Gender Pay Inequality in the Workforce


Choice 1:

You have been analyzing and researching different issues about race, ethnicity, gender, and culture. Unit 5 individual project will give you the opportunity to choose a topic that you feel needs to be addressed more in detail. In a 2-3 page essay, choose one social problem from the list below that you would like to research.

1. Inequality in US Education System
2. Gender Pay Inequality in the Workforce
3. Lack of representation of different ethnic groups, races, and women in the media
4. Hate Groups, Hate Crimes, and Racism in the U.S. today 

Include the following in your analysis:

An explanation as to why you chose this particular topic
How you think this topic is changing and the direction you believe it is moving toward.
What do you think are the causes and reasons of this social problem? 

Use the Internet and unit resources to complete this assignment, and be sure to reference all sources using APA style. Provide an introduction and conclusion for your essay.




Gender Pay Inequality in the Workforce

Women have come a long way in terms of fighting for gender equality since the 1800s when they first organized a women’s rights convention as a way of fighting for their rights. This convention opened up a platform that enabled them to pursue equality rights. While they succeeded in achieving some of them like the right to vote, they registered slow progress in others such as equal pay for equal work in the workplace. Gender pay inequality refers to the differences between the average weekly full-time pay between women and men. This gap present in gender pay is one that needs to be narrowed down and ultimately bridged completely. For this outcome to occur, there is a need to first investigate the causes and establish ways of addressing them.


I chose to address the issue of gender pay inequality in the workforce because despite the fact that progress has been made especially in terms of women’s rights since the 1800s, and throughout the 20th century, it is an issue that is still very persistent today. The progress on gender pay inequality is moving in the right direction but at an undoubtedly slow pace. The truth of the matter is that men still receive higher pay than women (Kee, 2006; Lips, 2003). I have since tried to find out all that I can regarding gender pay inequality and its causes.

There are very many reasons behind gender pay inequality in the workforce, one of which is the overrepresentation of women in lower paying occupations in what is referred to as occupational gender segregation. Women tend to go for the poorest-paying occupations. Research shows that 87.1% of the women work in the field of nursing and healthcare, 75.5 % in clerical and administrative positions and 65.9% in teaching while only about 6% of them work in transportation and construction sectors (Vincent, 2013).  Research on men, on the other hand, shows that only about a third of the male employees work in the fields of nursing, and healthcare, clerical and administrative positions and teaching (Vincent, 2013).

Another reason for gender pay inequality in the workforce is direct gender discrimination in the labor market. Direct gender discrimination in the labor markets refers to a situation in which people who have similar qualifications in terms of education and work experience among others are treated with gender bias. This can be in form of a man and a woman being paid differently for the same work or the same man and woman being given different job requirements for the same amount of pay (Parcheta, Kaiffi & Khanfar, 2013). The aforementioned situations often favor the men to the women. This leads to a situation that leaves women with a statistically insignificant bargaining power when it comes to the labor market as they are barely represented equally in all fields.

In conclusion, women are now more enlightened than they ever were. Hopefully, in the next few years, the 6% of women in male-dominated sectors such as transportation and construction will grow to a higher percentage. Such a development will help to bridge the gap significantly and ultimately eradicate it altogether. Similarly, employers must look for ways of according women the same treatment accorded to men in the workforce. Finally, the country must unite against the main causes of gender pay inequality in the workforce: direct gender discrimination and occupational gender segregation. Only then will the goals of gender equality as stipulated in the women’s rights convention of the 1800s be achieved.


Kee, H. J. (2006). Glass ceiling or sticky floor? Exploring the Australian gender pay gap. Economic Record, 82(259), 408-427.

Lips, H. M. (2003). The gender pay gap: Concrete indicator of women’s progress toward equality. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 3(1), 87-109.

Parcheta, N., Kaifi, B. A., & Khanfar, N. M. (2013). Gender inequality in the workforce: A human resource management quandary. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 4(3), 240.

Vincent, C. (2013). Why do women earn less than men? A synthesis of findings from Canadian Microdata. CRDCN Synthesis Series, 5, 1-2.

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