In the United States, women face a pay gap in nearly every career. Among the many occupations the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects data on, women’s earnings are higher than men’s in only a handful of career fields. An income gender gap favoring men exists in nearly every occupation.
Jobs traditionally associated with men, as a rule, tend to pay better than jobs traditionally associated with women. Women and men often work in different kinds of jobs and this kind of segregation is a major reason for the existence of the income gender gap.
In 2014, America’s civilian workforce was made up of slightly more than 146 million part and full-time workers. 53 percent were men, and 47 percent were women. Nearly 40 percent of working women were employed in traditionally female occupations such as social work, nursing, and teaching. In contrast, fewer than 5 percent of men worked in these jobs.
Forty-three percent of the male workers were in traditionally male occupations, such as computer programming, firefighting, construction, and engineering. Women made up just over 5 percent of the workers in those jobs.
In the last 40 years, women have begun moving into jobs previously held primarily by men, but this process has slowed since the early 2000s.
As people get older, and increase their work experience, both male and female full-time workers normally see a steady increase in their incomes. Incomes typically stabilize after the age of 45, and then starts to drop after 65. The income gender gap also grows with age, and gender income gaps among older workers are much larger than the gaps of younger male and female workers. In the year 2013, women working full-time, and between the ages 20-24, were paid 90 percent of what men were paid on a weekly basis. For workers between 55–64 years old, however, women were normally paid just 77 percent of what their male colleagues were paid. Women normally make about 90 percent of what men are paid until around the age of 35, when the income gender gap starts to slowly grow.
At a speech to the National Press Club in March, Bernie said,
“We have to pass pay equity for women workers. It is not acceptable that women are making 78 cents an hour compared to men.”
Bernie has supported equal pay for equal work. He voted for passage of the Pay Equity Bill in April, and spoke out after Republicans banded together to block it. He said,
“If the U.S. Senate had 80 women rather than 80 men as it does now, this bill would pass immediately. It is absurd that women receive 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.”
Bernie believes women should be paid the same as men. In the year 2015, it is astonishing to find women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work. Pay equity for women workers is a key part of Bernie’s platform for the 2016 presidential election.
Hillary Clinton also says she believes women should receive pay equal to men, but hypocritically does not practice what she preaches. Women in Ms. Clinton’s senate office earned 72 cents to the dollar compared to what the men earned. This was rationalized as a consequence of the choices these women had made in their careers.