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The Differences Between Male and Female Earned Wages


The gap in earned wages between men and women is still relevant (Barroso & Brown, 2021). Even though we’re in the 21st century, studies have shown that the difference is still rampant in the workplace and affects people’s economic stability. It has been shown that there has been a difference in earned wages between men and women dating back to the early centuries (The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998). Studies show these differences as; childcare, firm-specific pay premiums and pay secrecy all affect the gender wage gap. This research will bring about awareness of the wage difference and contribute to reducing this issue.


Thirty-five years from now, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, making it against the law for female and male payment different wages for “significantly equal” work (The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998). The ratio between men’s and women’s salaries was around 60% in the 1950s. It began to rise in the late 1970s, then paused in the mid-1990s, and eventually reached 75% in 1997 (The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998).

There is a wage difference between men and women (Barigozzi, Cremer & Roeder, 2018). Traditionally women with children receive small wages than women without children, although gains in leverage payment have been most significant for married ladies with children. Despite the females with children group growing exponentially since the 70s, unmarried mothers continue to have the lowest average payment (The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998).


One of the trends in family life has been the reduction of marriage and the rise of female’s labor force contribution (Caucutt, Guner & Knowles, 2002). As women are primarily the childcare givers, their absences in work severally create the wage difference that we are seeing and experiencing today. Most women change careers and get children and go from a full-time profession path to a supplementary stretchy low-career (Barigozzi, Cremer & Roeder, 2018). With the responsibility of finding and keeping quality childcare, it becomes hard to keep working in full time. Females working partially are the primary sources of childcare within the family, further emphasize the low-career path trend in the modern family. This career path shift contributes to the gender wage gap as females work only part-time while men continue to work more full-time jobs.

Firm-Specific Pay Premiums

Mounting witness that strong-specific payment premiums contribute to wage inequality (Card, Cardoso & Kline, n.d). These qualities will generate to the gender payment difference if females aren’t able to work at better waging organizations or negotiate bad payment bargains with their bosses than males (Card, Cardoso & Kline, n.d.). Most countries today are still experiencing a gender wage difference. There are more educational opportunities for females than there once were, but this alone has not improved the gap. There are disparities in the job prospects for women as compared to men and different wage bargains with their prospective employers (Card, Cardoso, & Kline, n.d).

Pay Secrecy

Secret payment increases the gender salary gap, from legislators to advocates; they believe that reasonable labor standards acts need to be changed to reduce these practices (Kim, 2015). As there have been laws passed to allow women into the workforce, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, companies are permitted to exercise pay secrecy is still a concern that encourages the gap in earned wages between men and women. When looking directly at wage gaps, a forty-year study of faculty salaries in Canadian universities found that the implementation of disclosure laws corresponded with a reduction in the female to men salary comparison (Scheller, 2021).


This research paper brings awareness to the differences in earned wages between men and women. It’s also aimed at advocating for women’s equality, thus allowing women to be motivated in their workplace.


The differences between men’s and women’s salaries are called the gender wage gap, which has been a thorn in many people’s lives in all different countries of the world. Back in the 50s and 70s, women were viewed as weak and home-based laborers who could only look after the children and take care of the home. Those who got a chance to work in the firms and other working stations with men were paid lower amounts than their counterparts until President Kennedy passed the Equal Pay Act into law in 1987, allowing women to receive the same wage as men ((The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998). Although 36 years later, things are just the same as the old days; women are underpaid compared to their male counterparts even though they have the same qualifications. Several things have been witnessed whereby pay transparency, pay secrecy, fertility delay, organization’s specific payments have been the daily happenings to women in the labor market.

Literature Review

The research collected for this study came from a combination of peer-reviewed and scholarly articles. Studies about each of the subtopic’s childcare, firm-specific pay premiums and pay secrecy are all presented to illustrate the differences in male and female wages.

Pay Transparency

The text “Pay Transparency and The Wage Gap: The Effects of Pay Transparency, Gender, And Race on Job Searching and Negotiating, “composed by Scheller, assesses the essence of diversity in the workplaces. The author uses a sample size of 432 adults in the professional field, and the numbers were evenly distributed in terms of race (Scheller, 2021, 44). The applicants were conscripted through a link to a review containing questions.

