Gender Equality and the Workplace
Women are making strides in our present day workplaces, and the ratios of women to men are steadily increasing due to the Girl Child awareness campaigns. However, despite these consistent strides, inequality persists. According to the statistics released by the United States Census Bureau, women living in the United States of America only earn 75 cents for every dollar earned by a man (Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace n.p.). Gender refers to the opportunities, attributes, societal and cultural characteristics that are associated with either being male or female. As previously perceived, gender is, however, not biological rather it is social and cultural in nature. This paper discusses the current situation regarding the treatment to different genders at work as well as expounds on the interview findings of inequality of sexes in workplaces.
Equality between the sexes is the promotion of equal opportunities for both men and women in any place of work. This balance is achieved by ensuring equal opportunities for socially valued goods, social resources, and chances. In the workplaces where there is inequality, the female population is more disadvantaged than the male population. Women empowerment is, therefore, the only critical aspect that can be used to address gender equality in the workplace setting. The empowerment strategies primary aim at ensuring that a decision reached at all levels involve women and for this reason, there will be no more or minimal biases towards the male population.
Equality in payment has consistently improved in the U.S. since 1979. There have been growths of income from 62% of what men were earning to about 81% in 2010 (Gender Inequality and Women in the US Labor Force n.d.). According to the survey done by Gender Inequality and Women in the US Labor Force, there is a 50% likelihood of women to work in the public sector. Women are also believed to surpass the education attainment in the job market with a disparity of 37.1% for female having degrees under the age of 25, and at the same time 34.9% for men. The education level has, however, not reduced the levels of discrimination of women as far as senior positions are concerned. This perception comes despite the conducted studies that indicate better corporation performance in industries where female were higher contributors (Williams, Christine, and Kirsten 83). Women are slowly rising in the male-dominated fields such as engineering and technical industries while the ratio of men to women in workplaces is sharply going closer to the male population. The male population is decreasing in the workplace performance while the education levels for the men are day by day dwindling, thus leaving the question of where the dropping curve will stop eventually.
Workplace inequality is still a major threat to the future of many organizations, and if proper care is not taken, the trend focuses more on the gender than on the qualifications. One of the interviews respondents was a sales manager lady who was discriminated by the company offering the managerial position due to gender issues (Sales manager n.p.). The other respondent was a woman who was working for a company that did not appreciate her or never involved her in the business decisions. She was not promoted despite working in the company for a long time while the male population continuously received promotions. From the interviews, it was evident that various issues were the main causatives of gender inequality in workplaces.
Salary differences and job descriptions are among the leading causes of workplace inequality. The male population has held most technical job positions in organizations for a long period of time. However, shifting the focus from male and accommodating women counterparts into the job spaces is almost impossible. The inability to adapt to the current world requirements may lead to poor performance in the organizations since selection is still made on the gender basis and not merit.
There is a big correlation between the lack of confidence and the rates of inequality in workplaces. This was demonstrated during the interviews where the respondents regarded themselves as equally capable in jobs meant for men. On the other hand, men showed contempt for the women as they considered themselves superior. This happened because in terms of education, women are on the same level as men, and even surpass them in their achievements. As a result, men feel threatened, and in return, they stereotype women. According to Gender Inequality and Women in the US Labor Force, as long as the gender inequality reigns, it is interesting to mention that the countries where women participate actively in labor force, tend to have low birth rates. However, the only solution to the problem is to increase gender equality both at home and at workplace
The secondary gender bias is the situation when women are discriminated for not having certain character traits when performing their duties (Gender Inequality and Women in the US Labor Force n.p.). Commonly, it is perceived that successful leaders display characteristics of confidence, strength, and assertiveness. When women exhibit these qualities, they are deemed as overstepping their mandate and are thought to be abrasive. Women are also regarded to be less ambitious as they are more glued to families, and this makes them remain at a point of compromise while they undertake their duties. There is also a problem when young women try to balance family and work since they are perceived as the chief caregivers in family matters. This role significantly disadvantages female in the workplace as they have to spend more time performing household activities.
In general, women suffer from societal and cultural values that favor the male population more than the female population. The culture as well as the society demand women to be ideal mothers, thus putting pressure on women with careers that require long working hours. In most workplaces, gender equality does not match the workforce balance. Thus, as more and more women are getting education they are not assured of job vacancy or promotion. Besides, it is interesting that women working under male supervisors in workplaces are likely to feel comfortable unlike when they are supervised by the fellow females.
To summarize, male chauvinism and gender inequality are known causes of economy drags, and once people embrace equality in employment opportunities, then there are high chances of womens success. Gender inequality is not going to end in the near future since men still engage in stereotyping women from time to time. Women empowerment should be embraced as an aspect to address gender equality in the workplace setting. By so doing, opportunities in workplaces will be distributed evenly. The contribution of women to the society and families should also be encouraged and recognized as a way of appreciating them, and hence the method of promoting gender equality. This will lead to the increased women participation in the society activities as well as high birth rate.