Mind the Gap

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Little girls all over the world are told that they can be whatever they set their minds to. Having attended an all-girls high school, I was surrounded by only young women being the head of all the clubs and filling all the seats in the hardest classes. It was grounded in me, that women could do anything just as well, if not better than men and not to let any stereotypes stop me from going after my goals. Although I hold that message clear in my heart, this article did prove a solid point. As Budson stated our generation has been “raised of women telling [us] that [we] can be anything [we] want to be, that the world is [our] oyster. But what [was not shared], is that [we] can be anything that [we] want to be, but the structures and systems and culture have not caught up.” Even though we strive to be CEO’s and entrepreneurs, society has not yet fully come to terms with that idea. This is evident through the apparent wage gap, even in one of the most progressive states.

It is a common misconception that the reason men get paid more than women for doing the same job is because of childbirth but, this article disproves that claim. Sadly, women’s “number one reason for leaving is they don’t see that they are being valued by the organization, or they don’t see growth opportunities.” Women are seen as very different players than men in the business world. As this article discusses, when men are competitive it is seen as a positive thing yet, when women are competitive it is seen as them being rude. An interesting statistic that enhances that evidence that men make more than women in the workplace is that “a woman one year out of college makes $7,622 less than her male counterpart. In short, women begin well behind the starting line, a fact that can snowball over a lifetime into a huge pay gap, says Babson’s Susan Duffy.” This reality is hard to fathom but, sadly something many of us will have to face as graduation approaches us in the next few years. It was also made clear that the higher up in a company a women goes the more likely they will be paid less than their fellow male counterparts because wage is less monitored and therefore more susceptible to their boss’s biased discretion.

I believe that a point the article made on the lack of awareness of the wage gap is a key reason that it still exists today. In such a progressive state as Massachusetts, were women are known to be successful, no one really thinks of questioning such a thing as wage gap. It is a harsh reality to realize that when society sees a women doing well for herself in her career, that they think it is good enough and she should not need to question her equality to her male staff. As a young, powerful, female generation that truly has the world at our fingertips, I believe that it is our job to make sure that the structure and culture of society catch up to our growing abilities and treat us as equals. Together our voices can carry the message of equality but, in order to do so we must speak up and demand it.

Jessica Klein

Syracuse University

Link to the article: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/2013/01/gender-wage-gap-men-women-massachusetts/

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