The descriptive statistic provides that African American men earn 22% less than White men while African American women earn 12% less than white women. Also, one of the inferential statistics was that the intersection between race and gender was not significant F (1, 420) = 1.08, p= .299 (Scheller, 2021, 69). The effect of race on specific preferred jobs did not differ from gender. Individuals must be presented with the actual salary for a particular job upon application compared to the standard method of issuing a salary range.

Pay Secrecy

The article Pay Secrecy and the Gender Wage Gap in the U.S” by Kim does not have a sample size as it uses data from past research. There are no descriptive statistics in the text, and inferential statistics are not provided. Kim concludes that eliminating the component of salary secrecy would be adequate in college-educated women, an element that would lead to lowering the gender wage difference (Kim, 2015, 664). Providing policies against salary secrecy would solve the issue of the salary range. This leads to the underpayment of most individuals.

Fertility Delay

“Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality and the Incentives for Fertility Delay,” research into why more women are waiting for families. Its sample size was 7283 women. There is quantitative data relating to the topic under discussion (Caucutt, Guner & Knowles, 2002). The descriptive variable statistics used in the article is the variability of a dataset being experimented with (Caucutt, Guner & Knowles, 2002). The inferential statistics used were fertility timing and inequality, where the marriage market and imbalance resulting from workplace differentiates. The author’s conclusion states women with high incomes get children later in life compared to those with low incomes (Caucutt, Guner & Knowles, 2002). Women with high incomes are busier compared to women with minimal payments.

Female Managers and Gender Wage Gap

The selected was Working for the Woman? Female Managers and Gender Wage Gap,” Its sample size was 13,000 women. There were statistical models and illustrative examples (Cohen & Huffman, 2007). The inferential statistics used were statistical models and exemplary instances where statistical models were obtained from nesting within occupations. Extended specimens were obtained from the article’s central hypothesis. Female managers treat male and female workers equally (Cohen & Huffman, 2007). Women managers hold inferior management positions, whereas, in the contemporary work environment, male managers hold unique places compared to female managers (Cohen & Huffman, 2007).

Firm-Specific Pay

“Bargaining, Sorting, and The Gender Wage Gap: Quantifying the Impact of Firms on The Relative Pay of Women,”The information provided describes the effect that a firm’s specific wage premiums have on the earned wage disparities between male and female. The sample size is varied, and the methodology was comprehensive analysis from a private-sector’s census of workers (Card, Cardoso & Kline, n.d). Gender differences between firm wage differentials.

The analysis assumes that different organizations pay different salaries relative lower to the overall labor market (Card, Cardoso & Kline, n.d). The data and statistics suggest that organizations definite wage standards are an essential facet to the labor market and as long as women continue to work in companies that pay lower salaries.


This research uses a quantitative method to develop the knowledge and comprehension of how earned wages between men and women over the past decades have been carried out. Several studies from the past philosophers and authors regarding the gender wage rate gap have been explored and brought light to the research.


The gap between the wages earned by men and women is attributed to different issues. Childcare is an issue when it relates to women and full-time job security. When looking at the salaries between males and females, married men with children make more in the labor market than unmarried men; the opposite is true for women. Out of all women in the labor market, married ones with children have seen tremendous benefits in average pay over the last 30 years. Still, they earn nominal wages compared to their male counterparts (The Council of Economic Advisors, 1998).

The firm-specific pay premiums can play a role in the gender salaries differences. Men’s and women’s roles in the workforce remain different as women get the lower-paying but more flexible jobs than men (Card, Cardoso & Kline, n.d). Women in lower-paying positions tend to get paid lower rates per the employing firm, thus generating to the gender wage gap. Along with childcare and firm-specific pay premiums, pay secrecy also plays a role in the gender wage gap. “According to a survey conducted in 2010, 61% of private-sector employees are either officially prohibited or informally discouraged from talk about their payment with their workmates (Kim, 2015)”. If women do not know that there is a difference in what they are paid to their male counterparts, the gender wage gap will continue to rise.


