The Pay Gap between Genders Back in 1960s, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, making it illegal to pay men and women employees in the same establishment different wages for substantially equal work. Even though federal laws protect women against discrimination, a pay gap persists. Women earn less than men in general. According to a study, “women employed full-time earn only 76.6 cents on average for each dollar earned by males by 2003” (Hughes 264). Masculine “ideal worker” norm lives in most of the high-reward occupations such as engineering and medicines. In contrast, female employees usually take the subordinate roles in the workforce, and these positions usually provide lower salaries. This inequality has been socially constructed, and it is caused by many forces including occupational segregation, “glass ceiling” and family responsibility.