Equal Pay Day Is Today: Here Are 5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The Wage Gap

Today is officially Equal Pay Day, which begs the question: What is the wage gap and how does it work? Most people know that the wage gap refers to the institutionalized practice of women being paid less than men for the same work, but how exactly does it manifest and perpetuate itself in our current economic structure? In honor of this awareness-based holiday, here are five facts about the wage gap that may surprise you.

1. It Starts As Early As Household Chores

Sadly, even in childhood boys are perceived as more competent than girls and are compensated accordingly. A website that lets parents set up online accounts for their kids’ allowances dropped some fascinating and frown-inducing statistics, and discovered that boys are being paid on average 15 percent more for the same chores and nearly twice as much for helping with homework/tutoring.

2. Discrimination Can Start With Your Name

A recent study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that even before securing a position women can be discriminated against based on having typically female-gendered names. The findings showed that identical applications were received differently based on the names attached, with the typically male-named applications being perceived as more competent and even offered higher starting salaries.

3. It Intersects With Racial Bias

While white women may be the loudest demographic when it comes to talking about the wage gap, they certainly aren’t the most affected. Research by Race For Opportunity shows that unmarried women of color make the least on the pay scale, with single Native American and Latina women making as little as 40-50 percent as much as a white man in the same position. Black women make as little as 60 percent of the pay of their white male counterparts, while white women make 75-80 percent.

4. Working Mothers Get Pay Cuts While Working Fathers Get Raises

The division of parenting labor tends to favor fathers as it is, with mothers doing more childcare and household chores (regardless of their presence in the workplace) in general. To add to this frustrating pattern, studies have shown that men in the workplace, on average, gain a salary increase of  six percent for each child they have, while working mothers get their pay cut by four percent for each child they have. Am I scowling? I’m scowling aren’t I?

5. Even Google Discriminates

If you haven’t smashed your face against your computer screen yet, this final fact may cause you to take a sledgehammer to the thing as a meta act of poetic justice. Apparently the glass ceiling of job opportunity isn’t limited to the biases of fear-mongering human men, but also resides within Google’s algorithms. It was recently revealed that Google shows higher paying and more prestigious job listings to men using the search engine than it does women. How does it know you’re a woman searching? Your name, your registration information, and likely all the pheromones of inadequacy you’re sending into the ether.

[Huffington Post]