Yes, the Gender Wage Gap is Real. And Yes, White Feminists, It Is Also a POC Issue.
The gender-race pay gap is a controversial discussion topic. In today’s media, saturated with propaganda and personal opinion, it’s almost impossible to figure out for ourselves if it’s really true, or if it’s all a myth. In this story, I will be presenting some information, along with what I have come to believe, in hopes that you can form your thoughts on the issue based on what’s true.
Now, let’s take a look at our statistics going from 1998 to 2018. To quote, “In 2018, female employees aged 25 to 54 earned $4.13 (or 13.3%) less per hour, on average, than their male counterparts. In other words, these women earned $0.87 for every dollar earned by men”. That itself sounds informative enough, but we’re going to dig a little deeper. What about situations where bias against certain groups of women come into play? Gender bias can be a problem in many work spaces, especially in ones that are traditionally male dominated, with the ideal setting being that a strong and dominating male does all the harder work.
It is almost impossible to ignore the situation of women and feminine-presenting people of color. To quote the payscale study on gender and racial pay gaps, “Equal pay for equal work is not a reality for many people of color. When we control for education, years of experience, occupation and other compensable factors, most men and women of color still earn less than white men. The controlled racial pay gap is a comparison of pay between white men and people of color who have the same job and qualifications. As we see below, our research into the racial wage gap shows us that racial bias persists in the U.S. workforce.” According to AAUW.org, black women are more likely to face a wider pay gap despite equal amounts of work and effort, which can be traced back to events now viewed as historical, such as racism, segregation and redlining. In the Asian community, it’s also an issue as women are so often dismissed as docile and delicate. A quote from APA, “Largely, Asian American women are thought of as faceless, quiet and invisible, or as sexual objects. In addition to the myth of the “Model Minority” and the “Forever Foreigner,” these depictions and others have persisted in the media and popular culture”. BBC reports that East Asian women are more likely to be harassed when they do or make attempts to be dominant in the workplace.
With those points in mind, the gender and wage gap now has a solid explanation. So to summarize my opinion, I believe that there definitely is an issue regarding gender, especially towards women of color, in the workplace. It’s not a stretch to believe such bias and discrimination could be partially responsible for such a gap.