First things first, lets get one thing straight: the wage gap is a real thing. No matter how many people try to tell you otherwise, it exists, it’s thriving and it affects all women.
The wage gap is defined as the difference between male and female earnings. Report after report proves that women are consistently paid less than men are paid over their lifetime- 78% less, to be exact. What’s worse is that this pay gap has barely budged within a decade.
Women in every state experience the pay gap, but some states are worse than others. The best place in the country is Washington DC, where women are paid 91% of what men are paid; so, it’s still not perfect, but it’s a lot better than the worst location in the country: Louisiana. There, women are paid just 66% percent of what men are paid. How much the wage gap affects you also depends on your race. While white women make 78% of what white men earn, women of color earn even less (64%), with hispanic women coming in last with a measly 54%.
Simply because you are a woman, you earn less than your male counterparts. While it may not seem like that big of a deal on paper, think about how much more you have to work just to earn the same amount as men. Women work, on average, approximately 60 extra days to earn what a man earns in a year.
One argument brought up against the gender pay is that women make choices that affect their earnings. The Pew Research organization found that women were more likely to say they had taken career interruptions to care for their family, which in turn had an impact on long-term earnings. Approximately 39% of mothers have taken time off from work (with 42% reducing their work hours) to care for a child or other family member. 27% say they have had to quit work entirely to take care of these familial responsibilities. The problem here isn’t that women are choosing to take care of their families but rather the fact that they are being forced to choose between earning a fair, equal wage and honoring familial responsibilities.
It’s time for the wage gap to be closed, once and for all. We should be paid for the work we do, without that number being affected by our gender, our race, or our familial/marital status. We don’t want 78%- we want one. hundred. percent.