The concept of comparable worth states that people in similar jobs that require similar levels of education, training or skills should receive equal pay regardless off race, gender, religion, etc. However, although the gap between salaries of men and women has closed in recent years, the salary levels are anything, but even. In 1980, a woman who held a position that required the same level of expertise, education and training made $.40 per dollar less then a man in the same position.
For instance, let's say we have two Vice Presidents at a Mutual Funds Company. Each has similar levels of education, training and experience, however one is male and one is female. In this instance, the male was receiving a salary of $500,000 while the female was only receiving a salary of $300,000. The current ration is 1:80, meaning that for every $1 a man makes, a woman makes $.80.
The discrepancies are not only related to men and women either. They also occur in specific professions. For example, professional sports coaches usually require the same levels of education, training and expertise to coach a professional team. However, it's widely reported that coaches in one sport make higher salaries then coaches in another sport, for instance, professional football versus professional hockey.
Use your resources to research the concept of Comparable Worth. Once you have done this, answer these questions.
- Are the differences that exist between male and female salaries fair? Why or why not?
- Let's assume you have two college basketball coaches, one for the men's team and one for the women's team. Over the years, the two coaches received the same level of education, training and expertise to successfully coach their teams to the top of their respective college rankings. Regardless of the gender, it is common for the men's basketball coach to be paid more then the female's basketball coach. In your opinion, is this fair? Explain your answer.
- List one profession where you believe that it's conceivable for salaries to differ when dealing with jobs that require similar education, training, talent, etc. Briefly defend your choice.
- In addition, list one profession where you believe, regardless of race, gender or religion that individuals should be paid the same in these types of jobs. Briefly defend your choice.
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