Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Gender Pay Gaps Are Not Petty Issues

Magazine article Behavioral Healthcare Executive

Gender Pay Gaps Are Not Petty Issues

Article excerpt

Wage inequality continues to be a topic of conversation in Hollywood, Sure, it's hard to feel bad for frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence who made "only" $52 million, but if it's compared to the $80 million earned by Robert Downey Jr., her male counterpart, the discrimination is clear: She earned just 65 cents for every $1 he earned.

Even Oprah Winfrey-the world's first black female billionaire-experienced an egregious case of wage inequality early in her talk-show career, and there was little she could do about it. She wasn't being petty, yet she still suffered social penalties for speaking up. I don't imagine anyone would dare dismiss her now.

Earning 85 cents on the dollar

The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently found that for average Americans, the gender pay gap persists with little progress made in the past 15 years. Women earn 85 cents for every $1 that men earn-and that's after accounting for experience, education, industry and time away for family responsibilities. It shouldn't be surprising that race also makes a difference. The gap between white men and white women (21%) is greater than among black men and women (18%) or Hispanic men and women (12%).

Remember that women are also a slight majority in the population overall and represent 47% of the labor force. Since the 1990s, the majority of all undergraduate and graduate degrees have been awarded to women, according to the council.

Time to clean house

The only real solution is to insist that employers evaluate the gaps in their organizations and clean their own houses. …

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