A Life Half Full: The Drawbacks of the Gender Pay Gap
By Sophia Randazzo
Equal Pay Day this year lands on March 14th, 2023. Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day intended to increase understanding of the gender pay gap. This date serves as a reminder of how much further into the year the average woman must work in order to equal the earnings of the average man. Even to this day, women are still expected to put their families before their careers without complaining, and when males do the same thing, they are hero-worthy selfless sacrifices. The impact of increasing familial responsibilities on women during the global pandemic has been disproportionately severe, forever remaining this harm.
It’s no question that the fashion industry is a woman-dominated field. About 82.7% of all fashion professionals are women. A recent survey reveals that men continue to rule the fashion business, despite it having a reputation for being female-focused. In a survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017, it was reported that women still make twenty percent less money than men in the majority of business sectors, including fashion. Despite the fact that fashion and beauty companies tend to hire more women than men (and that women make up the majority of their customer base), the sector is far from perfect when it comes to equal pay.
According to research, female employees typically make between sixty to seventy-five percent of what males do. Women working in the clothing industry experience higher rates of poverty as a result of the disparity.
A bigger gender pay gap is apparently seen in Asian nations. Although making a significant contribution to the sector, women still experience significant obstacles. Pakistan has the largest male-female wage disparity in the apparel industry (64.5%), followed by India (34.6%). In contrast, the unadjusted wage difference in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam is between seventeen and twenty-five percent.
Though there are significantly more women in the fashion industry than men, men tend to have an easier time getting hired in higher-level and higher-skilled positions. Only fourteen percent of the top fifty fashion houses in the world are led by female executives, according to the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Also, women run fewer than fifty percent of womenswear companies. Balenciaga, previously run by Isabelle Guichot, is now run by Cédric Charbit; Christoper Kane was run by Sarah Crook and now by Barry Mulholland.
How can men be taking over such a female-dominated field when women spend three times as much money on clothing per year than men do?
Our society is built on the notion that men will remain superior. Females are perceived as lesser and have no way of achieving the same power a man has. This notion has been engraved into everyone's head since this has been an issue for centuries. We now see it as normal, and stopped questioning the issue and deem it as a way of life. Finding the issue and examining the data are the first steps in dismantling the patriarchal system in the fashion business. In addition, there are a lot of successful female fashion icons who deserve more recognition.
It is past time to recognize the contributions made by women to the fashion industry. Female employees are frequently underrepresented in unions, leadership positions and supervisory positions. This must alter, and equitable representation must be achieved.