Essay Writing Samples

Research Paper on the Erosion of Women’s Rights in the Workplace

The following sample research paper on the gender wage gap and women’s rights in the workplace explores the workplace issue of equality. This sample was written by one of our best research paper writers and reflects important data on the issue.

When one hears the term “gender wage gap”, the male–female income difference, they generally think about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. To many this new piece of legislation was the start of something new for women in regards to closing the gender wage gap. Or so we thought. For years it appeared as if the gap was on the verge of closing. Women were moving higher up in the corporate ladder, many more women were working, things seemed to be headed in the right direction.

Yet as years have gone on, relevant studies have highlighted an increase in the gap, contrary to the well sought after decrease many had hoped for. In fact, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research published a report in 2012 showing that the gap had actually begun to expand instead of contract. In this brief research paper, we will bring forth various statistical data and influential anecdotes to illustrate why the gender wage gap is not shrinking, and is thus a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

The Stats Behind Women in the Workplace

In 2011 women earned an average of 82.2% of what their male counterparts made whereas in 2012 the ratio went from 82.2 to 80.9. If the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the subsequent Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 were passed to ensure that women had access to the same wages as their male coworkers, why has the gap begun to get widen? The gender gap has been an issue in our society since the mid 1900’s. Women have been fighting for equal pay since before President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963.

This year (2013) marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act which was thought to be a “significant step forward” by President Kennedy. However in, Graduating to a Pay Gap, a report published by the AAUW (American Association of University Women), a study showed that “women are paid 7 percent less than men even when they work in the same job, major in the same field, and work the same number of hours per week.”

The issue is not within the wage gap itself but within the legal system associated with it. Yes the gap is a large gap there is an approximate 20 cent difference between what a male earns and what a female earns. We all know this yet as the studies show this gap is not getting any smaller. Legislation gets passed and for a while things seem to be moving forward but for every two steps forward corporations find loopholes and in return push progress back another 3 steps. If we continue to head backwards the gap will only grow larger and larger.

You Can’t Just Blame it on the Men

To fix this growing issue women need to be more aggressive when it comes to closing the gap and attaining employment in large corporations as executives. Men are known for their direct approach to situations. When they want something they won’t stop until they get it. Whereas women are more passive in the sense that they do not want to cause any trouble. This ultimately causes some women to settle for less and affirms gender role stereotypes in the workplace. Should women want to earn more than men, they’ll need to cultivate a stronger mental aptitude and push their agenda forward, not simply wait for the problem to solve itself.

Employment discrimination of all kinds is still an issue in this country, but it has been tackled by the Obama administration and is not as bad as it was previously for equal opportunity in the workplace. Women are going to college in higher numbers then men now as well; this data proves that the opportunity is there. Thus, women should not wait for an opportunity to receive equal employment, but rather make one. Men are more risk-takers therefore they are more likely to try out a few positions before settling down on a final one. This knowledge of a little aspect of everything allows for them to be more competitive in their field.

Women Employees: They Can Fix This

I am a female myself, so this issue hits close to home. Whether you are male or female, however, if something is not right you have the ability to state your opinion. We live in a democracy; everyone’s voice counts for something. If you are quiet you have no choice but to sit back and watch what happens happen. Don’t let your opinion be silenced as the gender wage gap has been too wide for too long. We have equal rights for all races, sexual orientations and minorities, and it’s time we have equal pay for those who have worked for it. No one wants to work hard and only be awarded for 80% of what they do (read more about women’s rights).

If you want to be able to compete you have to be able to know how to make yourself marketable. Establish your role as an important aspect of the company. You will earn more if they feel that you are a valuable part of the company. Go figure out what makes your male counterparts stand out more than you and incorporate those skill into your individual work ethic. If women became more aggressive the gap would slowly but surely start to close.

Interested in other human resource topics? Read about absenteeism in the workplace and how it can affect women.


Covert, Bryce. “We’ve Moved Backward in Closing the Gender Wage Gap – Forbes.” Information for the World’s Business Leaders – N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.>.

Dugas, Christine. “Gender pay gap persists.” USA TODAY: Latest World and US News – N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013.>.

Garofalo, Pat. “The Gender Wage Gap Is Getting Worse | ThinkProgress.” ThinkProgress. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. .

Hegewisch, Ariane, Claudia Williams, and Angela Edwards. “The Gender Wage Gap: 2012.” IWPR. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research” IWPR. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2013. .

Pearsall, Beth. “50 Years after the Equal Pay Act, Parity Eludes Us: AAUW: Empowering Women since 1881.” AAUW: Empowering Women since 1881. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2013. .

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