Evaluating The Gender Pay Gap Sociology Essay

A figure of important reappraisals and studies have revealed that adult females in both full clip and portion clip work earn less than work forces.

Critically reexamine the grounds for the being of the gender wage spread and measure the steps that administrations should and could take to extinguish it.

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During the Second World War, people attended to a disclosure of the adult females ‘s state of affairs. Indeed, adult females had the duty to make work forces ‘s work and that created for them an chance to claim their value in the work topographic point. ( Hakim, 1996 ) .

It is merely in 19 70 that was created the first equal wage statute law. When it was created, the spread between work forces and adult females was at 30per cent. But thirty old ages subsequently, “ the wage spread between work forces and adult females remained at 22.6 per cent “ . ( Revue 2009 ) Actually, harmonizing to the authorities ( 2009 ) “ misss and immature adult females now out-perform male childs and immature work forces at school and in higher instruction and are come ining the occupation market with better accomplishments and makings than of all time before ” . So why we still see an of import disagreement in wage between the sexes? Throughout the past decennaries, there has been much advancement on gender equality but unfairness persists… How can the society win in acquiring equal wage between work forces and adult females? And is this possible?

Therefore, foremost, this essay will analyze the state of affairs of adult females in workplace today, secondly the many grounds that serve as justification and to reason, it will analyze what the authorities and other organisations have settled to contend this inequality and how they try to happen new solutions.

First, we will analyze the state of affairs of adult females and the jurisprudence now yearss in the UK.

Foremost, it ‘s of import to specify what type of favoritism it is. Harmonizing to Daniels and Macdonald “ favoritism is the favouring of one of these groups over another for no justifiable ground ” . ( 2005:2 ) Discrimination is based on the biass of a group on another. In this instance, the biass of work forces on adult females in the work topographic point. A bias is constituted of three facets: cognitive ( like stereotypes ) , affect and behavioral. We can indicate out that most of the clip it is non an single action to prejudice another group, it is more a group motion. Then, the gender wage spread is a job nowadays in the bulk of European states. Harmonizing to an OECD study on 13 European states, when we eliminate the effects degree of instruction, senior status, possible experience and other discernible features, the gross hourly pay of work forces is on mean 15 % higher than adult females. As we can see in the appendix on Figure 1, work forces have largely higher wage than adult females, except for 10 to twenty hours per hebdomad where adult females earn somewhat more. ( Office for National Statistics Economic & A ; Labour Market Review. Vol 2, No 4, p22. ) Diana Wallis, who is a Member of The European Parliament ( re-elected in 2009 ) said that she thinks “ it would take 200 old ages to make para an the current rate of the advancement ” in the Uk Parliament. In malice of adult females represent 50 % of the universe population, they earn merely 10 % of the universe ‘s income.

The EPA, Equal Pay Act, created in 1970, requires “ the equal intervention of work forces and adult females in the same employment. The act was passed with the purpose of conveying about equality in regard of wage and other footings and conditions within a individual ‘s bing contract of employment. ” ( R. W.PAINTER, A. HOLMES AND S. MIGDAL, 1995:142 ) Harmonizing to the Equal Pay Act, some factors like experience, makings, public presentation, market forces and many others can explicate the wage spread between a adult male and a adult female. We call that the Genuine Material Factor Defence. We can call besides the Sex Discrimination Act in 1986 and the Equality Act 2006 which have implemented other Torahs. Another of import study is the Equal wage undertaking in 2001, established by the EOC, which have tried to extinguish gender wage spread and to understand the grounds.

The Office for National Statistics defines the gender wage spread like “ the difference between the hourly net incomes of work forces and adult females ” . To acquire it, cipher the adult females ‘s overall mean wage as a per centum of work forces ‘s. The ONS uses hourly net incomes:

“ – Excluding overtime for full-time employees. ”

– Including overtime because work forces work comparatively more overtime than adult females.

– Including parttime employees could hold a similar consequence because adult females make up a much bigger proportion of parttime employees than work forces. ” ( The Office National Statistics, 2008 )

However, work forces still have a higher degree of making than adult females. Harmonizing to the Women and Work Commission, it has been estimated that “ shuting the gender accomplishments spread could increase gross domestic merchandise by between ?15 and ?23 billion a twelvemonth. ” ( 2009, Working towards equality ) . Harmonizing to a research in February 2010 of the Government Equalities Office which examines the development in the past ten old ages of the gender wage spread and we see that adult females continue to confront troubles in the workplace market.

Second, this essay explains the several grounds given for adult females ‘s favoritism.

