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Equal Pay for All Women: A Need for Change

Introduction

History analysis indicates that women have been victims of low payment in workplaces compared to their male counterparts regardless of whether they do equivalent work. Most companies continue practicing this outdated act on the basis that employed women will at some point fail to report to work due to innumerable reasons. According to, by 2013, the gender pay gap was at 19.1% that was a rise from 18.6% in the previous year in the United Kingdom. This difference is due to motherhood penalties’ and gender-related glitches. It is believed that women may sometimes attend to family matters especially in cases of a sickness of a family member or take maternity leaves. The difference in pay sadly continues to impact negatively on women lives. However, this discrimination on the basis of gender should entirely be eradicated. The generalization of women finding themselves in family matters is not always the case. Some women work throughout for years without any special breaks. Those who fail to report to work do so because from time to time, nature forces them to do so. These situations are not self-induced neither are they inevitable. Others are paid poorly because of the social norms that consider women as inferior compared to men. There are also stereotypes that associate women with cleaning and cooking jobs. However, these jobs have the lowest pay and nobody wants to be associated with them. Women work hard to fend for their families. Nevertheless, organizations and managers have continually frustrated their efforts by paying them peanuts.There is a need to tackle the gender pay gap by adopting concerted actions on several fronts. A time has come whereby women doing an equal job with men are entitled to equal pay and other contractual terms. Not only should there be a change in pay issues but also in other issues like pension, holiday entitlement, promotions and job rewards. This essay focuses on inequalities in pay amongst women. It also discusses a number of reasons why the situation is so. Finally, it discusses the need for change in women payment and the impacts of this transformation.

Causes of Unequal Pay Amongst Women

Inequality in pay among women is a universal problem that has remained stubborn from time immemorial. Culturally, women are supposed to stay at home, carry out house chores and take care of their families. However, the modern woman has done contrary to this belief by moving out of these conform zones to search her own income. Gender inequality generally has been dealt with in the 21st century. In the past, the girl-child had no right to be educated nor own property. Women have been in fierce battles in order to acquire rights that are equal to those that govern men. These struggles have succeeded and women are almost quenching their thirst. Nonetheless, inequalities in payment of salary have remained unchanged in the midst of all these struggles. . Number one cause of this situation is the childcare responsibility that may be termed as “motherhood penalty”. Mostly, women who get children while working are forced to step down and attend to the new responsibilities. Others go to an extent of voluntarily resigning and probably acquiring part-time jobs. As a result, they become victims to less pay and slim chances of career progression. Moreover, the chances of obtaining senior positions are also minimized as there will be a demand for more time and dedication to the work. Also, women returning from work have small opportunity for promotion.

Secondly, it’s the existence of occupational segregation. There is still the prevalence of gender stereotypes in that tend to define men and women roles in workplaces. There are traditional believes that women should work in undervalued catering and cleaning departments. The case is favorable to men who are found to work in respected careers in engineering, construction, and medicine. This gender imbalance in career fields has contributed to women being in low paying industries. Thirdly is when women are underrepresented in senior roles. Women have been vastly underrepresented in managerial and senior positions.

According to Fawcett, in the UK, only 25% of women are senior officials and Chief Executives whereas, 60% of top earners are men. The research absolutely confirms the inequality in pay that needs to be dealt with. Lastly is the outright discrimination. This discrimination can either be direct or indirect. Direct discrimination is whereby people perform the same type of work but are paid differently. On the other hand, indirect discrimination occurs when jobs of ‘equivalent value’ receive different payments. However, any form of discrimination is illegal and should out rightly be redressed via legal arrangements.

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Ways of Dealing with Inequality in Pay

All is not lost in the fight for equal pay for all women. There are several measures that could be taken to curb this delinquent. Firstly, implementation of family friendly and flexible working practices. Laws regarding favorable working conditions can allow parents to request arrangements of better working practices from employers. The government can also introduce child care systems to accommodate children at two to five years old for free. This child care systems are made in such a way that the children get the attention they would receive while at home. This practice will help increase the number of women recruited and retention at the workplace. Consequently, this may improve productivity and performance. Secondly, an existence of transparency places of work. Enhancing equality in pay audits could be vital in solving this problem. Opening up organizations and institutions for examination can help in improving discussions while addressing substantial matters. Enhancing transparency in pay matters could help authorities and the government to abolish harassment and discrimination among workers. Thirdly, institutions can introduce training forums for women. Training women is essential in enhancing their performance and development in the workplace. Good performance automatically attracts huge wages and this would increase workforce attachment amongst women. Another measure is to tackle stereotype and discrimination.

