The conversation of income inequality simmers. Constantly.
...at many points, reaching a boiling point.
When applying for and accepting a position, it is a vexing guessing game as to what salary range is acceptable to ask for. Most interviewers demand to know what your salary requirements are, whereas the interviewee, in most cases, is completely in the dark as to what a fair wage is. There also appears to be a professional code that implies that it is rude to ask how much your current or future colleges make (unless of course, you know someone well enough to brave asking). Transparency is crucial in the aim to dismantle the social dogma created which mystifies the truth. If you don't know, then you won't know to ask.
2. Women are Willing to Work for Less Pay
The work force is an ecosystem build on SUPPLY and DEMAND. When women take employment agreeing to work for less than their male counterparts (again, in most cases beyond their knowledge) they are agreeing to provide services at a lesser rate. You could say that a single mom has no choice, but to take what is offered to her. The truth is that as long as women consent to 'gift' their employer with forfeited wages, women will account for a share of the responsibility.
Or should I say, 'what men think about the worth of a woman' is not the only problem. Most leadership positions are held by men, this is true. However, gender discrimination happens across the board. Women seem to be almost as likely to discriminate against other women. What we have here is a Discrimination problem...
Discrimination starts off innocently enough. It begins as a mechanism to assess one's surrounding risk of interacting with others. The more similar you feel to someone, the less likely you are to feel at risk by them and the more likely you'll be able to anticipate their behavior. The human brain is wired to seek out differences, patterns, anomalies. As people, we take that and use it to protect ourselves from the consequences of interacting with others. Discrimination, although a human tendency, can be overcome. In a 'mind over matter' sort of way, we can train ourselves to assess each person on their own merit. We can set aside past experiences with others that bared resemblance, and get to know people for who THEY are.
I propose a "Good Housekeeping" type seal that would be displayed by corporations and companies that asserts their commitment to fair wages. Silence, by those that choose NOT to assert their position would demonstrate, by omission, where they stand. In doing so, people can select employment and business transactions as leverage in their contribution to demand equal pay, for equal work. If society votes with their time and money, businesses will relent on the practice of operating 'business as usual' which incorporates a tapestry of discriminating practices.