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Mind the Gender Pay Gap, written by Helen Shen, and published in Nature Magazine,

exposes the pay inequity and discrimination that women face every day, with a
focus on the job perspectives prospects of female researchers. The issue of gender pay gap has
been a controversial and much disputed subject within the scientific community. In the article,
Shen consistently reiterates the idea that although the number of women studying and practicing
science has risen sharply, women are disproportionality driven away from scientific careers
(Shen 23).
This essay will shed some light on the issue of pay inequity in the United States as well as the
EU, focusing on all labor markets, including the scientific domain, as well as the entertainment
business. Discrimination against women in the workplace is still a real problem that society has
to manage, and I believe that the only way to do it, is by taking action against sexism.
Previous studies(footnote) of pay inequity have dealt with this vexed topic, but it still looks like
everyone is turning a blind eye when it comes to actually dealing with this issue. The Institute for
Womens Policy Research (IWPR) in the United States showed in their study Pay Equity &
Discrimination that although women represent almost half of the workforce in the United
States, and receive more college and graduate degrees than men, they continue to earn
considerably less than men. In 2013, full-time female workers made only 78 cents for every
dollar earned by men. This represents a gender wage gap of 22 percent. The situation in the EU
is not much better. According to a Joint statement by First Vice-President Timmermans,
Commissioner Thyssen and Commissioner Jourovt The gender pay gap has slightly decreased
from 17.7% in 2006 to 16.3% in 2013, but this decrease does not represent the improvement of
the situation, as it was only a result of the economic crisis, which has seen men's earnings
decrease, rather than women's earnings increase. According to their research, the slow rate as in

the last years persist, then it will take 70 years for women to achieve equal pay equity. In order to
understand this difference in earnings between women and men, we first must observe some of
the factors that explain the gender pay gap.
As stated by the European Commission in the Brochure 'Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the
European Union', balancing work and family responsibilities was one of the main causes of the
gender pay gap. In order to combine both of them, women have to work shorter hours and often
part-time. These family responsibilities affect women opportunities to progress in their jobs and
receiving higher pay, and this gap in income widens when it comes to having children. Today, the
majority of women with young children participate in the labor force. However, the plan to have
children in the future, or already having them, is responsible for an enormous drop-off in the
women who apply for tenure-track jobs (Shen 22).
Another consequence of the gender pay gap is the discrimination of women in the workplace.
This occurs when women are paid less than men although they have carried out the same work.
This may be the result of so-called direct discrimination where women are simply treated less
favorably than men. (Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European Union 5). The study The
Gender Wage Gap by Occupation conducted by IWPR reveal that within all the most common
occupations, womens median incomes are lower than mens. In 2011, full-time female workers
were earning a median of $684 weekly, compared with $832 per week for men, a gender pay
ratio of 82.2 percent. Womens skills are often undervalued because they are seen to reflect
female characteristics, rather than acquired skills and competences. Women tend to earn less
than men who have comparable skills in male dominated occupations, such as scientific
researchers (Shen 23) or even the entertainment business. According to the article Everything
You Need To Know About The Hollywood Pay Gap, published by Madeline Berg, the women

in the film and television industry, are often underpaid compared to their male counterparts.
Lawrence, who was the biggest paid actresses in 2015, made $52 million in a 12 months period,
but this number pales in comparison with what Robert Downey Jr., the worlds top-paid actor
made, a total of $80 million. Lawrence and Gwyneth Paltrow echoed the difficulties in
discussing top-tier pay disparities by acknowledging the unequal pay in Hollywood. Top
actresses can earn millions for a film with the option to negotiate a share of the movies profits,
the opportunities for top remuneration are far less frequent than for men. Lawrences Hunger
Games is one of few major movies with a woman as its main character. In fact, a recent study
found(footnote) that just 21 of the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 featured a female lead or colead, while only 28.1% of characters in 100 top-grossing films were female, thus making it
harder for women to get the sort of blockbuster role which would warrant the massive backend
deals many male counterparts demand.
In order to eliminate the gender pay gap, measures must be taken. Encouraging women to
negotiate for equal pay in their workplace could be a starting point. Another way to combat this
issue would be promoting careers in science, technology and even entertainment in ways
appealing to women. Even if the number of women entering these types of jobs increases, this
strategy must be coordinated with family considerations.
Closing the gender pay gap through legislative and non-legislative measures is a core
objective of the European Commissions Strategy for equality between women and men (20102015) ( Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in the European Union 13),as well as the United States
and their Establishment of the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force (United States
Department of Labor-Womens Bureau).
In conclusion ,