By Niraja Surendran
It is a commonly known fact that women are not paid as much as men are – but why? Scientists, researchers, and the general public have come up with a plethora of reasons to explain this gender difference in salaries, and a popular excuse – that women simply don’t ask for higher wages as often as men do – was recently debunked by a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, University of Warwick, and Cass Business School, which featured thousands of workers from Australia.
In reality, women are just as assertive as their male counterparts when it comes to requesting raises; rather, they are refused them at a higher rate. The only exception to this rule is younger women, as studies show that young men and women usually receive raises at the same rate (yay!). Hopefully, as these young women age, they will retain their exceptional talent and skills for negotiation and attain raises and higher salaries as seniors, too.
The results of these studies reveal that a woman’s lower salary may have nothing to do with her individual lack of certain social skills. Rather, wage gaps are caused by structural issues that exist within corporations and populations, fueled by the outdated belief that men work harder than women because of their “physical dominance.”
According to the World Economic Forum, there isn’t a single country on our planet in which women are paid as much as men. In fact, the wage gap in the United States – commonly regarded as a progressive nation – is at a surprisingly high twenty-one percent. Furthermore, research indicates that this gap will take at least eighty years to be eradicated, if not longer.
This issue is especially pertinent in the United States with the upcoming presidential election. Women who plan on voting this November should ask themselves: do I want a President who can help progress women’s rights, or one who claims that the wage gap isn’t real and has made numerous derogatory comments towards women in the past and present?
Ladies, the choice is yours.