The “American Dream” is what a lot of people base on what they want their life to turn out like; a nice paying job, a roof over their head, a car, and a family if that’s what is in their plan. However, the “American Dream” is not always a reality, especially if you’re a woman, getting paid less than a man working in the same field. The gender wage gap is one of the most discussed topics in the United States, making it one of the most prevalent inequalities in America. With Women’s marches going on, continuing the fight for the equality for women, every day is hopefully a step closer to breaking that glass ceiling and getting rid of the wage gap.
The “glass ceiling” is defined as the actual and or perceived barrier in place within occupational or organizational settings that limits the upward mobility of women with respect to pay and promotions (Newman). The average woman earns “72 cents for every dollar that the average man earns” (Newman). For women the “American Dream” is a harder concept to come by, due tothe fact that this is supposed to be achieved through “individual hard work and initiative” also known as “meritocracy” (Newman). However, when a woman’s wage lags far behind her fellow man’s wages, she is least likely to believe in meritocracy because she has worked just as hard for possibly the same position and she gets paid even less (Newman). Published in the American Journal of Political Science; throughthe research that Benjamin J. Newman, has done, he was able to observe a significant increase in women’s belief of meritocracy when their income has been equal or surpassed men’s wages. It was also revealed that peak rejection of meritocracy is when women’s wages lag closely behind men, which is shown to be parallel to work place discrimination, “attributes of positive traits to women and negative traits to men” (Newman).
It has shown that women’s experience of discrimination increases the higher up in their workplace hierarchy they go and men and women wage discrepancies are intensify at the upper endof the wage distributions (Newman). America is not the only place that has work place discrimination with women not having the same pay as their fellow men. There is definitely gender wage gap discrimination in the European Nation (EU). Gender is absolutely one of the most common source of work place discrimination, especially because women have to break down barriers to get the similar, if not equal to, job that their fellow men get to readily have (Gradin, del Rio, & Canto). An article from the journalof Feminist Economics, Gender Wage Discrimination And Poverty In The EU, published the data that gender gaps amongst individuals in the work force are very prevalent in the EU, but especially Mediterranean countries where women account for having the highest unemployment rate. Many countries have fewer women in the workforce because they obtain their “gender roles” either full or part time and focus on housekeeping, which explains the high levels of part time employment in the EU (Gradin, del Rio, & Canto). Another thing that is pointed out, in specifically southern Europe, “the existing evidence of women’s overrepresentation in part-time and temporary jobs indicates the existence of labor discrimination against women”, this also shows why women are not represented in the work force as much as men (Gradin, del Rio, & Canto).
In this article, the authors of the text focus on EU countries where women face market discrimination, they are more likely to “pay a cost in terms to a higher poverty level (Gradin, delRio, & Canto). This is due to two factors, the gender wage gap that women are faced with, making it harder to earn the same amount of money and the fact that women are limited in their job selection. There are many women workers are given alow wage, eventhough their education, experience, and skill level say otherwise (Gradin, del Rio, & Canto). However, women are also out of work due to the low wage paying jobs, and lack of part time jobs, putting them out of the work force and making it difficult for them to live (Gradin, del Rio, & Canto).
According to the Structure of Earnings Survey provided by