Coronavirus & the Gender Pay Gap: An Update

The gender pay gap has been in existence in the society all the time, and now Coronavirus has worsened it. Women don’t need the Coronavirus virus to experience reduced financial empowerment than men. They have been facing the effects of gender pay gap for decades now. In aggregate, women on than average earn 82 cents for every dollar in comparison to earnings by men. Across a period of a year, an average working woman loses $10,122 regularly as a result of the gender pay gap. Women were subjected to less pay even before the Coronavirus ever began taunting the economy and the world. the low pay and gender gap is one of the primary reasons why women and children make up the majority of the nation poor. Also, this is a reason why women are twice as likely to end up living in poverty after their retirement than men. Poverty is gendered too, and it becomes difficult for single mothers to survive in such a situation. Gendered poverty and gender wage gap combine to make matters worse for women.

Gender Pay Gap during Covid-19

Coronavirus & the Gender Pay Gap

In a latest update, PayScale came up with new salary data of the workers who are facing the greatest Coronavirus risk, and who are affected adversely most by the gender pay gap situation. These jobs include doctors, flight attendants, elementary school teachers among others.

High Risk Jobs Controlled Gender Pay Gap Median Pay – Men Controlled Median Pay – Women
Elementary School Teacher $0.92 $50,500 $46,400
Flight Attendant $0.92 $56,800 $52,230
Family and General Physician / Doctor $0.94 $208,000 $194,791

Women holding the positions mentioned above and others face significant health risks and are also being grossly underpaid compared in comparison to their male counterparts. To further make matters worse, women who take a short break in their careers are offered compensation that is 7% less on their return as compared to employees who resume work in the office. These dynamics mean that work interruptions and stoppages caused by Coronavirus pandemic situation, be it from layoffs or having to care for sick loved ones, will profoundly impact women. And, we all know, the lost working hours translates to more economic insecurities for women and their children.

In the United States, women are more involved as part-time workers and low wage earners in comparison to men. Around 62% of the minimum-wage and lower-wage workers are female. Add to that; the female workers are paid less than men. With the Coronavirus outbreak, these female employees across low-income jobs face a higher risk of income loss when their workplaces (like restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, and airports) shut down to prevent the spread of the virus.

However, it is not only a gender gap situation that women would suffer from in the present case. As the financial health of all consumer-facing industries declines, not only the current employees by also the future service industry employees would end up losing all income-generating opportunities. It is because Coronavirus induces hiring freezes in the future. For example, United Airlines Holding recently froze hiring plans until July. Also, employers across industries are more likely to fire women first when it comes to job cuts owing to the Coronavirus pandemic situation.

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Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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