Political & Media Commentary

The Pay Gap: From higher ed to doctors, it’s a problem


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After the near shock of now President Donald Trump scoring the Oval Office where the former businessman defeated qualified and experienced Hillary Clinton, women across the nation have run for political office more than ever before. For the 2018 midterm elections, 493 women are running for Congress- an unprecedented number for both sides of the aisle.

But the question stands: if they win, will they earn just as much as their male counterparts?

For some, Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 election indicated to them that despite the achievements of successfully voting in more women in the United States’ Senate, women could remain political “outsiders.”

During former President Barack Obama’s administration, he looked to help address the gap between white men and nearly everyone else where companies would be required to report how much they paid people as well as their race and sex.

This regulation was reversed by the Trump administration.

Even the Queen earns less

In Hollywood, two producers of the Netflix series “The Crown” exposed that Matt Smith, also known as ‘Prince Philip,’ made more than Claire Foy, known for her role as ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ throughout the first two seasons of the show.

Left Bank Creative Director Suzanne Mackie told Variety this past week: “Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

But, as Foy will not play the part of the Queen in the upcoming seasons, that doesn’t help her.

For women across the nation, though, this type of headline is nothing new. Each year in early November marks the highlight of gender inequality as women begin to work for free. This flag should serve as a blunt representation of how women in the workforce are nearly treated as slaves.

Those who defend the status quo say there is one matter that could apply to women’s labor as part of a larger economic factor, such as the case of maternity leave.

For too long have some cried out for equal pay for equal work, and it truly does not sound unreasonable. Yet, those who defend the status quo say there is one matter that could apply to women’s labor as part of a larger economic factor, such as the case of maternity leave.

In nearly every industry there has been an issue of a pay gap, including higher education, in hospitals, in newsrooms, among other workplaces.

Go to college to earn a good living, they said

Administrative roles in higher education remain a “man’s world” in terms of positions and pay.

According to a recent report, less than 30 percent of top executives are women.

These women administrators now earn 80 cents to the man’s dollar, according to the study. This has only narrowed by a mere three cents since 2001, when women earned 77 cents on the man’s dollar, according to Inside Higher Ed.

For example, Suffolk University in Boston, which prides itself in celebrating diversity by consistently admitting a large international student population and appointing its second female president recently, also falls behind on appointing female executives.

According to the university’s 2016 990 form, the institution has six women on their list of highest compensated employees in comparison to the 13 men on that same list– the men overpowering the women in numbers by more than double.

Just down the green line on the MBTA stands Boston University, another school that hits the national charts for “Most International Student Population.” However, according to their 2016 990 form, the institution has three women on their list of highest compensated employees in comparison to the 10 men.

Behind the numbers

The gap can’t be boiled down to a neat and exact dollar and cents figure as it varies dramatically by job role and race, according to a new study from SmartAsset, which has aimed to clarify the gap and where it’s prevalent. The analytics company looked at data on earnings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to show which occupations had the largest and smallest gender pay gaps throughout the nation.

Throughout the findings, roles in the finance industry, which is seemingly male-dominated, present the largest pay gaps.

Female financial advisors make an average of 55% what their male counterparts do.

The report was clear: “Female financial advisors make an average of 55 [percent] what their male counterparts earn.”

Take my blood pressure

For female doctors, who have endured medical school and have withstood the same amount of years of rigorous training as their male counterparts in the United States, are earning 28 percent less than the male doctors in these same hospitals.

Women vs. Men Doctors

This gap makes up an average of $105,000 less per year. And the gap for these doctors is only growing wider, according to the results of a survey on the social networking platform for healthcare professionals Doximity.

According to multiple news reports, this already dramatic gap is set to widen for years to come.

Fair reporters receive less than fair equality 

In newsrooms across the United Kingdom who have recently published series on their own gender pay gaps, the difference is stark.

Copy of Women vs. Men Doctors

For example, Guardian News & Media, there was a reported 11.3 percent pay gap between men and women. In a recent report, The Guardian published that 65 percent of their highest paid workers are men and 57 percent of their lowest paid are women. This pay gap is also similar to BBC, where women earn 10.7 percent less than their male counterparts. ITN in Wales reports a 19.6 percent gap.

What’s next for the women of America?

For many, there seems to be no progress in sight with a Trump administration in office. However, with the amount of women running for Congress this year, closing the gap could be on the horizon of policy.

See my next post on the pay gap and how it impacts young women today.

Have you experienced inequality in the work place based off of sexual orientation, race, gender, religious affiliation or otherwise? If so, please fill out this form. I will not publish any comments without consent and further questions. 

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