Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (WCIA) —
“One of the questions that remains is why is there a gender wage gap,” Elizabeth Powers, associate professor of economics at the University of Illinois, said.
Wednesday is Equal Pay Day. It’s a day to raise awareness for the pay gap between men and women. Powers says women make about 80% of what men make.
She says the wage gap is happening for two reasons. One, subtle biases about men’s and women’s gender roles and how women can be perceived as less professional and less credible.
The other, she says women take more time off to be with family, whether that’s working part time or other reasons. During the pandemic, more women have stopped working to take care of their children who are learning from home.
“When a family has to work-life balance, who is concentrating on the life part more? Its typically the mother,” Powers said.
She says many jobs don’t allow flexibility for women who are working and raising a family. She also says affordable child care can be hard to find. All of that makes it more difficult for women to devote time to their careers and rise in the ranks.
She also says sometimes women will hold lower paying job positions than men, but sometimes women and men work the same job and still have different pay, which Powers says is something that needs to be fixed.