Even Monkeys Fight Over the Grape: The Impact of Unequal Pay aka Gender Pay Gap | DCR Workforce Blog

Even Monkeys Fight Over the Grape: The Impact of Unequal Pay aka Gender Pay Gap

 “All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men and women to do nothing.” Edmund Burke 

The gender wage gap is a universal phenomenon but according to this compelling TED video, even monkeys would find such discrimination utterly intolerable. Fairness to women in the workplaces, sports arenas and as actors is blatantly lacking the world over. For proof, we have Venus Williams, Patricia Arquette and Emma Watson, protesting eloquently and publicly against the injustices and discrimination being faced by women.

The existence of gender pay gap is an undeniable fact in today’s workplaces. The impact of regulations like the Paycheck Fairness Act and Equal Pay for Equal Work has been minimal, if any.  Women are usually hired at their job’s minimum salary and the pay disparities get magnified with every raise that offers an increase based on a percentage of their salaries.

Women who put in work equivalent or superior to that of their male colleagues are being short-changed by employers who seek immunity by citing pay privacy requirements or legal loopholes at most workplaces. An employer probably saves $10,000 a year or so by beating down a woman employee to accept a lower salary – with unemployment being the alternative in a tight job market. We’re talking only about cases where the lower pay cannot be explained away by education, experience or skill sets. With Black and Hispanic women, the pay gap could be even higher.

Look at what transpires as result of these antediluvian practices that continue to persist as they fulfill the ultimate goal of all employers – which is cost-cutting and profiteering. How many stop to ask themselves – at what cost?!

Ripple impact of unequal pay

What is the ultimate impact of this inequality and discrimination faced by the women in the workforce?

  • Women make up half of the workforce and more of them are the main breadwinners for four out of 10 families. Many of these families are currently living below the poverty line.
  • The women suffer financially as do their families when they’re the sole breadwinners.
  • Half the working women in America will come above the poverty line, if only they were paid the same as comparable men.
  • Most educated married women choose to stay at home and care for their children full time, as they’re not incentivized by the pay offered to them. As a consequence, married couples are unable to enjoy a superior standard of life deserved by them.
  • Research has shown that jobs predominantly done by women pay less on average than jobs predominantly done by men. Women wouldn’t feel undervalued and stay away from productive occupations, as a direct consequence of it.
  • The U.S. economy and industry would enjoy access to a better pipeline of human capital.
  • The U.S. economy would have produced a higher income and enjoy a higher Gross Domestic Product (GDP), were women to be paid on par with men.
  • The federal and state government could have spent less funds on providing assistance to needy families.

Will it equalize in my lifetime?

According to projections, should this current trend of bridging the inequalities continue on its slow course, most women will not see equal pay with men until 2059! In other words, it may happen only after the lifetime of every woman currently in the workforce, chafing against this discrimination and suffering its effects.

Can we do something to mobilize public opinion and action to make a difference to this deplorable state of affairs?

Did you know?

  • In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the goal of true gender equality and full empowerment for all women and girls, at the top of a list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • A McKinsey report talks of how the realization of gender equality is a $12 trillion opportunity at the global level.

If that’s not convincing enough, think about this: Why should women accept a discrimination that even monkeys would throw a fit over?! Wondering what I am alluding to? It’s the compelling video referred to at the beginning of this post.

If you were unable to watch it, here’s a synopsis: In an experiment conducted on monkeys both work on a task, and both are happy to get paid in cucumber slices. But when the researcher offers a grape to one and cucumber slice to the other monkey as reward, the monkey with the cucumber slice decides to protest the unfairness by hitting the researcher with the cucumber slice – clearly demonstrating how the grape makes things so unequal that the cucumber slice lost all its value as payment. The monkey is not just disengaged but actively hostile!

We don’t need a hostile cucumber-throwing environment to make positive changes in pay equality. I’d like to hear about more companies working to eliminate the gender pay gap. What does your company do?

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.

One response to “Even Monkeys Fight Over the Grape: The Impact of Unequal Pay aka Gender Pay Gap”

  1. Shelley Luzaich says:

    It’s sad that in this country, in this day and age, we’re still struggling with the issue of equal pay for equal work.

Neha is responsible for developing and overseeing marketing strategy and brand identity at DCR. She and her team collaborate on marketing and sales strategies and product development for new initiatives.