The Gender Pay Gap Debate

April 10th is considered to be “Equal Pay” day all over the world. This day has been commemorated since the year 1996 to remind the world that women are allegedly being paid less than men to do the same amount of work. As per the data from Facebook COO’s non-profit organization, women only receive 80% of the pay that men would receive for the same job.

This issue is considered to be politically sensitive. The mere mention of this issue is enough to ensure raging debates. While some critics find the “gender pay gap” to be nothing more than a feminist hallucination, others believe that the discrimination is rampant. In this article, we will have a closer look at some of the points that are raised during the gender pay gap debate.

Valid Arguments against the Gender Pay Gap Debate

Opponents commonly use the following arguments in order to expose the logical flaws in the reasoning used by the proponents of gender pay gap.

  • Why Aren’t Greedy Employers Hiring More Women?
  • The proponents of gender pay gap often accuse companies of being greedy and unethical. This means that these companies only act in their best interest regardless of the societal costs of their actions. These corporations are often accused of being so greedy that they do not care about how they damage the environment. Also, it seems like these corporations are not concerned about the tax laws, labor laws, the effect on society or anything apart from money.

    If this logic was correct and hiring women were indeed 20% less expensive than hiring men, no company would hire any man unless they had finished hiring all the women! It is a known fact that companies are competing to lower their costs. Many companies have resorted to moving their production to other countries in order to ensure that their expenses stay within their control. Why would these greedy companies hire even a single man when hiring women will allow them to lower their costs? The fact that multinational companies are recruiting men and women in equal numbers is often cited as proof of the fact that the gender pay gap does not really exist.

  • The Lack Of Lawsuits
  • America has very stringent laws to ensure that there is no discrimination in the workplace. If there is proof of the slightest amount of discrimination, big companies face mega lawsuits. If gender discrimination is actually as rampant as it is claimed to be, it will open the floodgates for lawsuits. The courts would be flooded with lawsuits alleging gender discrimination every single day. However, in reality, since these lawsuits are not so rampant, many critics tend to assume that maybe the gender discrimination does not exist at all.

    Invalid Arguments Made Against The Gender Pay Gap:

    The above mentioned arguments are logical. However, a lot of arguments made against the gender pay gap are baseless. Some of the arguments are as follows:

  • Women Just Earn For Pocket Money
  • Many critics are of the opinion that women do not have to bear the expense of running a family. In most cases, the man is the primary breadwinner of the house. Women, on the other hand, tend to earn money so that they can indulge in a few more luxuries. These critics therefore allege that since women only work for pocket money, they are willing to work at lower wages. However, this argument is completely invalid and outdated. It may have been true a few decades earlier. However, nowadays, most women make more than 40% contribution to the household income. This means that they aren’t really working for pocket money but instead are assuming the role of a breadwinner.

  • Women Want Flexible Working Hours
  • Another illogical argument often made is that women trade flexibility for a lower pay. This is because they want to be able to fulfill their family responsibilities even if it means not progressing in one’s career. Once again this idea seems to be outdated. The fact of the matter is that both men and women want flexible working hours. Also, apart from few client facing roles, employers are willing to give this benefit to their employees. However, men who have flexible work schedules do not get paid lesser than their counterparts. Why is it that the premium for flexibility always needs to be paid only by the women?

The fact of the matter is that equal pay day is a political subject. There are many arguments as to why women are allegedly paid less than men for the same job. Some believe that such a pay gap does not exist at all. On the other hand, others feel that this pay gap is justified. Arguments about the existence and extent of this pay gap are political in nature with minimal backing in the form of empirical evidence.

To sum it up, there is still considerable ambiguity when it comes to gender pay gap. However, since women have started getting bigger and better roles in mega-corporations, the situation is indeed improving.

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