History of Gender gap in America and its causes

Claudia Goldin has provided beneficial information about the gender gap that exists mainly concerning earnings. Before the year 1950, comprehensive data did not exist. However, some data obtained from other economic sectors proves that a gender gap exists in matters that concern earnings. Furthermore, these figures have been quite low during the early periods of American history. Between the years 1820 up to 1850, the industrial revolution was taking place in America, and the ratio of male to female full-time employees rose to around 0.5 from the original 0.3. This rise was experienced in the manufacturing and agricultural industries, respectively. It means that the average earnings for men rose quite higher, at fifty per cent than that of women which were at thirty percent.

Furthermore, from the years 1900 up to 1930, there was a rise in the sales and clerical sectors, and the ratio existing between females to male earning significantly rose to 0.56 from 0.46. In all the mentioned periods, the employment rate of married women did not show significant expansion. However, in the years 1950 to 1980, quite several married women entered the labour force. There was a constant female to male ratio at sixty per cent, in terms of year-round and full-time earnings.

In the article, Goldin used statistics and observation to address the issue of gender disparities, particularly those regarding earnings. The earnings between women and men brought about real differences. Pay is affected by observable differences such as hours of work, job experience, and education. These factors explain as to why the wage gap is as high as fifty per cent. The other residual factors cannot be in any way taught through observation. Residuals can result from economic discrimination or even workers choices. Around ten to thirty-three per cent of the female and male earnings, differences can be explained using the different occupations between the two. Therefore, the remainder comes about as a result of the functional discrepancies, which are existent because of observable factors.

A key reason as to why there are a decrease and change in the earnings between the two genders is educational advancement. Access to a college education has ensured that men and women are at par when it comes to acquiring knowledge. Women who have a college education have majored in the same subjects as their male counterparts. Male graduates with college degrees were higher as compared to females in 1960, while the figure was equal between the two in the year 1980. It means that during the 1960s, the indicated ratio was a hundred professional male degree holders compared to less than five females with professional degrees. However, during the year 1990, as many as sixty females were earning professional degrees compared to a hundred miles. It is interesting to note that women were becoming aware that they could have the same expectations as men, thereby contributing to the success of their futures. In the past, women were taking up courses that were not competitive; hence, they could not compete with the males. The result is that men obtained better jobs and left the females to work in undesirable sectors of the economy. Currently, the gap has changed as women now have the same occupations as men, even in the corporate world. Also though women have narrowed the gap that hitherto existed between them and their male counterparts in the economic sector; the results did not come on a silver platter.

The article has also provided some findings concerning the issue at hand. The government has ensured that the legislature has narrowed the existing gender gap. An example of legislation is the 1964 Civil Rights Act Title VII that does not allow discrimination based on employment conditions, promotion, and hiring based on sex. Also, affirmative action has helped in addressing this issue. The two laws have ensured that the gender gap in occupations and earnings has been reduced. In the twentieth century, the difference in occupations, earnings, and employment decreased in many ways. However, most of the significant changes were witnessed during the 1980s. The article has not provided an exact time as to when the gap will disappear since it depends on the time spent by the two genders at home as well as childcare.

The article has successfully employed new data series as well as quantitative and innovative methods of history. The length of the report shows that a lot of effort was put into ensuring that everything concerning the matter is addressed. It has also traced the female American labour force as well as workplace gender distinctions. However, the article failed to provide an in-depth discussion of how the economy has suffered because of the gender gaps. Also, it should have ensured that it used numerous references from known researchers in the study. In conclusion, the article by Goldie has provided that the reader is well informed about the gender gaps that exist in the United States, particularly regarding occupations and earnings.



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