We can cite many grounds to warrant differences between female and male net incomes. The first is that it is a stereotype rooted in people ‘s head which is hard to alter. Sometimes, this is a portion of their instruction and household values. Baguelin ( 2006 ) indicated that another explication is based on the importance of the occupational cleavage of the labour market. Therefore research workers like Macpherson and Hirsch ( 1995 ) have tried to understand how and why the labor market ushers adult females and work forces in occupations with different features and productiveness. Harmonizing to the Labour Force Survey ( 2003 ) , this theory turns out to be true and shows that some occupations are traditionally “ female or male ” . In fact, in occupations you need to take attention of others ( like cleaners, hairstylists, receptionists, attention helper… ) and attention for kids, adult females are widely in bulk with approximately 88 % .

On the other manus, occupations where you need to protection like: security guards, constabulary officers, and occupations with proficient know-how, work forces are in bulk, with around 90 % .

On the contrary, Becker thinks that like adult females have to take attention of kids and house, they choose less nerve-racking occupations with fewer duties in order to concentrate on the work they do at place. So we can believe that for some adult females it is a pick to hold fewer duties and lower degree of occupation, instead than inevitable. Then adult females work more in parttime hours than work forces. ( 38 per cent against merely 7 per cent for work forces ) . More adult females work in portion clip because it is the lone solution they founded to be able to work and to take attention of their households. And harmonizing to this research, parttime occupations are more insecure ( over the long term ) and less skill profiles. Furthermore, it has been proved that clip spent in parttime employment has no positive consequence on net income, contrary to clip spent in full-time work. Another ground is that the calling break has a negative impact on the work. ( Like gestation and pregnancy leave ) . Indeed, for illustration in France, for the childbirth of your 2nd child adult females can take a parental leave of one twelvemonth renewable 3 clip. Furthermore, it ‘s a fact ; adult females are more frequently absent so work forces at work. And the ground is that when there is a job or an exigency about family or kids ( ill, school… ) , everybody thinks that adult females are expected to make it. ( Bized, March-April 2008 ) Harmonizing to Patton research ( 2008:60 ) , “ The perceptual experience that it is more acceptable tor adult females to be absents from work represents a plausible account for adult females ‘s higher rate of absence. ” However, for some people, the wage spread between work forces and adult females is non merely due to favoritism, but it is a scientific theory. Hakim thinks that there are three types of adult females who are interested by different types of work household balance: 20 % are work centred, 20 % are place centred and 60 % are adaptative. And for work forces it is 30 % are adaptative, 60 % are work centred and 10 % are place centred. So, one time more, we can believe that work forces and adult females have non the same chief involvement. Indeed, we can detect chief involvement ‘s difference when people are immature, misss prefer drama with doll whereas boys prefer drama with their autos or in war, it is like something innate. Harmonizing to Goldberg ‘s theory of the male laterality, ( Goldberg, Inevitability of Patriarchy, 1973 ) the consequence of male endocrines like testosterone have an influence about their motive or aspiration. Work forces are so more assertiveness, dominant and competitory. So while it seems obvious that there are more work forces in high hierarchy. ( Hakim, 1973: 5 ) For Beting another psychologist, some people think that the quality of intelligence is determined by the size of the encephalon. And like adult females have a smaller encephalon that work forces ( in norm ) , they consider that they can non entree to high occupation place.

In the appendix, the figure 2 indicates a in writing which shows Europeans people ‘s positions about adult females and their callings.

So for illustration, ” two-thirds of Europeans ( 66 % ) disagree with the statement that “ adult females are less interested than work forces in places of duty ” ” and 30 % do experience that adult females are less interested in places of duty. Overall, Europeans do non believe adult females ‘s picks or penchants are to fault for the state of affairs.

Yet the decision is the same, presently most adult females have no alternate except to give their callings and their aspirations if they do non desire to abandon their function of female parent or homemaker. Indeed, in the society in which we live, adult females feel guilty if they work tardily at dark and if they are non sufficiently present in the lives of their kids. Whereas legion female parents employ nanny or twenty-four hours nursery and kids are really happy excessively.

Finally, this paper will measure the state of affairs of authorities ‘s action and hereafters enterprises that can be implemented.

Presently, the gender equality in England is one of the authorities precedence, they want built a new economic system which use adult females ‘s endowment every bit many as work forces. This action is based on five chief points. For illustration:

“ Helping adult females and work forces to equilibrate work and household life ”

Indeed, today 68 % of adult females work and take attention of their house and kids after their work. And harmonizing to the authorities, “ Women besides head 91 per cent of solitary parent householdsA» . Thus the authorities is committed to supply fiscal and practical support to households, to guarantee that adult females are non victims of favoritism or disadvantage to take clip of their household and at advancing a more just sharing of functions between work forces and adult females. Indeed with the new coevalss, more and more work forces say they want to take part in family undertakings and kid raising. Concretely, the authorities supported the households where both parents work by supplying revenue enhancement credits. The purpose is to assist households with child care costs. It can cover “ up to 80 per cent of child care costs, supplying households with support up to a upper limit of ?140 a hebdomad for one kid and ?240 a hebdomad for two or more children. “ ( Working towards Equality Achieving equality for adult females and work forces at work, October 2009, p 7 ) There was besides a strengthening of the protection of pregnant adult females and an addition in pregnancy leave ( now 52 hebdomads ) with the duty for the employer to maintain a topographic point in the company.A Thus, an addition of ? 123.06 per hebdomad for pregnancy allowance.

