Why the Gender Pay Gap Could Be Worsening
Picture this: Two college students, Alex and Charlie. Both are bright, have the same interests, and are ready to embrace the world of higher education. There is only one difference. Alex is female, Charlie is male. Fast forward to graduation, and while Alex might have excelled academically, she might find herself at a financial disadvantage compared to Charlie. Why? Lucrative degrees are trending toward male dominance, potentially exacerbating the gender pay gap.
Let’s dive into this phenomenon. First off, let’s clarify what we mean by “lucrative” degrees. These are courses of study that tend to lead to high-paying jobs post-graduation, such as engineering, finance, or computer science.
In turn, this will create a major gender pay gap in the upcoming years.
So, Why the Trend?
It is tempting to brush this off as a coincidence, but there might be more at play. Societal conditioning plays a role. From an early age, boys are often encouraged towards toys and activities that emphasize spatial reasoning, while girls are nudged towards those that develop empathy and communication.
Sound stereotypical? It is. But these stereotypes have a lasting impact.
Fast forward to high school, and these early life experiences might sway a male student to pick physics, while a female peer might opt for literature. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with literature.
So, it is a noble and essential field. However, it might not have the same immediate post-graduate paycheck as say, software development.
The Ripple Effect on the Gender Pay Gap
The decision to a major degree does not just impact the first job. It sets the trajectory for one’s entire career. If women are underrepresented in high-paying sectors from the get-go, they might face a compounding disadvantage.
Every subsequent raise, every bonus, and every job change can be a percentage of a base that was already lower than their male counterparts.
Moreover, consider corporate leadership. If sectors with a higher male dominance (like tech or finance) also happen to wield significant economic influence, then these sectors might have a disproportionate number of male leaders. This in turn influences company cultures, hiring policies, and even pay structures.
What Can We Do About It?
Change has to start at the root. We need to rethink how we bring up our kids. From the toys we buy to the role models we highlight, it is essential to dismantle gender norms.
But institutions of higher learning should not be let off the hook either. University outreach, scholarships for underrepresented genders in specific fields, and mentorship programs. These are all tools in the arsenal to ensure equal representation.
Lastly, employers play a role too. Instead of merely looking at degrees, there is a push towards skills-based hiring. After all, the ability to code, design, or strategize is not inherently tied to any particular degree. Some of the best talent might come from non-traditional backgrounds.
More in Career
Business Communication: Exploring the Power of Slack
Slack has revolutionized workplace communication since its introduction in 2013. It is a collaboration hub that brings teams together, streamlines communication,...July 7, 2023
Loan Defaults: Types, Functionalities & Getting Out of One
Taking a loan could be a smart decision if done right. It could help you reach your dreams faster, purchase that...July 1, 2023
Kid-Friendly Airbnbs in America
Planning a family vacation can be an exciting yet challenging task, especially when looking for accommodation that caters to the needs of...June 22, 2023
Email Etiquettes to Boost Your Career
In today’s digital age, email has become an essential tool for communication in the workplace. Email communication can often dictate the...June 15, 2023
The Famous Invisible Mirror House
Hidden among the millions of rocks, cacti, and Joshua trees that make up its unique desert landscape lies a remarkable sight–the ‘Invisible House.’...June 6, 2023
Ford and Tesla: The War of the Automakers
The automotive industry is no stranger to competition, and the rivalry between Ford and Tesla is one of the most closely...June 1, 2023
Why Everyone Should Maintain a “Good” Credit Score
Maintaining a good credit score is important for everyone, regardless of their financial status. A good credit score can help you...May 23, 2023
The Importance of Having Hobbies
Life can be hectic and stressful at times. Between work, family, and other obligations, feeling overwhelmed and burned out can be...May 18, 2023
Flexible Jobs for Students to Earn Some Extra Cash
For busy college and university students, job hunting can be a daunting task. As education becomes increasingly expensive to obtain and...May 10, 2023