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Why has the gap between male and female wages narrowed significantly?

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Introduction

Why has the gap between male and female wages narrowed significantly? In the past, there has always been a large 'wage gap' between males and females for social and governmental reasons however over time this gap has narrowed dramatically due to social preference, educational expanses and implementation of new laws calling for equal rights. The standard of education of women has increased drastically. Women now outperform men at educational levels with an example being that 27% of women receive an A*-C grade at GCSE to men's 18%, this can account for a drop in the gender pay gap as those retiring and leaving the working population are being replaced by a more qualified population which are more desirable to employ, therefore with a rise in the educated population of women above that of males, there is more likely to be a rise in those women being employed by larger companies and earning wages above or on par with that of males in the future. However a gender gap in education still remains with men still likely to be more highly qualified then women which may be accounted for with less women 16%, receiving degrees, than males 18%. ...read more.

Middle

For example, in low skilled jobs the average lifetime earnings for a childless woman is 534000 compared to 731000 with men. The high skilled sector is also greatly affected, with the gap narrowed further with 11900000 for childless women compared to men's average lifetime earnings of 1333000. The percentages of women in different jobs in the economy can also show some key trends, which can help explain the narrowing wage gap. In a lot of the higher paid jobs the position of women are becoming more and more evident, an example being 47% of all lawyers and solicitors are women. The executive company positions which were male dominated jobs, are now ones in which the concentration of women is increasing. For example in 1974, the concentration of women was just 1.8%, however this has risen 29.3% to 31.1% in 2004. The causes of these high increases can be put down to the strengthening rights of women in the economy. An organisation that ensures this is the 'Equal Opportunities Commission'. It certifies that not only men and women are treated equally but also different races are given the same opportunities in the economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The increased union density of women has lead to a better ability to negotiate wages. Their union density is now above men, with women in 2005 now having 30% compared to men's 29%. Although it is only 1% difference it still may account slightly for the narrowing of the wage gap. Although the wage gap is narrowing, there still remains a gap between the wage of men and women. It may be that women have a lower geographical mobility in comparison to that of men, meaning that they are less willing to supply their labour to jobs which are situated further away. This may be because they have to look after children or cook for their family and are therefore unlikely to travel to far away from their home, unlike men who may supply their labour all over the country in order to receive a better wage. Many women may look at the opportunity cost of working in comparison to their unemployment benefits, and may not see the gap as a large enough to want to supply themselves. However, it can be said that the wage gap has narrowed significantly in past three decades, due to changing social preference, government intervention and improved education for women. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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