Governments in all nations can come up with laws that protect employees from discrimination and prejudice in workplaces. The implementation of such laws will make it easy for women and other people facing discrimination to report those acts and necessary action taken. The existence of these rules will make employers and managers shy away from engaging in the malpractice. Also, representation of women in senior and managerial positions may help curtail the problem of inequality. Acquiring these positions will need high levels of academic achievement among women. Societies that recognize women who have achieved in scientific, technology and engineering courses could also be formed. These societies will in return motivate women to become ambitious and put more effort towards achieving better in academics. Formation of trade unions and exercising collective bargaining is an excellent way of fighting disproportion in payment. Institutions and industries that have these unions tend to have fair programs in payment. Trade unions are formed to protect employee’s rights and to improve their working standards. Ensuring appropriate payment for both male and female workers is the function of trade unions that they must accomplish. Finally, pay systems also should be given adequate attention. Starting salaries, adjusting an employee’s pay depending on his/her performance or market supplements are essential factors as far as equal pay is concerned.

Impacts of Increasing Women’s Pay

It improves selection and recruitment process. Low pay among women would result in high turn-over rates in companies. Virtuous working conditions, conducive environment, and a good salary are factors that highly contribute to retention of employees in organizations. An organization that pays peanuts is likely to lose customers now and then. High turnover translates to wastage of a company’s resources as much will be wasted to train new employees. Moreover, a company would tarnish its image if it retains a continuous history of high-turnover. However, equal payment of all employees would save the organization all the problems stated above. Furthermore, women will ensure effectiveness in performance due to satisfaction. This condition will eventually lead to high productivity overall.

Secondly, there will be an enhanced work environment. Women will start feeling safe knowing that they are treated equally with their male counterparts. There is a likelihood of hatred existing organizations that divide workers on the basis of their gender. Male workers could underestimate the women because of their little pay. This act leads to disrespect among workers. When this occurs, the environment becomes conducive and very unfriendly to work in. As a result, there will be poor performance and low productivity. However, ensuring equal pay for all workers in similar positions will yield mutual respect and employees can favorably work in harmony.

Equality in pay can reduce legal penalty and costs. Companies that always have cases of gender inequality spend their resources attending to misconducts. Some managerial departments have not embraced change and still do not believe in equal pay for all workers who do similar work. These cases are dangerous as they consume time that would otherwise be used to do productive work. Some companies may even end up closing down in cases of extreme discrimination. To avoid this, companies should ensure that women and men receive equal pay for similar work done.

Impacts of Equal Pay for Women in Their Families

A high pay for woman reduces the chances of her being a subject to violence. Women, especially those who are housewives or those who earn peanuts sometimes become are abused either physically or emotionally by their spouses. On the other hand, employed women can leave their marriages in case there is danger of being abused. Highly paid women can support themselves in the absence of their husbands. For this matter, men who have learned and highly earning wives ensure respect even in cases of disagreements. Moreover, it has been observed that families with high levels of poverty are likely to divorce compared to those that are financially stable. Equality could be the solution to domestic difficulties hence few cases of violence. Societies that are peaceful tend to experience spontaneous growth leading to high living standards.

There is a need for change in inequality of pay among women as this will eradicate child poverty. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to eliminate child poverty if the mother is in it. It is vital for mothers to return to decent jobs after maternity. Women who have good jobs can bring up their families comfortably and provide them with a quality education. Therefore, to keep children away from poverty, the parents especially their mothers must earn quality wages. Good pay also boosts one’s self-confidence. The self-confidence plays a vital role in molding their well-being. Some of them start participating in national activities like politics. Most people who venture into politics usually are stable financially to help them in campaigns and other projects. However, if women continue getting little pay, then there will be small numbers of women involved in political matters. This state as a result slowly kills potential leaders who would otherwise help the world move to the fore.

Conclusion

Breaching the gap that exists in women pay may not come easily. However, states should be dedicated to cross the gap. It is quite unfair to learn that women who go for maternity leaves receive the little pay due to this natural condition. Some companies go to an extent of firing these women as they are viewed unproductive than their men counterparts. However, the world must know that women can strike a balance between their families and their jobs. Managers should be informed that some women perform better and achieve of than men in workplaces. People should be encouraged to break the gender stereotypes that still exist in the society. It is unmistakably clear that most women have become ambitious and are ready to beat all odds in achieving their dreams. However, some areas of inequality ought to be seriously reflected. Everyone is equally important and thus women should not be regarded as inferior. Differences in wages should only be determined by academic levels, skills and other reasonable factors other than gender. Women are encouraged to be aware of the rights that protect them. The knowledge could help them identify inequalities and discrimination and reporting such acts to the right authorities. Embracing equal rights in matters of payment will set an essential foundation for the future generations. The universe may get better if the transformation is executed. Finally, a second thought should be given to the famous saying, ‘what a man can do, a woman can do it better’.

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