Two workers, one male, one female, equally educated, enter a workplace to perform an identical job. One might assume that if they work approximately the same hours, they would accrue comparable vacation and personal time, sick time and overtime, and also take home practically identical pay. And yet, years of inequity in the workforce, including blatant salary discrepancies, continues to exist between the salaries of men and women. For every dollar a man makes, today’s woman makes approximately 77 cents. In the above example, the man may accept an annual salary of $30,000 while his female coworker’s annual salary totals only $23,100 for exactly the same job. Fair? I think not!
Early ‘40s marketing campaigns introduced the classic image of “Rosie the Riveter” as an “every woman,” empowering and encouraging ordinary housewives to enter the workforce to fill the manufacturing jobs that were vacated by men sent overseas in times of war. For many years, those women learned the skills required to work in all types of jobs including manufacturing, and kept American industry going when it could have been shut down altogether. They set the standard for women who wanted to work deserved to be able to work and they broke the mold of “a woman’s place is in the home.” But regardless of their performance, salaries were not equal.
There have been studies done, articles written, laws signed, protests walked, and more … and yet women continue to be paid less for equal jobs. There are lame excuses given during the hiring process and for some reason we continue to accept less pay than our male counterparts.
By Signe Lambertsen