Are Single Mothers Discriminated Against High Paying Jobs?

It is no news that women in general earn less than their male counterparts for the same amount or even more work done. Disparity in income is a reality across job functions. Even within the same company, for the same designation, women are reported to being paid less than their male colleagues. In the US, the earnings of the full-time working women are just 77% of that of the men. There exist professions like the health care sector, business or computer science where the gender wage gaps are comparatively very less. However, women haven’t reached equal status in any job on a whole.

So, the big question for any aspiring young woman is can single women get high paying jobs?

You will surely encounter wage inequality right from the time you enter the labor force. As a young single woman, you will undoubtedly be burdened with heavy student loans and the pay gaps can seem very discouraging. If you are a single mother or your parents are dependent on you, then the lower earnings can significantly impact your economic security.

Why the discrimination?

  • Women do not get paid less because they lag behind men in their qualifications but simply because of their anatomy; because they are ‘women’ and they may have to get married and have children one day. Recruiters mostly tend to look at women as potential homemakers and mothers, putting their qualifications and professional dedication on the backburner.

  • Even single women are denied equal employment opportunities and are not given the power to negotiate their salaries because the recruiters fear that at some point of time, they might get married and quit their jobs to look after their families. Women who do not have any children or don’t even want to have any children are also discriminated against because their gender makes them potential mothers.

  • Centuries-old patriarchal notions are still at play. There are people who even now believe that women can’t work as hard as men and are not good at certain professions.

  • Men, in general are seen as the bread winners and that mostly serves as a justification for their higher pay.

So, in such a bleak scenario, can a single woman get high paying jobs? Yes, pay inequality does exist and you will probably have to struggle harder than the men to prove yourself worthy of a high-paying job but it doesn’t mean that it’s not possible.

Given below are a few things you can do to land yourself that dream high-paying job:

  • Career oriented single women are more likely to attend college. Focus on your education. Women are increasingly getting more degrees than the men of their generation, thus, raising their earning potential.

  • Women need to learn strategies to negotiate for pair pay. You have to be vocal about your rights and demand for it.

  • Excel at your work. Gender discrimination at work place can be depressing but you have to still strive to give your best.

  • Be confident about your abilities. The system might be a major let down but you need to have faith in your talent and reflect it in everything you do.

Things are surely changing, albeit at a slow pace. If survey reports are to be believed, a large number of single, childless women are earning more than their male peers now-a-days. Yes, this trend applies only to unmarried, childless women, that too those who live in metropolitan cities. The rest of the working women are still on the lower side of the wage divide. But, the narrowing gap is surely a ray of hope. Much still needs to be done to make equal wages a reality. And, we women, have to continue our fight for equal rights till then and keep on showing the world that we are no less and deserve every single penny that we are paid.

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