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The continuing issue of gender pay inequality

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Employment Law - Employee, Wage And Hour Claims

California views itself as more progressive than other states regarding gender equality. Still, that view may actually be inaccurate in certain regards. For one, the gender pay gap still exists even after all this time in the state. Understanding why such a gap still exists even after so much progress can be a bit confusing. To learn why it is still prevalent, one must determine the underlying causes behind it.

Jobs with a gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is all pervasive. Still, there are certain jobs and careers that seem to create a more outsized pay gap than others. This includes jobs such as:

  • real estate brokers
  • financial advisers
  • insurance agents
  • sales managers
  • bus drivers
  • sales people
  • inspectors

This is only a starting list. However, certain facts can be gleaned from it. There is a large pay gap in industries related to finance, insurance, real estate and sales.

The California Equal Pay Act

Despite its prevalence, the gender pay gap in California was actually addressed by legislators through employment law. This was done through the California Equal Pay Act, and it was passed into law in 2015 with later amendments added in 2019. It attempts to stop gender pay discrimination by making it illegal for employers to pay different wages for substantially similar work and by lessening the possible exemptions for possible pay inequalities.

The root causes of pay inequality

Despite the obvious employment legal issues, it can be hard to pin down the exact causes of the gender pay gap. Still some possible causes may include things like:

  • the burden of child care usually falls upon women
  • higher paid positions are more associated with the male gender
  • women climb the corporate ladder more slowly than male colleagues
  • women are simply paid less than men for similar roles
  • upper management is more biased towards male employees

While these are by no means the only possible reasons why such pay gaps exist, they do help to explain some of the prevailing attitudes that contribute to this kind of inequity. Overall, more people should realize that these attitudes are not only harmful but also likely illegal under California law.