A long time ago, someone asked me if I would care, whenever I marry, if my wife makes more money than I do.
I told that someone I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t mind because regardless of whose money it was, spent money is spent money.
It’s 2015 and that issue has been brought to light again, only it’s more of a worldwide concern now.
There has been feedback from some very influential, high-profile people, ranging from the likes of Hollywood starlet, Amy Schumer to even the Holy Father himself.
CNN Money reported Pope Francis said,
"The Christian seed of radical equality between spouses must bear new fruit today. Why is it taken for granted that women should earn less than men? No! They have the same rights."
But, is the gender pay gap really as bad as the media is portraying it, or is it being completely blown out of proportion?
According to an article by Catherine Hill, Ph.D., on the website for the American Association of University Women, it’s a pretty significant gap.
There seems to be a lot of variables that come into play when it comes to the difference of income between a man and a woman.
"The best place in the United States for pay equity is Washington, DC, where women were paid 91 percent of what men were paid in 2013,” she said. “At the other end of the spectrum is Louisiana, the worst state in the country for pay equity, where women were paid just 66 percent of what men were paid,” she added.
The state a woman lives in, however, is only one of the factors.
Not only is the gender pay gap hurting most women out there, but the ones most affected by it are women of color.
She continued in her post stating,
“Asian American women’s salaries show the smallest gender pay gap, at 90 percent of white men’s earnings. Hispanic women’s salaries show the largest gap, at 54 percent of white men’s earnings. White men are used as a benchmark because they make up the largest demographic group in the labor force.”
Additionally, for women 35 years and older, they are only paid 75 to 80 percent of what men are.
So, what can we do to resolve this problem that’s affecting so many?
Well, the Canadian institution, McMaster University is adding an extra $3,515 on top of the salaries of its female professors across the board, which translates to about $2,900 in the states.
McMaster’s provost and academic vice president, David Wilkinson, said to Inside Higher Ed,
"Whenever you have a pay equity issue, you have to address it front and center. Then it just becomes a process of doing the work to actually develop a robust model for adjusting it."
With the latest shift by McMaster University that will cost about $1 million a year, Wilkinson has apparently heard only positive reviews from staff members saying,
“This amounts to about 1 percent of our base budget, and certainly nobody, I think, questions that this is the right thing to do.”
Now, while the gender pay gap topic might not be as likely to be headline news as say, the Courtney Stodden sex-tape deal covered here by TMZ, or Demi Lovato’s reported fallout with a former tattoo artist covered by Perez Hilton here, it’s still an issue that should be addressed with a positive outcome, to show just how far we’ve come from the 1930s.
Getting back to the Catherine Hill article, she touches upon the Paycheck Fairness Act and writes, “[This] would improve the scope of the Equal Pay Act, which hasn’t been updated since 1963, with stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, enhance federal enforcement efforts and prohibit retaliation against workers asking about wage practices.”
We have come a long way as a society, but if we’re having an issue with fairness still coming into question when it comes to women in the workplace, we still have a long way to go.
Oh, and the person who asked me the question in the first place would later become my wife, just in case any of you were curious.