On October 12, the Arts Research Center at UC Berkeley and the Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts are partnering to host a live-streaming of the Creative Time Summit, an annual conference in New York that brings together cultural producers--including artists, critics, writers, and curators--to discuss how their work engages pressing issues affecting our world. To jump-start the conversation in advance of the event, attendees have been asked to submit a paragraph on a keyword associated with one of the summit themes: Inequities, Occupations, Making, or Tactics. This posting is by Amy Duong, American Cyberculture student at UC Berkeley.
Inequity differs from the term inequality, which are the differences and social disparities amongst one another that characterize one as unequal to another or the condition of being unequal. Inequity is the lack of being unbiased and unfair as equities are the fair and justness of said thing. For example, although society today may promote the concept of equality amongst all, equity is not mentioned or practiced in conjunction to the promotion of equality. The inequities in the world range from the public sectors of work place to the private sectors of the home. One example is the role women play in the labor force in society today.
Today women are allowed to work due to the increasing equality with men however it does not mean that women are necessarily paid the same amount in wages. In fact, the median annual earnings for full-time, year-round women workers in 2010 was $36,931 compared to men’s $47,715.(1) The gender wage gap is a huge issue as women are paid around 77 percent to that of men in the same job occupation.(2) For example in 2011, the median weekly earnings for full-time working women was $684, compared to $832 for men.(3) Moreover, according to the National Women’s Law Center the wage gap persists at all levels of education. The typical woman who has received an associate’s degree does not receive the same or equal pay as the typical man who only graduated from high school and has not received any degree whatsoever.
To close off, one may not see the “big deal” of the inequity in income of different sexes as it seems that typical women just make a few dollars off compared to the typical man which is why I invite you to consider the statistics again from National Women’s Law Center where it states that a typical woman who worked full time and year round would lose $443,360 in a 40-year period due to the wage gap. And the typical woman would have to work almost twelve years longer to make up this gap. A typical woman working full time, year round who starts, but does not finish, high school would lose $372,400 over a 40-year period, an enormous amount of money for women who are typically paid $21,113 a year. A woman would have to work over seventeen years longer to make up this gap. 4 From this we take out that inequities are a big issue in today’s society not just in terms of the male female income disparity but this example goes to show the interrelated conditions of how inequities exist in today’s world although inequalities supposedly do not. And he disparity gap in wages and income over men and women accumulates over time elongating the usual time period of the typical woman in the labor force to almost a third of the usual 40-year time period. A huge inequity and unfair indeed.
(1) U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement, "Table PINC-05: Work Experience in 2010--People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2010, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex" (2011). "Table PINC-05. Work Experience in 2010--People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2010, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, and Sex,"
(2) 4 National Committee on Pay Equity, “Wage Gap Statistically Unchanged and Still Stagnant” (2012).
(3) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, "Table 39: Median Weekly Earnings of Full-time Wage and Salary Workers by Detailed Occupation and Sex, 2011" (2012).