A study released by the American Association of University Women on the pay wage gap in the U.S. in men and women cause conflicting opinions among students and faculty. Workshops on campus today are looking to reduce the discrepancy in the wage gap between men and women.
The American Association of University Women reported in March that women working full-time in the United States are paid 77 percent of what men are paid.
The study, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap, also includes a state-by-state wage gap ranking of the median annual earnings and earnings ratio for full-time and year-round workers.
Mississippi ranks 46th in the country with men averaging $48,000 a year and women averaging $37,000 a year, just 73 percent of the men’s average.
“It makes me angry because I think there is an antiquated idea that women are going to marry and depend on men for the income and that’s certainly the way it doesn’t work out most of the time,” said Blair Hobbs, lecturer for the English department.
The study shows that the gap has shrunk since 1970 when women were only making 60 percent of what men were paid. The report also partially credits the narrowing of the gap to the progress of women in education and in the workforce as well as the slower rise of men’s wages.
“I think what has happened is that we have spent the past decade if not centuries working to give women more opportunities,” said Clint Carlisle, leadership consultant for phi kappa phi.
“I think that focusing just on women instead on men in that area has kind of given them the upper hand now.”
Carlisle said the focus is not a “bad thing,” but added that it could cause a shift.
“I just think we’re almost reversing what we have been trying to fix for so long,” Carlisle said.
According to the report, one main reason of the gender wage gap is because of “women’s life choices.”
The AAUW said critics believe the pay differences between men and women are simply a matter of personal choices
The study said that one year after college graduation, women were paid 82 percent of what men were paid.
A previous report by the AAUW in 2007, Behind the Pay Gap, found that 10 years after graduation, the pay gap broadens, and women were paid only 69 percent of what men were paid.
“The big part of it is the types of jobs men and women still have,” said Jonathan Winburn, assistant professor of political science.
“Jobs that women have traditionally gone into like teaching or nursing pay less than jobs men go into,” Winburn said.
“The gap may not become even, but it will shrink because I know there are programs that are actively trying to recruit women to areas like engineering or traditionally male dominated jobs.”
The likelihood of women becoming mothers and marrying also contributes to the wage gap.
“I do think the difference in wages is a little unfair, but you also have to take into the fact that women become wives and most of the time when they have children, they become stay-at-home moms,” said Keenan Dollar, leadership consultant for phi kappa phi
Junior broadcast major Jordan Lucas said a single mother with children deserves more income than a single male, but also said it’s about the situations you put yourself in.
“Men are looked upon to be providers, Lucas said.
“I think it is natural that a man would make more money.”
Lucas admitted he didn’t know how wide the pay gap was between men and women, but said there is room to close gap. However, he also said he doesn’t think it will happen anytime soon.
“It probably may not ever happen unless a woman becomes president,” Lucas said.
It is a foregone conclusion that the increase in earnings plays a part in the increase of education, but that rule doesn’t apply to the gender pay gap according to AAUW.
“If you earn the degree and work just as hard as men, you should be paid the same as a man,” Hobbs said.
A salary negotiation workshop is being held on campus tomorrow at the Center for Manufacturing Excellence Room 108 from 2:00- 3:30.
It is free and all students are welcome to join. The workshop will attempt to teach women in particular how to properly negotiate their salaries when a job offer is made.