英国master essay:What factors account for inequalities within

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Gender pay gap is an omnipresent phenomenon within the labour market. However, this problem is being downplayed. The Gender pay gap reporting survey 2009 shows that although the Equality Bill has been published in April 2009 by the Government Equalities Office, and one of the principles of the Equality Bill is transparency, only 29% of the employers were measuring the gender pay gap within the organizations and 3.7% of those organizations were choosing to report the results. (Adams, Gore and Shury, 2009: 56) Moreover, there exists a widespread problem among the vast majority of the employers who have not engaged in measuring the gender wage gap. They think that they have already provided equal pay thus there is no need for them to do the investigation. (Adams, Gore and Shury, 2009: 57) This clearly shows that the issue of gender pay gap between male and female has not been paid enough attention. However, the existence of this issue has a great negative effect, such as reducing the satisfactions of female employees, producing conflicts, decreasing employee productivity, also leading to the irrational distribution of resources and so on (Saner and Sadikoglu, 2016: 363; Branisa, Klasen and Ziegler, 2013: 258; Bjerk, 2008: 970). It should draw the attention of relevant parties and action should be taken. The purpose of this essay is to discuss factors accounting for inequalities within the labour market from the perspective of gender pay gap, so as to make tentative suggestions for solving the problem.
由于透明度是缩小性别工资差距的前提,这种情况反映了性别工资不平等。性别工资差距是一个复杂的问题。不同的研究者从不同的角度解释了这一问题的原因,并提出了不同的理论,如歧视偏好理论、统计歧视理论、比较优势理论等(Campos Soria、Marchante Mera、Ropero Garc_a,2011:99)。根据Hassink和Russo(2010:12)、Sturges和Guest(2004:8)、Triventi(2013:564)所倡导的标准和依据:企业管理层是否做出合理决策,导致男女性别工资差距的因素分为三类:职业SE种族隔离、工作——家庭冲突和纯粹的歧视。本文首先介绍了三类因素的相关文献。然后,描述了各因素的特点。最后,对如何解决这一问题提出了建议。
Since transparency is a premise for reducing gender wage gap, this situation is a reflection of the gender pay inequalities. And gender wage gap is a complicated problem. Different researchers explain the causes of this problem from different angles and different theories have been put forward, such as discriminatory preference theory, statistical discrimination theory, comparative advantage theory and so on (Campos-Soria, Marchante-Mera, Ropero-García, 2011:99). According to what Hassink and Russo (2010:12), Sturges and Guest (2004:8), Triventi (2013:564) have advocated and based on the criterion: whether corporate management makes rational decisions, factors leading to gender pay gap between men and women are divided into three categories: occupational segregation, work–family conflict matter and pure discrimination. In this study, first, related literatures on the three categories of factors are introduced. Then, characteristics of the factors were described. Finally, suggestions on how to solve the problem were put forward.

2. Occupational segregation 
Occupational gender segregation refers to the fact that different sexes are concentrated in different industries and occupations due to social systemic factors. Gender segregation at work can be divided into two types: horizontal and vertical segregation (Campos-Soria, Marchante-Mera and Ropero-García, 2011: 101).
2.1 Horizontal segregation
Horizontal segregation means that certain jobs are considered to be "male jobs," such as jobs with a high reputation and social status, for example, doctors, lawyers, university professors, business executives and other professional work. Glass door effect is a manifestation of horizontal segregation, that is, it is very difficult for women to apply for high-level positions in an enterprise (Hassink and Russo, 2010:13).
There are mainly two reasons for this phenomenon, first, women are disadvantaged in terms of employment information, work experience and technical skills because of their primary responsibility of raising children and caring for their families. Therefore employers are more inclined to choose men for occupations which require highly skilled, experienced and responsible employees (Valcour and Tolbert, 2003:781). Second, the pursuit of efficiency is enterprises’ ultimate goal, and the recruitment of female employees will increase the cost of production, as relevant laws and regulations provide that employers should pay for female employees’ reproductive expenses, salaries during maternity leave. Due to economic rationality, employers are more likely to hire and promote men in view of the cost of employment (Dieckhoff, Gash and Steiber, 2015: 73).
