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Even in fields where they predominate, women still don’t receive the highest positions or salaries.

Even in fields where they predominate, women are underrepresented in leadership roles and top salaries. According to a watchdog report to Congress released on Tuesday, pay gaps get worse as they rise.

On Equal Pay Day, which represents how many more days women must work to earn the same amount as men did the previous year, the report, which showed little progress in the area of workplace equity for women, was released.

In one-third of the largest U.S. industries, women make up the majority of the workforce. On the other hand, data analysis performed for the House Oversight Committee by the Government Accountability Office revealed that they are underrepresented among managers and executives in all but one of those.

Females received less compensation for performing the same work as men, a discrepancy that is more pronounced for women of colour, those who are parents, or those who have disabilities due to the accumulation of multiple forms of bias or discrimination. The report claims that between 2019 and 2021, women did witness modest increases in their proportion of managerial positions across the majority of industries, but only one of those, “other services,” reported having a majority of female employees.

Democrats claimed that the results demonstrated the need for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make it more difficult for employers to pay women less for the same work as men.

Due to widespread wage discrimination nationwide, American families are forced to pay an absurd “women’s tax” of tens of thousands of dollars each year, claimed Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland and the committee’s ranking member.

The Democratic representative from Michigan, Debbie Dingell, highlighted that the report’s conclusions are “not only a women’s issue.”

She stated in a statement, “It matters to our children, families, and our economy as a whole. “Our country wins when women achieve.”

Republicans and powerful business organisations have consistently opposed the bill. (More below about that.)

Despite the fact that women hold the majority of occupations, why are men leading these industries?

According to two experts on workplace dynamics and discrimination, the problem is largely due to prejudice and poorly suited job structures for women.

Marlene Kim, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Boston who specialises in the intersection of race, gender, and wage-setting, claimed that because women are not seen as as capable as males, they are not promoted as frequently. Also, women are not viewed as leaders.

According to Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, a sociology professor who directs the Center for Employment Equality at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, long-term reform will include altering how we conduct business, not just facing up to personal biases.

He said, “Culture counts. It is necessary to fundamentally alter organisational practises to lessen the preference for males in high-paying and leadership positions.

Kim pointed out that other nations have achieved gender parity thanks to measures like paid parental leave and affordable childcare.

Why are women paid less for doing the same job as men?

Several academics have argued that gender variations in income and the authority of their titles were merely the result of self-selection because women tended to gravitate for lower-paying specialties or careers (think OB-GYNs instead of surgeons or department shops instead of oil production).

Kim points out, however, that current research has generally refuted the claim that women are to blame.

“Women are less likely to be employed, promoted, trained, and mentored when men and women are equally qualified. They are given reduced compensation when they are employed,” she claimed.

Why are compensation differences for managers and leaders worse than for other occupations?

Lower level employment typically have additional systems dictating pay, such as the minimum wage, legal obligations, or union contracts.

Professional and management salaries are frequently established with much more latitude by corporations, in part because there is more money available to pay out. Even those with the same title can earn very different salaries. According to Tomaskovic-Devey, this flexibility creates potential for prejudice to affect the decisions.

Why is the gender pay gap important?

According to analysts, these differences hurt both women and the general economy.

“Women are significantly more likely than men to be poor. Their children are unable to eat. Unless they married a high-earning man, they are poor in retirement, Kim said.

The Paycheck Fairness Act: What Is It?

The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits paying women less than men for equivalent work, would be expanded under the Paycheck Fairness Act. Unfair pay based on a person’s race, sex, gender, colour, or national origin is prohibited by the Civil Rights Act.

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