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Is the gender pay gap a myth? Show more Show less
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Under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 in the United States, an employer must pay male and female employees the same amount of money for equal work. Equal pay includes a worker’s yearly salary or hourly pay, in addition to overtime, benefits, and bonuses. The gender pay gap is the average difference in yearly earnings between male and female workers. Statistical research clearly indicates that women earn less money, on average, in a given year than their male counterparts. A debate emerges when feminists and gender equality advocates define the gender pay gap as being a form of systemic gender bias that results in women earning approximately 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. It can be argued that although women on average do earn less than men, this is not a form of conscious or systemic gender bias in the workplace, thus the gender pay gap as defined by the feminist movement does not exist.

The gender pay gap does not exist Show more Show less

When defined as a form of systemic and sometimes conscious gender bias, the gender pay gap does not exist. It is illegal to pay male and female workers unequally for equal work, therefore any perceived pay gap is due to misunderstandings of statistical research or simply the choices made by women.
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Gender pay gap statistics are being misinterpreted by people who fail to take other factors into account.

People are misreading gender pay gap statistics and assuming that substantial pay gaps within companies are due to gender discrimination, when in reality its due to female employees choosing to work in positions that pay less.
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The Argument

RyanAir was criticized in 2018 for having the worst gender pay gap in airline history. RyanAir had a gender pay gap of 72%, compared to EasyJet which had a 45% pay gap. “Median hourly pay among Ryanair’s 1,182 UK staff is 71.8% lower for women (67% lower on mean hourly pay), while median bonus pay for women was 3% lower (with a mean difference of 21%).” [1] However, this doesn’t mean that women are being paid less for performing the same role. It simply reflects the fact that the majority of women working for RyanAir are flight attendants. The majority of pilots who work for RyanAir, who make considerably more money than flight attendants, are men. There is no gender discrimination involved, as a woman deciding to pursue a career as a flight attendant rather than as a pilot is her own personal choice. Any pay gap is purely coincidental and unrelated to gender.

Counter arguments

Systemic gender discrimination that results in a pay gap still exists because women are not being encouraged by society to pursue high paying occupations, such as being a pilot. Even though women who work for RyanAir are choosing to be flight attendants, the fact that they are doing so indicates that women are not being told to aim high, and that women don't feel comfortable or welcome in a workplace that is dominated by men.

Premises

[P1] People misunderstand statistics and believe that companies are paying female employees less, when in reality women are just more likely to pursue lower paying positions within a company.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/03/ryanair-reveals-worst-gender-pay-gap-airline-industry
This page was last edited on Monday, 4 May 2020 at 07:10 UTC

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