Letter to the Editor: Why There is a Pay Gap

J. Poulton, Gator's Eye Reader

Recently, The Gator’s Eye ran an editorial in with Editor-in-Chief Milla Grabowski argued that students–male and female alike–should not be ashamed to identify as “feminists.” That editorial prompted a response from Green Level student J. Poulton, who sent us the letter published below.

A lot of Feminists are saying that there is a HUGE pay gap between men and women. In reality the pay gap is due to maternity leave not because they’re just paid less. And today we’re going to discuss why there is a pay gap, and how big the pay gap is.

Ok so first we need to talk about Maternity leave. Maternity leave is when a woman has a child she can take up to one year off of work and her employer cannot give away her job HOWEVER they only have to pay her for the amount of sick/vacation days she has saved up. This is why there is a gap from wage because even if you get a month of sick and vacation 28-30 days off of work you still are missing 11 months of income. Some studies have shown that there is only a 18-22% gap in wages between men and women that is not much at all because think you’re taking a year off of work WITH NO PAY. Think for example, if you measure a man and a woman’s pay for 10 years and we’ll say they both make 100 thousand dollars a year. At the end of the 10 years they will both would have made 1 million dollars but if the woman has let’s say 2 children in that time and takes one year of maternity leave for each and already used her sick/vacation days, she would make 200 thousand dollars less than the man would. That’s 20%. what women should be fighting for is for women to be paid during maternity leave even if it’s just 50% or even 25% pay that would shorten the pay gap by 5-10% which would be a huge step towards equality is pay. But still you have to think that you are just not working for A YEAR so I think that it is accurate that women have a pay gap because you have to think if you had an employee that just didn’t come to work for a year and you couldn’t fire them would you pay them? I know I wouldn’t.

Look all I’m saying is that people should know why there is a pay gap. I’m not saying that feminists are wrong about all things, and I’m not even saying that they are wrong about unequal pay, they just need to know where it’s coming from and why it’s happening.