The debut of ‘Keeping in Touch ‘ yearss which allows adult females on pregnancy leave to work for 10 yearss during their leave so they remain in contact with the company and developments. The purpose is to advance gender equality ; work forces now have the right to take two hebdomads off and paid to assist their married woman and to take part in the instruction. Now, with the chance of work flexibleness for employees who have kids aged 16 and under ( in April 6, 2009 ) , we observe that more and more work forces use this system to take attention of their kids. Now over 10 million employees can utilize this flexible working system.

Furthermore, the authorities has invested ?25 billion for aid households in child care services. So the figure of kids in child care has increased more 50 % in ten old ages.

“ Supporting adult females ‘s endeavor ”

In UK, merely 16 % on the 4.7 million of endeavors are managed by adult females. Harmonizing to research, having an endeavor can offer more flexible clip for workers and they can be more present in household ‘s life. In 2006, the Women ‘s Enterprise Task Force was created to increase the figure of adult females entrepreneurship in England. A programme of activities has been implemented for aid adult females to obtain the finance options available. A partnership has been created with Regional Development Agencies, the British Bankers association and a figure of High Street Bankss.

“ Increasing transparence, so that inequality in the workplace is more seeable and to drive administrations to take action ”

Another of import action harmonizing to the authorities is to increase the transparence. It is necessary to demo where the inequalities are and where betterments are needed.

In the Senior Civil Service, there is now an aim of a certain figure of adult females in high occupations.

– “ Promoting the usage of positive action and good pattern in the workplace ”

As we have said, the stereotype that adult females must be less paid than work forces is really hard to take in some households. So the Early Years Foundation Stage ( EYFS ) requires that houses pass on positive images about equality gender at kids of an early age. For illustration, a adult female with high occupation ‘s degree could come at school and at nurse and advance her occupation and makings. Therefore, it will allow kids to believe about equality gender and possibly delete stereotype.

A figure of steps will be implemented by the authorities and assorted administrations to cut down the wage spread in UK. For illustration, in April 2011, after their pregnancy, when adult females will travel back to work, work forces will be allowed to take up to six months to child attention. Men will have the same compensation as adult females, which are ?123.06 per hebdomad. It is a good enterprise which gives a better sense of duty to the work forces about house and kids. Furthermore, it is expected that from 2011, each school will supply nurse chances between 8 am and 6 autopsy. In fact, there is an existent job United kingdom about twenty-four hours baby’s room for immature kids. Families have to wait until one twelvemonth for obtain a topographic point because there are full. So the solution would be to let to the adult females to take their clip of work.

The New National Apprenticeship Service ( NAS ) has decided to make a section which will give advices on comparative rewards to the immature people, before they begin to work. Therefore, it might able immature adult females non to accept low rewards any longer. In UK the 8th of April, the Equality Bill received Royal acquiescence and became “ The Equality Act 2010 ” .

In The Equality Act 2010, showed new thoughts to halt this gender wage spread.For illustration, for the house which have 250 or more workers, the pull offing manager has to print information about differences in adult females and work forces ‘s wage. Another of import point is that The Act “ besides stops employers stating workers they must non speak to each other about how much they get paid. ”

The gender wage spread is a precedence in Europe excessively. Indeed, as we can see in the appendix on the Figure 3, the great bulk of Europeans ( 82 % ) think that this wage spread should be addressed “ desperately for 44 % and “ really desperately ” for 38 % of respondents. ( European Commission, 2009, Gender equality in the EU in 2009 )

Finally, we can state that the authorities ‘s new steps are a good beginning to assist adult females accessing a higher degree of occupations.

Indeed, for adult females it is going easier to allow their kids with fiscal aid and hold less and less guilty go forthing their kids in child care. They may draw a bead on to the same figure of hours than work forces and therefore merit the same wage. Now yearss we see more and more adult females making senior places. So this is truly encouraging.

However, some stereotypes are still rooted in people ‘s head such as adult females are inferior to work forces or adult females are less bright, it might be necessary to wait several coevalss so these prepossessions will bit by bit melt values advocated in some instructions.

To reason, contending against gender inequality is non easy and possibly one of the solutions to work out this job is that determinations should be taken by the European Union and so all these states can work on it together. Thus we can anticipate that, on the long scope, we can make a European Union without inequalities.


Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Beginning: European Commission, 2009, Gender equality in the EU in 2009

Figure 3:

Beginning: European Commission, 2009, Gender equality in the EU in 2009



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