Paying the Bills, While Being a Woman (and Mama)

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Paying the Bills, While Being a Woman (and Mama)

What do you think about when you take a job? The pay? The hours? I know I do. Not just for me, but also for the kids and the family in general.  The pay determines how I can contribute to the household and the hours let me know whether or not I can get off in enough time to pick the kids up after school.  Now when I take on a job it’s become my goal to create an ‘I got kids’ schedule and enough money at the same time. 
The fact is before I even hear what kind of salary a future employer is offering there are already many factors at play that will affect my pay.  According to a recent study on the employment and earning status of women in the United States, women’s earnings differ considerably by race and ethnicity.  The median annual earnings for women (and men) across the largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States:
  • African American women $34, 000 ($37,500 men)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander women $46,000 ($59,000 men)
  • White women $40,000 ($52, 000 men)
  • Native American women $31,000 ($37,000 men)
  • Hispanic women $28,000 ($30,900 men)
Education, usually seen as a way to make all things equal, has some advantages in trying to increase a woman’s pay.  But not completely, the study also found that:
  •  Education increases women’s earnings but does not eliminate the gender wage gap.
  • Women who work full-time, year-round earn less than men at the same educational level.
  • The gap in earnings is largest for those with the highest levels of educational attainment: women with a graduate degree earn only 69.1 percent of what comparable men earn, and women with a bachelor’s degree earn 71.4 percent of the amount their male counterparts earn
 Others argue that the gender gap isn’t really real and does not account for the many different roles women have been expected to play over the years.  Furthermore those roles, like being the primary caregiver (who is usually a woman) impact what kinds of jobs women will take.  It’s all a big, looping, gender bias mess if you ask me.  Hopefully they’ll have it all figured out when it’s time for my daughters to think about hours and pay.


What do you tell your daughters about the gender pay gap?


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