The wage gap is often a hot-button issue when discussing equal treatment in the workplace. How far does the wage gap go, and how can it affect your office?
Breaking Down The Wage Gap
The most popular wage gap narrative is that women make a fraction of every dollar a man makes. The issues and discrepancies with the wage gap go even further and are far more nuanced. The wage gap also exists across race, ability, age, and other personal identifiers. According to the Census Bureau, while comparing salaries across America in 2018, they found that the median average of women’s incomes was .82 cents for every dollar a white man earned. Looking further down the inconsistencies in pay, the gap is even more significant for women of color. Latina women make .54 cents, Black women make .62, and Indigenous women make .57 cents.
A substantial contributing factor to the wage gap is employers asking potential candidates for their previous salary information. This allows bias to follow women from job to job. According to The American Association of University Women, on average, a woman in her first job will earn 6.6% less than her male counterpart. It’s shown that women are more likely to take an unpaid caregiver position, like staying home to have and raise a child, than a man. This can leave a gap in their resume and can create animosity in their workplace, and without paid family leave, it’s harder for them to return to their position.
Even discussing the wage gap now, it’s not all-inclusive. We tend to fixate just on men versus women, but the issue is much more nuanced than that. We don’t have enough data to see how this wage gap can affect trans, disabled, immigrant, and other marginalized workers. It’s often ignored that many of these identities also intersect, creating different entry barriers for work and fostering different biases in the workplace. Another overlooked fact is that white men also tend to make more than their men of color counterparts.
Fighting The Wage Gap
Many big-name companies have found themselves in the hot seat of cases dealing with unequal pay in their offices. A few that have come to light in the past few years are; Disney, Nike, Twitter, Microsoft, Google, and Goldman Sachs. A Vox article, written in 2019, detailed some of these cases. One was brought forward by Allison Gamba, a former stock trader at Goldman Sachs. Gamba said she was not considered for a promotion, even though she currently held the record for flipping a profit on stock within the company. When she asked why she hadn’t been considered, her boss said he “would have been laughed out of the room” for suggesting she be the one promoted.
The Vox article details many other women who faced retaliation after trying to speak up for themselves in their place of work. They received no communication, no promotions, they lost compensation, had their co-workers turn their backs to them, and more just for advocating for equal pay and treatment in the office.
What Can You Do?
A great way to start working towards closing the wage gap is to be open and honest with your co-workers about wages and frustrations in the office. There is strength in numbers and solidarity. If you find you are receiving pushback from someone higher up in your company, we know how to help. Contact Kennard Law, P.C. at (855) 499-4514. With our vast knowledge of employment law and dedication to our clients, we will fight right by your side to get you the outcome you deserve.