The newest statistics have just come out, women, despite now earning more college degrees than men, still make less than men. Why is this?
In short, it’s because social change comes about slowly. This is why there is still talk of racism and why people are still debating the morality of abortion or stem cell research. People feel the way they feel because of the way they were raised and how they’ve lived their lives. And as such, it why they make the decisions they make, which sometimes include deciding who gets hired to do which job and how much they should be paid.
We all know the workforce has been slowly evolving to include women ever since the end of WWII; just as we all know that women have been attending colleges and trade schools and starting their own business ever since then too. But what we tend to forget about is that the men are still out there too, just as they were before the war. And because for most of the history of this country, it was men who filled virtually all of the management positions, and thus made the decisions about who to hire and what to pay them. And those men, many may forget, were our grandfathers or great grandfathers. They weren’t some anonymous group pulling the levers behind some mystical curtain. They were real human beings that went to work and made a living to support their families the best they could. And as they did so, they taught their sons that men did the work while women stayed home and raised the babies, and that’s how it was, right up until the time that the big war came and took so many men away from their homes and jobs.
And so, women learned that there was more to life than just sitting home raising babies, and they wanted some of it. The men running things didn’t take this news very well, and were very slow to hire women to do anything more than menial labor. And this is how another generation began. With women demanding more access to better jobs, and men hiding behind their office doors hoping it would all go away. But it didn’t of course, because women persisted. And so they soon began to get some of the management jobs, and in fact made gains in almost all areas of modern work life; well except in the technical sciences, because so few women pursue careers in that field, but pretty much everywhere else, they climbed right alongside the men; till they hit that infamous glass ceiling of course. And that was where things stood when this latest generation came along demanding to know why they weren’t getting paid as much as the men.
And the answer is, because they aren’t getting promoted to the highest paying jobs, not so much because they are getting paid less to do the same work. And the reason they are not getting promoted to the highest jobs is because men simply don’t want to give over that control. They prefer to hand over the reins to someone like them. And that’s why the highest paying jobs are still white men.
Though it’s not like minorities and women aren’t making strides. In fact, most experts in the field expect things to be reversed for the next generation, so, people will just have to be patient, because there is no rushing societal change; at least not without civil war.