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Taking a closer look at wage discrepancies

Throughout Fort Lauderdale and the rest of the U.S., more women are participating in the workforce than ever before. One would think that this increased presence of women in the workplace would help level the business playing field between the sexes. Yet while there are more opportunities being presented to women in the business world, discrepancies between women and their male professional counterparts continue to exist.

The Pew Research Center recently shared the findings of both their own and the federal government’s studies into the gender equality in the workplace. The results seemed to reveal some stark differences in the compensation earned by male and female employees. Women, on average, were reported to earn between 77 and 84 percent of that which men in their professions made. In trying to identify the root cause of these wage discrepancies, researchers discovered that women were more likely to do the following:

  •          Quit their jobs
  •          Take extended time off
  •          Cut back on their hours
  •          Turn down promotions

Some may view this information and conclude that men are more likely to gain professional experience in their careers. While that may be true, experience is not the only factor that employers are required to look at in determining pay.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 mandates that employers pay men and women equally when they do equivalent work. If two separate positions require the same amount of skill, effort and responsibility, and they are performed within then same location and under similar conditions, they are said to be equivalent. Only exceptions based upon seniority, work quality or merit are allowed under this law. However, if such an exception is granted, the employer must show why it is applicable to a certain position. 

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