2.2 Vertical segregation
Vertical segregation means that when men and women are in the same industry, men generally take higher positions and get higher salaries, while women take lower, less skilled positions, get lower salaries and less opportunity to be promoted. The ceiling effect and the sticky floor effect are common phenomena in vertical segregation (Hejase and Dah, 2014: 960).
Women face a variety of visible and invisible barriers in promotion within their companies, that is the glass ceiling effect. Albrecht, Bjorklund and Vroman (2003:167) found that Swiss women were harder to get higher salaries and were harder to be promoted than men, which confirmed the existence of the glass ceiling effect. Renner, Rives and Bowlin (2002:14) found that female executives got lower salaries than their male counterparts. Gibelman (2000:10) concluded that there was indeed a glass ceiling effect in non-profit HR service institutions, men took more senior management positions and received higher pay.
Reasons for the existence of the ceiling effect lie in the following aspects. Lazear and Rosen (1990:106-123) pointed out that dedicated human capital investment was needed. As women have a relatively high probability of withdrawing or interrupting, it is an employer's rational choice to reduce women's promotion opportunities or increase their promotion thresholds, as it can reduce the risk of women’s launching in a labor market. Bjerk (2008:981) showed that the underrepresentation of women in senior positions is due to the statistical discrimination in the promotion mechanism. Because individual ability can not be accurately observed, employers must rely on the statistical characteristics of the group to estimate the individual's ability. As long as women's average ability is low, even there is no gender bias, women need more time or more effort to be promoted.
Women start their career more often with lower levels of positions and fewer opportunities for promotion, that is the sticky floor effect (Hejase and Dah, 2014:958). A study carried out by Albrecht et al. (2003:167) pointed out that the percentage of Swiss women working at low-paid jobs was much higher than the proportion of those who were engaged in high-paying jobs, confirming the existence of a sticky floor effect. Winter et al.'s (1997:58) study indicated women's overcrowding at the bottom positions, pointing out that the reason for this phenomenon was not the result of female labor productivity or the reason for taking on family responsibilities, but rather a kind of discrimination towards women.
There are many explanations for the reasons leading to the sticky floor effect. The two most convincing ones are: first, compared with men, women have natural attachment costs such as birth and being engaged in housework because of their special physiology. The heavy housework makes it hard for women to have more time to enrich themselves and their relative lack of investment in careers also makes them have less expectation than men for their career (Hejase and Dah, 2014:957). Second, in many labor-intensive enterprises with low technical content, there are long working hours and low wages, they often recruit many women, but it is not because the management has more gender equality awareness and more caring for women, but the result of the managers’ choice of maximizing market profits. The real reason is that women are more likely than men to accept lower payment and they are easier in management. Capital markets make use of this to maximize profits (Dieckhoff, Gash and Steiber, 2015:73).

3. Work–family conflict
Work-family conflict refers to gender pay gap due to conflicts between family responsibilities women assume and work undertaken by women (Dieckhoff, Gash and Steiber, 2015:60).
Valcour and Tolbert (2003:781) argued that in traditional culture, women are gentle and kind in their physical and psychological characteristics and are willing to engage in more relaxed and stable work. For thousands of years, the mainstream social awareness also holds that women do a better job in efficiency and specialization in family work, they are more suitable to participate in family work. Therefore, women should focus on their family roles and take good care of their children and husbands, taking this as their own primary responsibilities; this will to a certain extent distract women's energy and cause that women devote less attention to their work than men.
Sturges and Guest (2004:10), Wilson (1998:398) analyzed the reason for why women are discriminated against in employment. They generally believed that  stock of human capital and its quality of women are generally less high than that of men, because women need more time to spend on housework and care for their children and other family affairs than men, making them generally invest less than men in education, training, and other human resources, the value of human capital of men and women is difficult to achieve equality, which directly leads to harsh standards that women meet in their job search process and the inequitable treatment of relatively low income.
Dieckhoff, Gash and Steiber (2015:72) pointed out that governments have promulgated a series of laws to protect the rights and interests of women. For example, it stipulates that employers shall not refuse to hire, dismiss, or restrain a pregnant woman from returning to her original post or force her to leave early because of pregnancy, childbirth or related health status; on the other hand, it provides that if women can not work as a result of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, they should be treated in the same way as incapacity caused by other medical conditions to enjoy the same health and disability insurance or sick leave. For enterprises, hiring female employees increases their labor costs. As a result, some enterprises may resort to fewer excuses to hire less female workers or to give female workers less wages to cover the labor costs that may be added.
