Google’s recent findings relating to wage gap among men and women proves a necessity for feminism across gender lines
Readers: I am sure you have read countless articles on feminism, its importance, or its pitfalls. Maybe these pieces have changed your perspective, and maybe they were unsuccessful in their attempt to do so. I acknowledge that I may be unsuccessful in my attempt to change your perspective. However, I ask you to read this piece with an open-minded attitude, and a willingness to view feminism in a different light.
The gender wage gap is an issue that’s constantly discussed, highly controversial, and ‘refuted’ by many less-than-accurate claims. Recent news, however, has forced many to ponder the true cause of such inequalities– myself included– not to mention what actions can be taken by people in powerful roles to amend these significant issues.
In a study of its 2018 compensation for employees, Google announced significantly more men were underpaid than women for the same work. Yes, you read that right: men at Google were significantly paid less in comparison to their female counterparts. Google later doled out whopping $2.7 million to 10,677 employees to mend these wrongs. Google’s company-wide report took 91 percent of employees into account.
To anyone reading this, whether or not you believe in the gender wage gap, I ask you to consider this question: How would it feel if, after working extremely hard through the entirety of your education and career, you suddenly found out that someone with comparable credentials to you was bringing home with a bigger paycheck?
How would it feel knowing something you cannot control is an influential factor in determining how much money you make?
Isn’t it disheartening?
Maybe it makes you angry, maybe it doesn’t. But I can only speak for myself in saying it infuriates me. Wage discrepancies don’t only make me feel upset when they happen to women, but also men.
True feminism is fighting gender discrimination in all shapes and all forms. I am just as upset right now as I would be had women been in the same position. Wage discrimination, be it based upon gender, race, or any other factor, is inherently wrong and needs to be eradicated.
Commonly cited causes of wage disparity include that women are paid less because they spend more time at home with children, they pursue lesser earning degrees, or they don’t work as much as men do. If these claims are true, however, this phenomenon would not occur to men as well.
To those of you who are angry, I offer a powerful, life changing solution: Feminism.
We’ve all heard the dictionary definition of Feminism too many times, so I won’t bother to restate it. However, Google’s tricky scenario highlights why we all need to be feminists. We all deserve equal pay. Although Google did amend their wrongs, and I applaud them for doing so, there are thousands of companies who do not invest the same amount of time and energy in researching these issues, and will never fix their apparent inequalities. That is why this issue is so vital.
We should all be upset when someone is disadvantaged simply because of the way he or she was born. That is what the essence of feminism is. With that in mind, I urge you to shift your thinking about feminism as a female only movement. Though empowering women is a cornerstone of modern feminism, it is not the only goal. There is no way to accomplish all of the goals that feminism lays out without male participation in the movement.
Feminism provides a benefit to all who believe in the principle, and act to make our society more equitable. If all CEOs, managers, and corporate leaders were feminists, a pay disparity based on gender would not be an issue.
Raising women up does not mean men should be brought down. Google’s scenario is a prime example of this concept. A true feminists doesn’t think it’s right. Women are not on the receiving end of gender-based discrimination in this scenario; however, it is still morally wrong and requires further action.
Our world is composed of men, women, and individuals who don’t identify with either of those label. If only one half of the population is working toward gender equality, there is a slim chance these hopes will become a reality. However, if we tackle this issue together and recognize everyone can benefit from gender equality, therefore encompassing feminism as well, everyone will live better lives.
Though feminism often discusses the issues faced by women, the roots of feminism lie in equality of the sexes in regard to social status, economic opportunity, and every other facet of life. The incident of the ‘reverse’ wage gap at Google proves that all people, no matter their gender, can and should benefit from the feminist movement.