The federal workforce, with all its glory and might, is not immune from suffering the symptoms of the largest problem plaguing America today. More than 90 years later after the creation of the federal workforce pay structure and American women in the federal workforce are still fighting to see equal wages in their pockets. The federal workforce structure embodies the principle of “equal pay for equal work,” but this does not go far enough. This principle is predominately associated with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, however it was adopted 40 years earlier in the construction of the federal workforce. Neither the federal nor private workforce has achieved gender pay equality. Some critics dispute the existence of the gender wage gap altogether, but this is as a subterfuge to thwart advancement. The real debate lies in the extent and cause of the gender wage gap.
An examination of the federal workforce exposes the root cause of the gender pay gap and possible solutions. This paper explores the characteristics of the federal workforce, specifically the pay structure, transparency measures, and workplace flexibility programs. By isolating the federal workforce we see the limitations of these structural measures. It is clear that the passage of legislation and time will not reverse the disparity in wages. What is not and cannot be addressed by these undertakings is the lifetime of gendered socialization of men and women. The federal workforce model indicates that a social phenomenon of this magnitude can only be addressed by a social change.
The integration of the two workforces requires a tandem effort to close the gap. The lessons learned from the federal workforce structure can be applied to the private sector to move civilization forward. Once there is a universal recognition of the cause and a will to change, we can have a real movement to advance humankind towards gender equality.
|Advisor:||Thornton, Karen, Craver, Charles|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||MAI 57/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, Womens studies, Labor economics|
|Keywords:||Equality, Federal workforce, Gender wage gap, Structural changes, Temporal flexibility|
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