Today, the gender wage gap is bothering the economic growth of many countries worldwide, especially the developing countries struggling with gender equality. Women are the core children caregivers yet own the same positions as men but get the least payment (Barigozzi, Cremer & Roeder, 2018). Study shows that female earn 64 percent fewer than men earn in the same occupation in the United States (Barroso, Brown, 2021). No matter the qualification and the performance women have, organizations have not considered paying women the same amount of wages as men, thus raising the gender wage gap.

Payment transparency has been one of the critical facets of why the gender wage pay has risen over the past decades in the United States. Employers aren’t honest with their employees, and they even worsen the situation by giving out pay slips to workers personally, making sure that no disclosing of what they earn, thus increasing the gender wage gap (Scheller, 2021). Payment secrecy is the most influential aspect of wage differences in most firms. Some of these organizations that carry out gender discrimination and gender wage gap differences don’t allow discussion of one’s salary within the firm. Making it forbidden, they get the chance to carry on with their schemes of paying women loser amounts than their male counterparts. Even with the same position and work performance, women earn lower amounts than men, thus increasing the differences between the wage rates in the country ((Kim, 2015).


In conclusion, the gap between female and male earned salaries needs to be addressed, as it is a form of inequality (Smith-Doerr et al., 2019). With adequate opportunity and resources, women can do more for the organizations they work for and society. The reasons behind the wage gap between men and women have to be addressed to help decrease and one day eliminate the issue in our community. Pay transparency is one of the key contributors to wage rate difference increase between men and women in the U.S. On top of that is the pay secrecy, which motivates the firms to carry out their evil schemes without any problem since no one knows what the other earns within the organization. Fertility delay also comes into play whereby women who choose to become successful and fight for their proper payment according to their qualification get children later than women of average. Due to the fear of reaching menopause without children, most women tend to go for lower wages and positions in the organization than their fellow men, thus increasing the chances of the gender wage gap.


The childcare systems must be reformed so that every individual has access to quality and affordable childcare. This may help the gender wage gap regarding childcare, preventing women from holding full-time higher-paying jobs. With this change, women may have more access to higher-paying firm-specific pay premiums. Pay transparency within organizations can narrow the wage gap between genders in the workforce.

Women should be treated fairly and equally to men under the same category and level in the workplace (Smith-Doerr et al., 2019). This boosts the performance of the organization they work for and the whole community’s well-being. More opportunities should be provided for women in all positions. Employers should learn to accept women and deliver necessary resources such as childcare expense compensation, subsidies, and onsite childcare options.


Barigozzi, F., Cremer, H., Roeder, K., (2018). Women’s career choices, social norms, and child care policies. Journal of Public Economics,168,162-173,

Barroso, A., Brown, A., (2021). Gender pay gap in U.S. held steady in 2020. Gender pay gap in U.S. held steady in 2020 | Pew Research Center

Card, D., Cardoso, A., Kline, P., (n.d.). Bargaining, sorting, and the gender wage gap: quantifying the impact of firms on the relative pay of women.

Caucutt, E. M., Guner, N., & Knowles, J. (2002). Why do women wait? Matching, wage inequality, and the incentives for fertility delay. Review of Economic Dynamics5(4), 815-855.

Cohen, P. N., & Huffman, M. L. (2007). Working for the woman? Female managers and the gender wage gap. American sociological review72(5), 681-704.

Kim, M. (2015). Pay secrecy and the gender wage gap in the United States. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society54(4), 648-667, (Links to an external site.)

Scheller, E. M. (2021). Pay Transparency and the Wage Gap: The Effects of Pay Transparency, Gender, and Race on Job Searching and Negotiating (Publication No. 28652729) [Doctoral dissertation, the University of Nebraska at Omaha]. (Links to an external site.)

Smith-Doerr, L., Alegria, S., Fealing, K., H., Fitzpatirick, D., Tomaskovic-Devey, D., (2019). Gender pay gaps in U.S. Federal Science Agencies: An organizational approach. American Journal of Sociology,125(2), 534-576.

The Council of Economic Advisers, (1998). Explaining trends in the gender wage gap. Gender Wage Gap (


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