Wage Discrimination in the Workplace 1963 - 2005

Researcher Information

Latisha Gaither

Project Type



Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Start Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

End Date

8-4-2005 12:00 AM

This document is currently not available here.


Apr 8th, 12:00 AM Apr 8th, 12:00 AM

Wage Discrimination in the Workplace 1963 - 2005

Miniaci Performing Arts Center

The Equal Pay Act of 1964, Title VII of the Civil Right’s Act of 1964 and other pieces of legislation have established that “equal pay for equal work” is the law of the land. Recent studies suggest that while wage differentials are narrowing they remain significant. A 2004 study by the Department of Labor revealed that while there has been steady and significant progress in education and skill development over the past several decades, women who work full time still earn only 75 cents for every dollar that a man earns. More importantly, fully one third, or eleven cents of this differential, can be explained solely on the basis of wage discrimination.

An important predictor of wage differentials is the difference between occupations that women choose as opposed to men. Approximately half of all women work in occupations dominated by female workers while the typical male is employed in an occupation that is dominated by male workers. Over 9 million women work in fields that are highly segregated. Comparing the top occupations of men with the top occupations of women we find that with very few exceptions that male dominated occupations pay wages higher than female dominated occupations.

In addition, females employed in the same jobs as men with the same experience and skill levels earn approximately 10 cents an hour less than their male counterparts with no apparent reason for the discrepancy other than discrimination.

The importance of discrimination in earnings becomes apparent when one considers that over 50% off all households are headed by a female. Family income often determines where a family lives, the education of its children, and the level of health care the family receives as well as the family’s general standard of living.

The focus of this paper is on alternatives that would lead to an elimination of occupational segregation and pay segregation.