Mind the gap: Millennial women and pay disparity

By: Jada Woods – sophomore, Political Science and Communication

Closing the wage gap between men and women is essential to achieve justice for all in this country. Many believe that receiving a college diploma is the key to closing the wage gap, but it is not a tool sufficient within itself. In fact, the more education a woman has, the wage gap actually increases.

Equal Pay Day, celebrated on April 12, is important to shed light on the economic issues that women face because we are not compensated for the same work as men.

The gender pay gap is an issue for all women–but particularly millennial women. Young female college graduates experience a wage gap right off the bat, earning on average less in their first job compared to men.

Both discrimination and cultural gender norms are major hurdles in the fight for equal pay. Yes, men are more likely to major in engineering and computer science than women, but college major is a minute reason for the gap.

The American Association of University Women notes just one year after graduation, a pay gap occurs between women and men who majored in the same field. For example, among business majors, women were paid slightly over $38,000, while men were paid just over $45,000.

Essentially, Ohio women lose out on hundreds of thousands of dollars of salary over the course of their careers due to the wage gap.  This is not just or equality and should be changed immediately. It is time to back economic policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act that would help millennial women, as well as other women, in Ohio like myself succeed.

Women are now the main or co-provider in more than 60 percent of American families. Since pay is a vital part of everyday life, in order to enable people to support themselves and their families, the pay gap must be closed. I encourage you to call your Congressional representative and ask them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act now.