by COURTNEY BRANCO
This year’s presidential debates brought up the topic of the gap in women’s earnings compared to men’s – a gap that stands at .79 cents to every dollar, according to a retired Bowling Green State economics professor.
The gap remains even with college-educated women, who still make less money in the same position than men, said Dr. Mary Ellen Benedict, a former chair of the economic department at Bowling Green State University.
At an Oct. 18 speech hosted by the Tiffin branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Benedict spoke to an audience of 25 people on Tiffin University’s campus about her research in the gender wage gap.
Her research is based on male and female employees in 15 occupations who worked full-time. What Benedict found is that the average pay scale for women with a college degree in the workforce reveals a wider than average gap and that women are paid less than men at every college degree level.
There are many stereotypes about why women make less than men. For example, even in today’s society, women are still seen as the homemaker and caretaker of the house. Unlike their male counterparts, they are more inclined to take jobs that conform to traditional nine-to-five positions that offer lower pay than jobs with longer hours because they have just as much work to do at home as they do at their jobs.
Other false stereotypes she covered were that women don’t “lean in” or “ask” for as much money as men do in the workforce and that “women are choosing to be paid less to have an easy lifestyle.”
There is much discrimination against women in the workforce, such as penalties for taking maternity leave and the idea that women lack certain qualities in the workforce, Benedict said.
In giving speeches, her goal is to help show women that there still is a wide salary gap and gender discrimination in the workplace, yet there is no real evidence on why this is happening.
For more information on the wage gap, gender workplace discrimination, and bills like the Healthy Family Act and Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act that are currently working their ways through Congress to address such problems, consult the AAUW website at http://www.aauw.org/.