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The development of the society has largely predetermined the fact that there is practically no gender inequality today. Nevertheless, a certain gap between women and men can be observed in working areas, in particular, in the remuneration of labor and obtaining responsible posts. Based on current social norms, it is not often possible to meet women who occupy leading positions and have significantly higher salaries than men. Therefore, the issue of such a gap is quite acute, and its solution will certainly help to settle some public disagreements.
Evidence of the Gap Existence
Since some professions require a rather high return, many women cannot afford to give themselves completely to work as sometimes some professions “require a kind of dedication and commitment 24/7” (Harvard Business Review 00:01:32-00:01:38). Moreover, there are some psychological factors, for example, women’s fear of great responsibility, as a result of which few of them are ready to decide on top posts with the need to control subordinates (Blau and Kahn 789). Therefore, such reasons can indicate that the gap exists, and its rationale is laid down in psychology.
Also, one of the issues is the slow growth of wages, when it is about women. According to the video “Women, Ambition and (Still) the Pay Gap,” it is impossible to say unambiguously that men deserve substantially higher salaries than women, and it is the “issue of dedication and time at work” (00:03:40-00:03:43). Career growth, as it is known, requires constant diligence from the employee. As Azmat and Petrongolo remark, women are considered to be traditionally responsible for maintaining order in the house, and this nuance hardly refers to the issue of discrimination but can be regarded as one of the reasons for the gap (33). Therefore, the facts described above make it possible to assert that the gap is not always the issue of contradiction and can be a deliberate women’s choice.
Practical Ways to Narrow the Gap
In order to narrow the gap, several methods can be used. For example, as Card et al. note, it is possible to attract women to responsible posts and encourage their successes with the help of premiums (633). It will allow correcting the situation with insufficient payment for work and stimulating women to achieve high goals. A similar method is also proposed by Joshi et al.; the authors consider the possibility of empowering women in those areas that are traditionally thought to be popular among men to equalize the opportunities of both genders (1517). It can give women a chance to receive top posts without the risk of being discriminated because of gender.
Perhaps, one of the most efficient ways to solve the issue is not only to search for potential obstacles but also to try to correct them. Thus, Mihaila claims that success in the labor market depends not on sex but on the desire to work (148). If women see clear goals and understand the value of their activities, they will certainly want to contribute to the development of a particular sphere. Accordingly, the clearer the task is, the more likely that it will be successfully implemented.
Thus, the problem of the pay gap is rather acute, and its solution can help equalize the chances of both sexes in the labor market. Some evidence of the relevance of the issue can be justified from different points of view. Certain practical ways can be used to solve the problem of such a gap.
Azmat, Ghazala, and Barbara Petrongolo. “Gender and the Labor Market: What Have we Learned from Field and Lab Experiments?” Labour Economics, vol. 30, no. 1, 2014, pp. 32-40.
Blau, Francine D., and Lawrence M. Kahn. “The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations.” Journal of Economic Literature, vol. 55, no. 3, 2017, pp. 789-865.
Card, David, et al. “Bargaining, Sorting, and the Gender Wage Gap: Quantifying the Impact of Firms on the Relative Pay of Women.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics, vol. 131, no. 2, 2015, pp. 633-686.
Joshi, Aparna, et al. “When Can Women Close the Gap? A Meta-Analytic Test of Sex Differences in Performance and Rewards.” Academy of Management Journal, vol. 58, no. 5, 2015, pp. 1516-1545.
Mihaila, Ramona. “Is the Decrease in the Gender Wage Gap the Principal Driver of the Sustained Rise in Female Labor Market Participation?” Journal of Research in Gender Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, 2016, pp. 146-172.
“Women, Ambition and (Still) the Pay Gap.” YouTube, uploaded by Harvard Business. Web.