Do we need laws mandating equal pay for men and women? | The Tylt
On Equal Pay Day, women's rights organizations are calling attention to America's gender pay gap. White women make 83 cents for every dollar men make—while Black and Hispanic women make 66 cents and 60 cents on the dollar, respectively. Iceland made headlines when leaders rolled out a law requiring companies to pay men and women equally, and many say we need the same law in the U.S. Others argue the pay gap is a myth; women leave the workforce to have children, or pursue lower paying jobs. What do you think?
Do we need laws mandating equal pay for men and women?
A congressional report entitled "Gender Pay Inequality: Consequences for Women, Families and the Economy" notes the following:
A woman working full time, year-round earns $10,800 less per year than a man, based on median annual earnings. This disparity can add up to nearly a half million dollars over a career. Economists believe that the gender pay gap is caused by complex factors. However, even when all those factors are taken into account, as much as 40 percent of the pay gap may be attributed to discrimination.
However, others argue the pay gap is just the consequence of women's choices around careers and parenting—not the result of discrimination.
Proponents of the gender pay gap myth would have you believe that any difference in earnings between men and women is the result of gender pay discrimination. The reality is that men and women are different – they gravitate to different college majors, they have different levels of work experiences, they play different family roles, and they often work in very different types of jobs.
Other economic experts say the gender pay gap is not only real, it poses a real threat to the strength of the U.S. economy.
But many insist the gap is just a myth, and that men simply work longer hours in higher-paying jobs.