The Gender Pay Gap: Challenges and Solutions for Companies in the United States


The Equal Pay Act was introduced on June 10th, 1963. Its main aim was to get rid of the already existing federal discrimination laws that governed the wage differences based on the gender of employees. The Act made it law that men and women who worked on the same level had to be paid equally for their labor. Some of the reasons for the enforcement of the Act were: the fact that women that worked in industries overall had a higher turnout than men due to family obligations; some laws in the United States prevented women from working night shifts and even set regulations of the amount of weight a woman could lift while at work. By 1950, more than two-thirds of the families in the United States had the man as the breadwinner and the wife as a housewife (Amott et al. 23).

Companies in the United States have tried implementing the equal pay for equal work requirement by have been faced with some challenges. In Fresco County, Magistrate Judge Sueng gave the decision that employers should not ask their potential employees for their previous salary history since it would be a discriminatory action to determine the amount of money to pay the potential employee basing one’s argument on how much they were paid by their previous employer (Acker et al. 442). However, this decision was overturned in 2018, and it was decided that an employer can ask for a potential employee’s salary history provided that there is a business policy in place that justifies the action and the process be done reasonably.

Some companies have, however, found a way of getting around the equal pay act through legal means. It is a known fact that employees are given a platform to negotiate their salaries. Negotiation skills are essential when it comes to increasing pay for employees. A study shows that when presented with this opportunity, women are afraid to negotiate compared to men. This ensures that men get a higher salary incensement when an employer gives his or her employees a chance to settle. The performance management plans set by various companies do not help women get ahead. Many employees tend to depend on performance reviews to get an increase in their salaries. Studies show that companies that use performance review programs tend to disadvantage women working in their companies (Osbeg et al. 450).

Leadership positions in companies matter a lot when it comes to increasing salaries. Many leadership positions like executive and management roles in companies often land on men. Leadership positions in companies tend to only favor women with more than twenty-five years of experience in the industry. As women achieve those senior positions in their company, they tend to think that the gap will diminish, but this is never the case. Most of the small owned businesses in the United States are mostly owned by men, while only 9% of those companies are jointly owned by both men and women (Acker et al. 442).


Companies need to take certain initiatives to ensure that they close the gender gap. Every company needs to conduct a pay audit. The only way to do this is to look at compensation by gender and race of their employees to identify the gap and create means of closing the gap. Companies also need to conduct promotions and audits to ensure that their companies are not rating men more than they are rating women and, therefore, indefinitely giving men priority when it comes to promotions. Companies also have to educate and train their managers and employees in any kind of power on the companies on their impact of gender bias on the day-to-day decisions of the company. They should also put up structures that help minimize gender biases.

Work Cited

  1. Acker, Joan. ‘Inequality regimes: Gender, class, and race in organizations.’ Gender & Society 20.4 (2006): 441-464.
  2. Amott, Teresa L., and Julie A. Matthaei. Race, gender, and work: A multi-cultural economic history of women in the United States. South End Press, 1996.
  3. Douglas, Paul H. Real wages in the United States, 1890-1926. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, 1930.
  4. National Research Council. Women, employment, and wages: Equal pay for jobs of equal value. National Academies Press, 1981.
  5. Osberg, Lars, and Timothy Smeeding. ‘”Fair” inequality? Attitudes toward pay differentials: the United States in comparative perspective.’ American sociological review 71.3 (2006): 450-473.
Did you like this example?

Cite this page

The Gender Pay Gap: Challenges and Solutions for Companies in the United States. (2023, Mar 14). Retrieved May 24, 2024 , from

This paper was written and submitted by a fellow student

Our verified experts write
your 100% original paper on any topic

Check Prices

Having doubts about how to write your paper correctly?

Our editors will help you fix any mistakes and get an A+!

Get started
Leave your email and we will send a sample to you.
Go to my inbox