“Equal Pay Day” was celebrated on April 12. The day was formed to remember that in the United States, women are still paid less than men for the same work. The day also exists to remind us that men and women are still not equal in many regards and that we must continue to work toward equality. In a CNN article, Mary Ellen Carter, a professor of accounting at Boston College, offered a solution to the problem. Carter wrote, “Some companies have discovered a way to close the gap: putting more women on their boards of directors.” I think that Carter’s idea is a good solution to changing the pay gap while it still exists.
Personally, I think that it is ridiculous that in 2016 women are still fighting to be paid the same amount as our male counterparts. I think that the solution Carter offered would be a great temporary fix. I also think that it would be great to have more women on the boards of directors of companies and open up those positions of leadership to women. Carter said, “Whatever the reason, the gap in gender-diverse firms is lower than at companies with all-male boards.” There seems to be no exact reason as to why having more women on the board of directors changes the gap, but it is proven to help close it. Increasing the presence of women in upper-level positions is a big step that we as a country, as well as companies individually, can take in the fight for equality.
Changing the leadership demographic will not only help close the gap between what women are being paid and what men are being paid, but it will also change the role of leadership in companies that are extremely male-centric and help them become more equal. Carter also wrote about females who are higher up in companies and how their positions help the company overall. She said, “Other top-level female executives, like chief financial officers, are also paid better when the board includes more women.” Not only could putting women on the boards of directors help close the pay gap in general, but it could also help women in the companies be paid better.
I think that companies should adopt these policies and hire more women because Carter’s suggestion is not only a means to close the pay gap, but also a step toward equality. I think that it’s great to put more women in leadership roles and the fact that it also closes the pay gap kills two birds with one stone.
However, the solution offered does not come without being met with backlash and criticism. As much as I think the change in who receives positions is a good temporary solution, I don’t think that it is enough. I think a big criticism that the solution could be met with is that it would not do enough. There is no guarantee that women will be hired in these positions; it is an idealistic solution that doesn’t completely solve the problem. To me, that is unfair that we have these solutions to change a problem that affects over half the population and we still aren’t assured that it will actually be implemented or solve anything. It also really upsets me that as a woman, I will not be paid the same amount for my work as a man that has the same job as me. It is unfair and I can’t believe that we can’t have a more concrete solution to close the wage gap for good.