Obama and Equal Pay: The Best Jobs for Equal Wages

Olivia Clifford |

Since President Obama took office in 2009, there have been many changes that have been made in an effort to equalize gender wages in the United States. Though the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 that was signed by President Kennedy as apart of his new frontier program, women today are still only earning 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. With this in mind President Obama has been implementing acts, councils and task forces to stimulate the population and close the wage gap. On June 10th he spoke on the Equal Pay Act and its current role within the United States. He states:

“ The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average. Today, it’s about 77 cents. So it was 59 and now its 77 cents. It’s even less, by the way, if you’re African American or a Latina. So I guess that’s progress, but does anyone here think that’s good enough?” 

Across the nation there are currently more women enrolled in a college or university then there are men, but that still isn’t closing the pay gap. Women are still on average more likely to take lower wage “pink collar” jobs such as teaching, nursing and cleaning. The top three female dominated jobs are administrative secretaries, teachers and retail salespersons as on 2013. Women earning lower wages and battling the pay disparity doesn’t only affect them, but can have an impact on their whole family as well. As of 2009 Obama implemented the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is a federal statute amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and limiting the statute of limitations for filing an equal pay lawsuit to 180 days. He then continued by creating the Council on Women and Girls as well as the signing the Paycheck Fairness Act. Lastly, Obama generates the National Equal Pay Task Force whose goals were set to crack down on equal pay laws as well as being a memorandum directing federal government to close the gender gap for its employees. 

As of January 2013, the top three jobs with the most equal pay were jobs held at the Postal Service, Biology Labs and Advertising. Women who are postal service clerks and processors on average make 98 cents to every dollar of their male counter parts. This is part is due to the fact that they are heavily unionized and have a heavy focus of equal opportunity. The slight disparities in the wages were attributed to the longer work hours that many of the male workers have. Biological Scientists, such as biochemists, microbiologists, biophysicists and zoologists are praised for their closer earnings gap as well. Women who on average make up about 45 percent of these fields are earning around 98 cents to ever dollar. The gap that is present here is then attributed to the older population, which is dominated by males. Lastly, advertising and sales agents have some of the most equal wages as well. Though they are slightly lower with the gap being 94 cents to every dollar, this gap is largely due to the differences in products that women and men sell. 

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