Women have been overlooked, overworked, and underpaid pretty much since the dawning of time, and you'd like to think that in this day and age - in 2018 - there would be such little discrimination against women that the gender pay gap would just close itself. Mais, non. A collective sigh. Just to make you feel like you don't work hard enough for your paycheque (you know, the one that's significantly lesser than your male counterpart's), Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce published a new study with a list of 'rules' which women should follow, should they want the same pay as their male colleagues.
Upon reading rule number one, I raised an eyebrow, read it again, before audibly saying, what the fuck? Maybe the 'rule' itself might give you a better understanding of my reaction: 'Get one more degree in order to have the same earnings as a man.' Yep, you read that right.
Now whilst I'd love to go and study a Masters and have a second degree, this pisses me off. I worked my arse off for my entire three years at university and it's horrific that in order to even be considered as worthy of a man of the same educational level (or even less), I'd have to go back and do it all over again. All in the name of getting paid equally...
It's quite possible that you're fuming too, so fear not, Georgetown have an explanation:
'A woman with a bachelor’s degree earns $61,000 per year on average, roughly equivalent to that of a man with an associate’s degree. The same rule holds true for women with master’s degrees compared to men with bachelor’s degrees and for each successive level of educational attainment. Over a lifetime, women with bachelor’s degrees in business earn $1.1 million less than men with bachelor’s degrees in business. In fact, men earn more than women within every industry.'
Seeing that women have gradually, through the years, surpassed educational statistics of men (for example, more women have earned doctorates than men since the early 2000s), it's bizarre that we're still in a position where education opens up more pathways - or at least pays more - for men. How is it that women have been higher education for decades, yet the gap still remains this wide?
Figures appear to show that women, even when obtaining the same degree as men, more often than not opt for a related occupation that offers lower wages, which, according to experts, explains the gap. But there's only so much you can sashay away with these kinds of statistics before having to acknowledge that discrimination plays a large part in the problem, with the Georgetown study - aptly named Women Can't Win - even adding, 'When social scientists control for every measurable employment factor that could help explain the disparity, women still earn only 92% of what men earn for doing the same job.'
Other 'rules' include choosing strong majors, negotiating your first paycheque and postgrad options. Shame that the rules only focus on women and their achievements — perhaps rule number two should be 'fuck the patriarchy'?