Wages Equality

In America, half of the workforce is made up of women. They are also equal and in some instances main breadwinners of their families. Traditionally, men are supposed to take care of the family, but that has changed in our societies.  Women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners in the families. Issues such as single mothers have strained the income of women who are earning less in the first place.  With the burden of child rearing, these single mothers are forced to work part time thus earning less. In addition, in a typical American family, the man and the woman share responsibilities equally. Thus, women and men should be equally paid on jobs

Recent statistics have shown that the gender wage gap in increasing. Specifically, 40 percent of the women in the workforce are main breadwinners in their families. 37 percent of these women are those who are married and have a higher income than their husbands. However, the rest 67 percent are single mothers (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2016). The income gap between the two groups of breadwinners’ women is very high. The single mothers earn less income putting a strain on them and their children. Due to the responsibility of looking after the children, most of these women work part time increasing the chances of earning less than the men who have all the time to work.

In the year 2015, women who were working full-time made 79 cents for every dollar made by men. This translates to a gender wage gap of 21 percent. On average, women earn less than men in almost all occupation  (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2016). In this current century, men and women have equal responsibilities. Traditionally, men are supposed to take care of the family, but that have changed in our societies.  Women are increasing becoming the breadwinners in the families. Thus, women and men should have equally paid on jobs.

First, persistent inequality in earnings for women has translated to less income for their families and lower lifetime income for women.  This, in turn, increases the poverty levels in the United States. In every state in America, women experience lower earnings as compared to men. The effect on the economy due to this inequality is devastating. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if the wage inequality gap was bridged, poverty for working women would be reduced by half as well as add $482 to the economy (Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 2016). Equal pay would go a long way reducing poverty rates among the working women. In New Mexico for example, the poverty rate among the working women would reduce by 6.9 percent.  The extra payment on women would, in turn, be ejected to the economy by increased consumption, investment, and increased tax. This is a big boost to the economy.

According to the Center for American Progress, men in the United States work for long hours than in any other industrialized country. With lower income levels for the women, men are forced to work extra hard to be able to take care of the family. In most cases, men have no time to spend with their children as women do. This to some extent affects the children socially and psychologically. It also puts a strain on men. If the women had an opportunity to earn as much as the men, the strain on the men would be reduced.  The man, as well as the woman, would have equal time to spend with their children. The strain on the men is one of the major causes of single motherhood (Wang, Parker& Taylor, 2013). As discussed earlier single mothers earn considerably less than the married women. Equal pay for men and women would go a long way reducing the cases of single motherhood which is good for our societies. In addition, when both men and women are earning equally, it becomes easy to share the family responsibilities.

Equal paid on jobs for both women and men would also be beneficial to the companies.  When a company has a good reputation of paying well and equally for both men and women, it has access to the larger talent pool. Everybody would be willing to work for such a company. With this, the company had a wide range of talents to choose from. Highly qualified people will consider working for a company if they have the belief that the opportunity will help them to grow economically as they demonstrate their value regardless of their gender. When a company introduces a gender wage gap, it is limiting itself from acquiring talented people, especially women.  In addition, under the federal Equal Pay Act, companies are expected to pay equally for similar jobs functions (Reuters, 2015). When a company introduced a gender wage gap, it can be sued for discrimination. Thus to avoid legal consequences, it would only be advisable for a company to have equal wages for both men and women.

Equal paid on jobs for both genders would also go a long way in helping the shrinking American middle class. According to Evelyn Murphy the founder of the WAGE project, small wages for women costs an average woman working full time between $700000 to $2 million in her work life (Reuters, 2015). With a high number of women contributing to household income, lack of equal pay hurts the middle-class families. Typically, an ordinally America wife brings home a third of the total family income. When the woman is then earning less than the man, her income is strained to an extent that she is not financially secure. This forces most of the families to cling to the lower class. With equal pay, the family responsibilities are easier to handle.

Between 2008 and 2012, the number of poor Americans increased by 5 million. In addition, a third of the American women either live in poverty or are just about to get poor. This is mainly to the poor wages paid to women (Reuters, 2015). If women are fairly paid, the poverty rate would be cut by half. This would be a good step in solving poverty. In addition, the burden on the welfare program would be reduced. When women earn less, they slip into poverty after retirement because their social security payments and pensions are low given the years of lower pay.

It is significant for women and men should have equally paid on jobs. This is because such a move would increase the economic growth as well as reduce poverty levels. The increasing number of single mothers would have a better chance of taking care of their children. In addition, the shrinking American middle class would be saved. For the companies, equal pay for both men and women would help them acquire talented employees. The federal Equal Pay Act guarantees equal wages for similar work functions, but it is evident that the act is not strictly followed in America.



Institute for Women’s Policy Research. (2016, February). The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-economic-impact-of-equal-pay-by-state

Reuters, L. S. (2015, March 05). 4 ways equal pay for equal work benefits both women and men. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/money/4-ways-equal-pay-equal-work-benefits-both-women-and-men

Wang, W., Parker, K., & Taylor, P. (2013). Breadwinner moms.