Back in 1963, The Equal Pay Act became U.S. federal law which required that men and women receive equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The law aimed to finally end the disparity in wages between men and women.
Fifty years have passed and where are we now? Apparently, not as far along as we had hoped.
TriNet, an HR services provider, recently looked into SMB hiring trends, firing trends, salary data, employee demographics and employee benefits for September. Unfortunately, the results are not exactly what we were aiming for.
Although women between the ages of 23-27 have similar salaries to their male counterparts, this salary gap sharply increases after the age of 27. Even worse? In the Information Technology sector, women make much less than men at all ages.
According to a study by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the salary gap between genders is now larger than 20 years ago and has been consistently increasing.
“It’s very interesting because when you actually talk to employers, they often don’t see it as a problem,” says Council of Small Business Chair Amanda Lynch. “They will say that they actually aren’t treating their employees differently and there is no gender bias. But often the statistics tell a different story. So we believe there is this unconscious gender pay gap that is happening where employers aren’t even aware of it.”
Lynch adds that it is difficult for women to get graduate jobs, often dominated by males, and so they end up settling for whatever salary is offered.
In the midst of all these unpleasant findings, there is some rather interesting results when the salary gap is analyzed based on race, especially for Asians.
Interestingly enough, the salary gap between Asian men and Asian women total to about 10 percent, making it the smallest gender gap out of all the ethnicities. American Indian/Alaska Natives have the highest salary gap with more than 50 percent.
Although we understand that this is not a complete win because ultimately, Asian men still make more money than Asian women in the same jobs, it gives us a glimmer of hope for — someday — true equality in pay.