What enterprises taking maximizing profit as the principle of market competition consider more is how to improve the competitiveness of enterprises to obtain more profits, they require that employees should not only have professional skills, but also have a strong and healthy body, strong compression ability (Morgan, 1995:328). Compared with male employees, female employees need to take on more responsibilities in their families, such as taking care of children and doing housework, etc. They can not fully devote themselves to work like male employees, so they fail in the competition with male employees As a result, enterprises are more willing to recruit male workers, even though there are female workers, they are given lower wages and salaries than men because men are more able to enhance corporate competitiveness than women (Olivetti and Petrongolo, 2008:631).

4. Pure discrimination
4.1 Discriminatory preferences
Pure discrimination refers to that workers with the same productivity are treated differently simply because of their genders (Triventi, 2013:564). Azmat and Petrongolo (2014:38) raised the theory of discriminatory preferences based on "displeasure," meaning that biased employers would rather pay a certain cost than contact with certain groups, such as women. For whatever reason, it is characterized by keeping a distance from disagreeable groups or individuals. The preference is generally men, and women have become denied groups, those decide employers’ employment, management, salary decision-making is not the productivity of female employees, nor the maximization of corporate profits, but business managers’ discriminatory preference.
Baldwin et al. (2001:98) argued that there are very few women in managerial positions within a workplace and an enterprise, because men do not like to accept female leadership or they have prejudice towards female supervisors. Therefore, only a few women with higher abilities can be promoted. This also reflects the discriminatory preference of employees towards women.
Assuming that the productivity of women and men is exactly the same, the subjective assumption that female labor productivity is devalued is the result of employers’ bias. The deeper the bias that an employer has, the more likely the real productivity of women will be discounted. For employers who have discriminatory preferences, wages for women must fall below a certain level in order to induce them to hire women (Baker and Fortin, 1999:201). It is also assumed that different discriminatory employers have different levels of discrimination. Some employers are willing to hire women when their wages are slightly lower than those of men, and some employers will employ women until the wage gap is large enough. Baker and Fortin (1999:199), Mohan and Ruggiero (2003:1242-1248) found that gender was a key factor affecting executives' compensation, the average salary of the top 20 male executives was 10 times more than that of the top 20 female executives’; Bell's (2005:103) study on Germany also confirmed that average pay for female management was significantly lower than men's, the gender pay differences was basically maintained between 8% -25%.
4.2 Traditional thinking
Due to the influence of traditional thinking, it is more difficult for women to enter some high-paying industries and get well-paid posts, such as lawyers, senior managers and officials. In many cases, such sex discrimination is not caused by women's own skills and quality, nor is it because women have to take more responsibility of their families, but the traditional mode of division of labor as well as the traditional thinking of women's position (Olivetti and Petrongolo, 2008:650). Sturges and Guest (2004:18), Wilson (1998:409) pointed out that "the Domestic Wife and Social Husband" is the gender division of labor followed by patriarchy. This model has been extended to the labor market. Men naturally occupy high-skilled and well-paid occupations by virtue of advantages brought by the traditional division of labor. Women enter the industries that are considered to be more able to take advantage of their capabilities, such as nursing, waitress, sales clerks, etc. As a result, there has been a societal division of sex between so-called "masculine" and "feminine" occupations. There is a consensus that those "masculine" occupations, whether employers or men, consciously or unconsciously oppose women's access, and in many cases, the reason for objection is purely for sex and not for other reasons (Hassink and Russo, 2010: 13).
5. Summary
This article summarizes the inequalities of pay within the labor market caused by gender differences in terms of occupational segregation, work-family conflict and pure discrimination.
Occupational gender segregation refers to the fact that different genders are concentrated in different industries and occupations due to social systemic factors. Gender segregation at work can be divided into two types: horizontal and vertical segregation (Hassink and Russo, 2010:9). Considering from the above analysis, occupational segregation is indeed an important reason for the pay gap between men and women in the labor market. However, this discrepancy comes largely from the rational decision-making of enterprises, that is, the rational decision-making made by business owners according to the needs of enterprises, the characteristics of women and the analysis of cost-effectiveness, resulting in pay gap between men and women.
