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In the context of economic inequality, the Income gender gap gender pay gap generally refers to the differences in the wages of men and women. There is a debate to what extent this is the result of gender differences, lifestyle choices (e.g., number of hours worked), or because of gender discrimination.
A United Nations report found that women working in manufacturing earned the following percentages in relation to men in 2004. The statistics are based on wages for all male and female workers, regardless of age, experience, or other factors. The report states: "International comparisons of wage ratios presented here must be made with great caution. The coverage, definitions and methods of compiling wage statistics differ significantly from country to country. [...] Furthermore, earnings are very much dependent on the number of hours worked, and where female workers generally work a much smaller number of hours than male workers, this factor must be kept in mind when interpreting the wage ratio."
- Women earn on average 17% less than men
- If a woman works part time she is likely to earn 40% less than a man
- Discrimination is estimated to account for 25% to 50% of the pay gap between men and women
- According to the 2006 Women and Work Commission the UK's gender pay gap is the worst in Europe
- In the year 2007/08, 57% of all first degrees awarded to students living in the UK were obtained by women Yet on average, a male graduate earned 15% more than a female graduate.
- Main article: Male–female income disparity in the United States
In 2004, women's wages in the USA were 76.5% of men's wages. David R. Hekman and colleagues (2009) found that customers prefer white men over equally-well performing women and minority employees, which may help explain why white men continue to earn more than other types of employees.
Hekman et al. (2009) found that customers who viewed videos featuring a black male, a white female, or a white male actor playing the role of an employee helping a customer were 19% more satisfied with the white male employee's performance and also were more satisfied with the store's cleanliness and appearance. This despite that all three actors performed identically, read the same script, and were in the exact same location with identical camera angles and lighting. Moreover, 45 percent of the customers were women and 41 percent were non-white, indicating that even women and minority customers prefer white men. In a second study, they found that white male doctors were rated as more approachable and competent than equally-well performing women or minority doctors. They interpret their findings to suggest that employers are willing to pay more for white male employees because employers are customer driven and customers are happier with white male employees. They also suggest that what is required to solve the problem of wage inequality isn't necessarily paying women more but changing customer biases. This paper has been featured in many media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and National Public Radio.
However, some groups, such as the Independent Women's Forum, argue that the wage gap does not exist. For further information, see Male-female income disparity in the USA. Similarly, Thomas Sowell argued in the book, Civil Rights, marriage is the main variable driving the wage gap--that married women make less than other types of workers.
According to the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics, it would take 150 years for the income gap between the two genders to close up due to discrimination and ineffective government policies. However this study did not compare equal jobs or conditions, rather the total earnings only and is generally considered to be an unrealistic comparison.
- Economic inequality
- Glass ceiling
- Income inequality metrics
- International inequality
- Income disparity in Malaysia
- Sexual discrimination
- Statistics and indicators on women and men: Table 5g Women's wages relative to men's United Nations Statistics Division, 22 April 2005
- This number compares the income off all men and women who work 35 hours or more each week. See Institute for Women's Policy Research, 'Women's earnings fall: U.S. Census Bureau finds rising gender wage gap', media release, 27 August 2004, retrieved Dec 2007
- Hekman, David R.; Aquino, Karl; Owens, Brad P.; Mitchell, Terence R.; Schilpzand, Pauline; Leavitt, Keith. (2009) An Examination of Whether and How Racial and Gender Biases Influence Customer Satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal. http://journals.aomonline.org/inpress/main.asp?action=preview&art_id=610&p_id=1&p_short=AMJ
- Bakalar, Nicholas (2009) “A Customer Bias in Favor of White Men.” New York Times. June 23, 2009, page D6. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/health/research/23perc.html?ref=science
- Vedantam, Shankar (2009) “Caveat for Employers.” Washington Post, June 1, 2009, page A8 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/31/AR2009053102081.html
- Jackson, Derrick (2009) “Subtle, and stubborn, race bias.” Boston Globe, July 6, 2009, page A10 http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/07/06/subtle_and_stubborn_race_bias/
- National Public Radio, Lake Effect, http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/view_le.php?articleid=754
- "Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality", Thomas Sowell, 1984. "Markets and Minorities, Thomas Sowell, 1981
- "Women have to wait 150 yrs for equal pay: Study". The Indian Express. URL accessed on 2006-07-29.
- Wilkinson, Richard; Kate Pickett (5 March 2009). The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Penguin Books.
- Read Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding Gender Wage Gaps
- Visualization of the gender pay gap in the UK across different occupations.