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< Back to question Is the gender pay gap a myth? Show more Show less

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 exist Show more Show less

When defined as a form of systemic and sometimes concious gender bias, the gender pay gap does exist. Women earn less money due to a variety of societal factors, including behavioral expectations, perceptions of femininity, and their choices to become mothers.
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Women are more susceptible to imposter syndrome and therefore pursue less promotions than their male counterparts.

Women are taught to be less assertive and are more susceptible to imposter syndrome, which results in them not receiving proper recognition for their work and being too nervous to pursue promotions.
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The Argument

Imposter syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that is “commonly understood as a false and sometimes crippling belief that one's successes are the product of luck or fraud rather than skill.” [1] Women are conditioned to believe that their success was not earned. For example, they may believe that they were only hired or accepted to college due to diversity quotas, or that their accomplishments in their field were flukes, or should be attributed to somebody else on their team. This results in women not having the confidence to pursue promotions or pay raises, which leads to a pay gap. Research from a 2019 Imposter Syndrome Research Study shows that “shockingly high percentages of high-achieving, confident women are routinely not speaking out about their brilliant ideas (46 per cent of respondents); not stepping up to take on projects that would let their talents shine (47 per cent); and not asking for pay rises (31 per cent) or promotions (45 per cent) they know they deserve.” [2] Although imposter syndrome affects both men and women, men are statistically more likely to ignore those feelings of inadequacy and not let them affect their work life.

Counter arguments


[P1] Imposter syndrome is when a person attributes their accomplishments to luck or coincidence rather than their own abilities or intelligence. [P2] Women are more susceptible to imposter syndrome than men because women are conditioned to feel less intelligent and be less assertive. [P3] Imposter syndrome results in women feeling less confident and not taking the credit for their accomplishments or requesting pay raises.

Rejecting the premises

Rejecting [P2] This premise assumes that women experience imposter syndrome more than men do. Men also experience imposter syndrome, and due to patriarchal influences, might be less inclined to open up about their insecurities regarding their own success, therefore worsening the issue.



This page was last edited on Monday, 4 May 2020 at 07:49 UTC

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