How does the gender pay gap affect Millennials?

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the relative difference in the average hourly earnings of women and men within the economy as a whole.

The EU average is estimated at 16.4%. This involves a direct discrimination. Most frequently, women are paid less than men for the same job, due to the undervaluing of women’s work.

Women who work full-time still only earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by men.


The inequity between men and women has always existed. There are a variety of causes that can explain the phenomenon that lasts to our days.

The undervaluing of women’s work

Jobs requiring similar skills are often poorly paid or undervalued when are women who dominate the sector.

For example, talking about the medical sector, the anesthesiologists earn a higher salary than pediatricians.

Women’s work is less valued than men’s

In the first case, there are more men than women, while the second one is a field mainly dominated by women.

According to a study carried out by Glassdoor, men earn a 7,2% than women, even though supposing they are equally well qualified.

Segregation in the labour market

The gender pay gap is also reinforced by the segregation in the labour market.

On the one hand, women and men still tend to work in different jobs. For example, the 80% of workers in the health sector are women.

On the other hand, within the same sector or company, women predominate in lower valued and paid occupations.

Moreover,  many women work in low-paying occupations, for example, cleaning and care work.

And, women are under-represented in managerial and senior positions. Only the 17% percent of board members in publicity companies are women.

Traditions and stereotypes

Traditions and stereotypes may influence the choose of the professional path.

For example, although nowadays, the 60% of college graduates are women, a minority of them choose to study mathematics or engineering.

The personal choices may be influenced by traditions and stereotypes

This may lead women away from highly paid sectors, and make them direct their professional lives to less paid jobs.

The gender pay gap: Millennials are closing it

Women are now more prepared thank ever. They have received a better education than their mothers and grandmothers. Sometimes even better than the men from the same age.

Moreover, the feminist movement is hitting hard on western societies. More and more young women and men are getting conscious of how important equity is for the development of a fair society.

There are various movements fighting to decrease the gender pay gap. Take, for example, the HeForShe movement for gender equality, and the recent #78cents hashtag that has been embraced — by men and women alike — on social media.

Millennials are steadily closing the gender pay gap

Withing the Millennial generation, the gender pay gap has been reduced from the 16% (to Baby Boomers) at 5%. Women are better qualified and know that they deserve as much as men do.

“Young women today face a relatively little disadvantage in terms of their pay packets compared to what their parents’ and grandparents’ generation faced,” said Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the non-partisan foundation.

Nevertheless, recent studies show that this gender pay gap will increase when Millennials reach the midlife.

But, in my opinion, working hard to change the role of women in society as it is still seen today may help this to come true. We have to work hard, altogether, to create an equal society.

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