lawrence speaking out about the unfairness of the gender pay gap in her field. When Sony’s emails were hacked, it was revealed that Lawrence and her American Hustle co-star, Amy Adams, earned less than the male cast members. Lawrence explained in a piece for a newsletter called Lenny Letter how she feels that if she were to negotiate for her wage in the same way as men, she would be labeled a “spoiled brat.”

Lawrence said, “If anything, I’m sure [my male counterparts] were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”

Although Lawrence’s anecdote about having to negotiate for millions of dollars is not relatable for most, her experience of feeling like she is treated differently than men in regards to her salary is not.

In a paper written by Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn, professors of economics at Cornell University, they point out that “women continue to confront discrimination in the labor market.” Women are paid less simply for being women.

According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among full-time workers, women earn about 78 cents to a man’s dollar.

Women have come a long way since the time when the only careers they could have were nurse, teacher or secretary, but that doesn’t mean we should be satisfied with where we are today. There is still a lot of inequality between men and women, especially in the workplace.

Moreover, there is solid statistical evidence that proves men still get paid more than women for the same work. In the case of Lawrence, she did not gravitate toward a lower-paying job, work part time or have children to take care of, yet she was paid less than her male co-stars. The real reason why women are paid less is because we are seen as less capable and serious about our jobs, even when we are more capable and more serious.

Inequality still exists, so women should set out to debunk all stereotypes of females in the workplace, and maybe one day our society will see us as valuable enough to turn our 78 cents into a full dollar.

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