Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Astronology: Pay Disparity Revisited

Two years ago, Astronology explored the ongoing issue of gender pay disparity.  Since that time, discussions of the issue have continued on both the national and local stages.  In an attempt to bring awareness to this issue, March 14, 2014 was Equal Pay Day. But the question still remains, has anything changed since the 2012 census information regarding pay equity?
The PEW Research Center released a report in late December 2013 noting that women earned 84 cents for every $1 made by men in 2012. Included in their research are hourly earnings. Pew Research explains, “We chose to use hourly earnings, estimated as usual weekly earnings divided by usual hours worked in a week, because it irons out differences in earnings due to differences in hours worked.”
The report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics used in the study accounts for full time workers only (those who work at least 35 hours per week). This can impact the view of weekly earnings as women are twice as likely as men to work part-time. Regardless, the gap still falls at 16-19%.  However, on a positive note, PEW indicates that the wage gap is less among employees in the Millennial generation.  Today’s younger women have more education and an increased presence in professionals that tend to pay more, than previous generations of women.

Other factors that PEW suggests may be part of the reason that the pay gap still exists focus on wage negotiations research. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) noticed in a natural field experiment that randomizes nearly 2,500 job seekers, “when there was no explicit statement that wages are negotiable, men are more likely to negotiate than women.” It is also suggested that women are willing to trade certain amenities, for instance, health insurance, for lower wages.
Fairly recently, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to pass once again. Those who oppose this federal bill state that the bill will increase civil lawsuits, and find it duplicative since gender discrimination is already illegal. Those who support the bill believe the Paycheck Fairness Act will secure equal pay or reinforce equal pay for all Americans. It would also update the 1963 Equal Pay Act, which has helped close, but hasn’t fully eliminated the pay gap due to limited reinforcement and “inadequate remedies.”

Astron wants to know your opinion. Do you think the Paycheck Fairness Act would help in closing the pay gap? Do you feel like there isn’t a need for this additional law? With the millennial generation experiencing less disparity in pay, perhaps fair pay will eventually happen on its own? Contact Astronology to share your opinion!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Stat Counter