Work-family conflict factors mean that women earn less in the labor market than men because of the roles they play and the responsibilities they assume in their families (Sturges and Guest, 2004:11; Wilson, 1998:397). Researches on work-family conflict factors mainly analyze the pay gap caused by gender difference from women's family roles and responsibilities. The difference also largely comes from the rational decision-making of the enterprises in order to enhance their competitiveness and reduce costs. However, it is noteworthy that family factors indicates that women's wages are lower than men’s because women relatively bear more family responsibilities, and it is not related to women's own characteristics. For example, they think that women are weaker, they do not have enough abilities to resist pressure and they do not like challenging work. That is to say, studies on family factors think that if women do not need to assume family responsibilities, they can take on the same jobs as men do and pay gap will disappear or be drastically reduced.
Pure discrimination refers to when workers with the same productivity are treated differently simply because of their genders (Triventi, 2013:567).The causes of pure discrimination include the discriminatory preferences of managers and employees, as well as the traditional pattern of division of labor and the traditional positioning of women for women. Pure discrimination related research shows that pure discrimination is not the result of rational decisions of business managers, but the result of irrational decision-making.
The above studies explain the causes of the pay gap between men and women caused by gender differences from different perspectives. However, there are also two problems as follows. First of all, the above studies mostly explain the pay gap between men and women from a single point of view. However, this problem arises from influence by a combination of factors. For example, occupational gender segregation is caused by the rational decision-making of business owners and it is also related to pure discrimination. In addition to being influenced by traditional thinking, women's family responsibilities and roles have also become one of the reasons leading to occupational gender segregation. Second, when analyzing the causes of pay gap caused by sexism, most studies have discussed from the perspective of economic interests, but they were rarely from the perspectives of stakeholders and the public interest. Many enterprises discriminate against women precisely because of their ignoring interests of stakeholders and social public interests, but only considering the profit maximization.#p#分页标题#e#
The above researches put forward some solutions for dealing with the differences between male and female workers. First, judging from occupational segregation and family-work conflict, the difference between male and female employees at work is closely related to the rational decision-making of enterprises, but in fact this rationality is not entirely rational, because corporate management only consider their own economic interests and neglect the interests of stakeholders and the general public, giving women less pay or not hiring women may be helpful for the enterprises in the short term, but in the long run, it is a short-sighted act that gives the enterprises too many potential hazards, such as reducing the satisfaction of female employees, employees may have dissatisfaction and conflict, staff’s work efficiency may reduce, and the optimal allocation of social resources and welfare resources will be difficult to be achieved (Hultin and Szulkin, 2003:148; Olivetti and Petrongolo, 2008:652). Therefore, to solve the problem of female lower wages than men due to occupational segregation and work-family conflict reasons, it should change the management ideas of corporate owners by means of law, education and tax to guide them to consider the remuneration system of women from the perspective of taking the society as a whole and a long-term development perspective. Second, the difference in income between men and women caused by pure discrimination is irrational discrimination that can not be effectively solved by law and institutions alone, because such discrimination leads to invisible discrimination that women face in actual work, which also affects their access to being treated equally. Therefore, in order to solve this kind of discrimination, besides applying laws and other means, it should attach importance to guiding the overall culture, opinions of the society to fundamentally change this concept of discrimination. Finally, the gender pay gap between men and women is caused by a variety of reasons, relying on a simple aspect can not effectively solve the problems. Systemic governance needs to be taken from legal, cultural, managerial and educational perspectives are possible to achieve good results.
Although the problem of equality between men and women has been more widely disseminated and acknowledged in today's society, the pay gap between men and women is still widespread. There are mainly three aspects of factors leading to this problem: occupational gender segregation, family factors, pure discrimination. Judging from the characteristics of the factors, the former two are more related to the rational decision-making of enterprises’ management, while the latter is related to irrational decision-making, and the three aspects of factors are not completely independent, and there is some related influence among them. In view of these characteristics, it is suggested to adopt an overall, long-term, fundamental and systematic view and thinking to solve the problem.
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