Before World War II, women could not even think about getting employed. However, since most men went to fight the war, women were allowed to take up positions in war industries. This implanted the seed of revolution in American history. By 1942, National War Labor Board put forward the concern of equal pay for women as women started to become part of the labor force in America.
Brief History Of Wage Gap Struggle
But this age-old movement that calls for the demolishment of wage gap did not end there. Back then, it wasn’t just about the wage gap; before the 1960’s newspapers had separate sections for men and women looking for jobs. Just image reading “Help Wanted- Males Only”.
In many cases, the job positions and specifications were the same but there’s was just one issue; the difference in the pay scale. Even women who worked for 8 hours a day (full-time job), they were getting paid 64 cents for each dollar men earned.
By 1963, feminist movements were able to persuade the law. Equal Pay Act was passed and any company that paid women less than men for the same job description was stamped illegal. And so, gender could no longer decide the pay scale. This act expanded more and more as the years passed by.
What Is Happening Now
While women have become more prominent in the workplace over the years, were feminist movements successful in eliminating the wage gap? According to labor laws, women are to be paid just as much as men are but still, statistics of 2012 show that women earn only 80 percent of men’s wages. The percentage has certainly increased when compared with 1963 but it is not satisfactory enough to get your hopes up!
Still, the wage gap is persistent. Over four decades have passed by since the Equal Pay movement and while the wage gap is not openly acknowledged but it expands day by day. Whereas, the analysis of the wage gap increased and now we see the inclusion of women discriminated based on their color as well.
An African-American woman is more likely to earn about 82 percent less than a white woman. Whereas, a similar gap scale applies to white vs. African-American men. While sex was a huge part of discrimination in salaries, ethnicity also plays a major role.
Just like that, while Labor Day is passionately celebrated, what is not highlighted is how less Native American women make. indigenous women have to work harder to make fifty percent of what men make while working 8 hours a day.
Further analysis of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, shows that change in wage gap is so slow that if what is happening now persists, white women won’t achieve equal pay until the year 2056. Additionally, black women will stay in line till 2124, and Hispanic women will reach the utopia of equal pay by 2248.
Celebrities Speaking Out
One of the areas where gender gap has become even more prominent is the film industry. However, these celebrities fighting the wage gap speak for every woman in America whether they’re working in Hollywood or not. Among these celebrities, the most notable are Meryl Streep, while Beyonce has become a universal symbol of empowering women to not that the “backseat”.
Additionally, more male celebrities are also acknowledging the wage gap. Benedict Cumberbatch is known for refusing movie projects based on his female colleagues receiving less pay than him.
What is important here is that influential celebrities have begun their own protests and feminist movements to take charge of the wage gap problem. After all, according to recent changes in the Labor Law, no discrimination in salary should be made based on age, gender, and ethnicity, especially when the job title and skills are the same.
Yet, this journey is a long one and you as an individual can do a lot more than you think. This war started back in the 1940s and the results are still inconclusive in 2018.
In a few months, 2019 will approach us, a year of heightened technology and advancement. But the wage gap will only expand – unless you begin taking advantage of the labor law and demand equal pay from your workplace!
Because the fight against wage gap is only going to get bigger and you’ll want to be a part of it.