Even though women have made great strides in the workplace and breaking the glass ceiling, the gender pay gap continues to exist and remains a major concern. With a pay rate of 82 cents to every dollar paid to men, the gap in pay costs women thousands of dollars yearly.
But it is more than just a lack of money – it is gender discrimination. And it’s likely one of the reasons why businesses don’t want their employees discussing salaries.
The impact of wage discrimination
One of the significant root causes of the gender pay gap is occupational segregation. Women are often concentrated in low-paying jobs and occupy fewer leadership roles. This means fewer women are in higher-paying sectors and management positions, effectively limiting their earning potential.
It creates a devastating long-term impact on women’s earnings, career progression, and overall well-being. The wage disparity means that women are not paid fairly for the same skills and expertise as their male colleagues, which causes them to earn less throughout their careers.
Reduced earnings means women have less money to clothe, feed, house and educate their families, leading to a lower standard of living for women and their families, affecting their physical and mental health.
Another cause of the gender pay gap is the pay secrecy policy, which makes it challenging to discover a company’s pay structure. Women may be unaware that they are being paid less than their male counterparts because they don’t have access to such information.
However, the gender pay gap is not just about unequal pay. It is discrimination formed on the basis of gender, violating human rights and limiting women’s opportunities and earning potential. Being informed and knowing your legal rights helps ensure a healthy work environment for everyone.