There is one astonishing statistic that defines the gender pay gap: for every $1 earned by a man, $0.77 is earned by a woman. These figures have no place in 2015, and, as such, this gap has garnered a great deal of attention from the mass media. However, what has been lacking from all this media coverage is a viable solution to actually close this gap and rid society of one of its last great evils. Below, I will try and propose a few solutions that, to me, are workable, and will help close the gap.
My first proposed solution is to raise the minimum wage. As of now, women make up about two thirds of all minimum wage workers, so are working for meagre wages which do not help support a family, especially in this tough economic climate. Raising the minimum wage would help ensure that women get paid more money than ever before for performing minimum wage labour. This means that the gender pay gap would shrink as women now get paid more for their labour, increasing their salaries in relation to their male counterparts and making sure to reward women fairly for their labour. This would also mean that more women than ever before can support a family, and this would also, in turn, blur the lines between men and women in terms of being the main “bread winners” of the family.
Moreover, another method to reduce the gender pay gap is to promote pay transparency. Currently, in the workplace, it is regarded as somewhat taboo to discuss salaries, and, as a result of this, women cannot tell when they are being paid less than men for the same type and amount of labour. In this day and age, public image is everything for large companies such as Tesco and Starbucks, and introducing pay transparency means that people will know when women are being paid less than men. This results in a damaged public image, which will remain in the consumer’s mind and could reduce a company’s profits. As a result of this preventative measure being added, companies would make sure to pay women the same amount as men for the same amount of labour, which means that the gender pay gap would be reduced. This also has potential to start a chain reaction, with each company trying to attain a benevolent public image in order to increase profits. This would only serve to further reduce the gender pay gap.
My third solution is to invest in high quality education and childcare for all. Even though we live in a very developed world, the stigma that men should be the sole family breadwinners while women care for the children is still prevalent in modern society. Investing in this high quality education and childcare means that women will be more equipped to sustain a job which requires particular specialist skills, and thus this would mean that women go into higher quality jobs, which consequently pay more. This would result in the salaries of women increasing and therefore the gender pay gap would be reduced as a result of the increased involvement of women in high quality roles, for example management positions in the world of business. More women in top positions would also inspire young girls to aim for these jobs, which would start a chain reaction which means that the gap would remain small in the long term, leaving no chance of it reopening again.
I must stress that these solutions are simply my opinions, and are not guaranteed to change the gender pay gap by even an iota, however, in my opinion, they will and will help to rid the world of this great evil.