Why the Wage Gap? SARAH WHITTLE

Not one place in the whole world has women earning the same amount as men. Since the 1960’s, genders and races have been striving for equal wages. Over the past half century, the wage gap has has rocketed closer and closer to equal. However, over the past 15 years, there has only been a slight improvement.

So, why the wage gap? Some companies believe that work done by men is more valuable than the work done by women. However, the strive for equal wages is not just between men and women, but between races as well.


The wage gap is not only between men and women but between Hispanics, Blacks, Whites, and Asians. The group that earns the most per hour on average is Asian men. These Asian men with a bachelor's degree or more earn about 35 dollars per hour compared to white men who earn an average of 32 dollars per hour.


Who earns the least? Between Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, and whites and also between both men and women, Hispanic women earn the least. They earn on average 22 dollars per hour. Asian men on average earn 13 dollars more per hour. That difference is more than the minimum wage. In other words, the average working Hispanic women could pick up a second job at McDonald's and still not earn as much as Asian Men.

What Benefits Would No Wage Gap Have?

If there was no longer a wage gap, then there would be momentous benefits. Families that have a mom or a working woman would be able to bring home thousands of more dollars back to their homes.

“Each woman, including those that would gain nothing, would earn $6,251 more annually on average. This would reduce poverty by half for all families with a working woman as well as working women who live alone. There is no other strategy that could accomplish more for the economy other than achieving equal pay for women” (Careers in government).

Where is the wage gap most obvious?

It is already known that not a single place in the world has women on average earning the same as men. But, what places have the worst wage gap?

Places that have the closest wage gap are Singapore and Norway. Although these places have the closest wage gap, women in these places on avarage earn 80% of what men earn. In terms of the United Sates, Alaska earns the prize for the biggest wage gap.

It is now clear what locations and countries have the worst wage gap, but in what professions do people suffer from the wage gap? Occupations that have the worst wage gap are personal financial advisors, surgeons, and physicians. Female surgeons and physicians earn 62.24% of what male surgeons earn.


Jobs where the smallest wage gap can be found are jobs the require what some would call the least "smarts" jobs such as cleaning maids, bus drivers, and order filers. The only occupations where women on average can earn the same or close to the same as men are the jobs that require the least amount of skills

Jobs where the smallest wage gap can be found are jobs that some would say require the least amount of intelligence: jobs such as cleaning maids, bus drivers, and order filers. The only occupations where women, on average, can earn the same or close to the same as men are the jobs that require the "least amount of skills".

Why does the wage gap remain?

There is no better explanation for the wage gap than the assumption that some genders and races are smarter, stronger, and better than others. The human race has grown up thinking that some can't take the task of doing something more difficult such as being a surgeon or a physician.

So, the question still remains, what is the motivation for the wage gap? If reducing the wage gap would bring families out of poverty and greatly improve the economy, then why is there a wage gap to begin with?

works cited

"Racial, gender wage gaps persist in U.S. despite some progress." Pew Research Center, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/01/ racial-gender-wage-gaps-persist-in-u-s-despite-some-progress/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Baxter, Emily. "How the Gender Wage Gap Differs by Occupation." Center for American Progress, 14 Apr. 2015, www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/news/2015/04/14/110959/how-the-gender-wage-gap-differs-by-occupation/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Miller, Kevin. "The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2017)."AAUW, www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/. Accessed 5 Apr. 2017.

Thomson, Stephanie. "The simple reason for the gender pay gap: work done by women is still valued less." Work Economic Forum, www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/the-simple-reason-for-the-gender-pay-gap-work-done-by-women-is-still-valued-less/ . Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.

"The Equal Pay Act." InfoPlease, www.infoplease.com/spot/equalpayact1.html. Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.

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