Week 8: Before the Pandemic

May 04, 2021

Hello and welcome back to my blog!

Time is passing by so quickly, and I can’t believe we are a month away from the final presentations!

These past couple of weeks I started to do more literary research on the gender wage gap. Since one of the main aspects of my project is to observe the change in the gender wage gap after the pandemic hit, it is also important to familiarize myself with what it was like before COVID.

The gender wage gap has been narrowing in the past 15 years. In 2017, the Census Bureau reported that women earned 80% of what their male counterparts earned but, in 1980, it was 64%. Although the data shows significant progress, this is still a persistent problem. There are many factors that can contribute to the gap: educational attainment, occupational segregation, and work experience (Pew Research Center). The gap started to narrow when more women graduated college and joined the workforce. Their education allowed them to get male-dominated, high-paying jobs, closing the wage gap. However, since they entered the workforce much later than men, women also did not have as much experience as them. In addition, women were less likely to work when they had children due to their role in the domestic sphere (the idea that women should focus on childcare and tending to the house while men work outside the home).

As society became more progressive, women have started to move past these obstacles and gender constructs, which can be shown through labor force trends.

From: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2013/12/11/chapter-1-trends-from-government-data/


Through the graph, we can see that while the women’s labor participation force increased from 52% in 1980 to 58% in 2012, the men’s labor participation force decreased from 78% in 1980 to 70% in 2012. The wage gap narrowed when more women entered the workforce and climbed to higher positions as they gained more experience, allowing them to earn higher wages than before.

There is still more work to be done, but this problem was being resolved over time… Until the pandemic hit us…, which is what I will be going over next week with some more research! I hope this week’s blog provided new insight for everyone.

Thanks for tuning in and I look forward to sharing new findings with everyone next week!

One Reply to “Week 8: Before the Pandemic”

  1. EPittman says:

    Mimi–This background is very informative. I find your style of writing so clear and accessible, yet I see evidence of how deeply informed it is. I wonder what your thoughts are about the strides your generation will make in the workforce. Looking forward to next week’s blog post . . .

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