Discussing Issues of Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Gender Inequality

There is no country in the world in which women and men have equal status (Mooney, Knox, Schacht 309). Gender inequality is still a major issue across the entire world, even though there has been a lot of progress in the closure of the gender gap of such things as education and employment (Mooney, Knox, Schacht 309). Because of this, both genders are treated differently in the workplace- at individual and group levels, along with society as a whole.

Individually women and men are affected by their gender in the workplace. For starters, women are known to not make as much as men. According to Ridgeway, in 2013, women only were only making 80% of what men make currently both at full-time jobs. Across all occupations in 2010, women earned, on average, 81.2% of what mean earned (Housh 118). This is not even the worst of what studies had shown. On the lower end, women were making as little as 58.4% of what men were making in the same year (Housh 118). This is something that needs to be continued to be worked on because ones gender should not define how much anyone makes, especially if he or she are doing the same thing. But, not all women are privileged enough to get a job that a man also works. In 2009, only 0.9% of women were working blue-collar jobs. (Housh 119). Housh says that majority of women were not allowed to work in the natural resource, construction, and maintenance industries but in the education and health industries, they had the largest number of women employees. Women still overtake men in being nurses, teachers, and even childcare workers but that is not because men are not welcomed to do it but they just steer away from those careers. I think that a lot of men feel like they are too masculine to do some female careers so they stick to what they feel like they should be doing, instead of what they want to do. This is the same thing for women. I think that a lot of women feel like they are too feminine to work in some fields that men are supposed to work and decide to stick to what the standards are for them, but in fact, they should push for what they want to do. On the other hand, for the women who are able to get the like men they are often ranked lower on the scale. Women are less likely to be a manager or a supervisor and if they are one they carry less authority (Ridgeway). There are more guys who receive the higher-up jobs compared to women, even if women have a better education and even more experience than them. Men are supposed to be, better at managing in . If a woman is lucky enough to get employment in a , she will make less than a man (Avent-Holt, Tomaskovic-Devey). Even if they have the same exact job at the firm, he ranks higher because he is a man, and will get more increases in pay as the woman is likely to stay where she is at for longer periods of time. If people have the same skill set there should be an equal level of pay of course, unless they do not perform to their best abilities. At an individual level, women and men are both made up differently biologically. The female brain is wired for empathy while the male brain is wired for understanding and building systems (Housh 119). Housh says that women tend to have traits biologically in which they are, expressive, warm, and submissive, while men have biological traits that are, instrumental, rational, and dominant. Because of the traits, women poses they make good housewives, and mothers. They like to take care of things because that is how women are wired, to nurture. On the other hand, men have natural traits that make them best at working in highest paying and prestigious occupations, they are able to leave the nurture aspect at the door, and focus on work alone, while women would let emotions take over there workday. Looking at it from this point of view we are supposed to think of this as an modern different-but equal paradigm which is almost the same as having the inferior-female paradigm it is used in the same way, to devalue feminine traits, meaning their traits are not worth as much compared to men (Housh 123).

Not only are there gender inequalities at the individual level but also at a group level. A lot of the group level comes from the individual aspects of things just brought together. A business can decide whom they higher and whom they dont. For this reason, many to not hire many female workers, if they do they are ones who help maintain (Ridgeway 1). This means that men in the workplace tend to take charge (Ridgeway 2). Men are the ones who lead and women are to follow behind them. Women are able to have a job in the same firm but work under a man. They keep things flowing nicely because a male told what they had to do. According to O Rand, from a business view, women are also not worth hiring because they have interrupted services. This is including a personal need as childbearing. Women will often need time for themselves before and after they give birth. They will not have the same energy level so they cant do as much as they were able to before. After they give birth they are able to have time off from work called, maternity leave, this is important for women to have for their mental health. Their body went through so much pain to give a baby, so its only obvious their body needs time to recover from those nine months of carrying the baby also. Not only is it important for the mother but it helps them ensure the baby is healthy. It is nice for the baby to be able to make sweet connections with their mother right off the bat. Based on that information, businesses do not want to lose employees due to a personal leave so thats why more men are hired because they typically do not take parental leave. Women and men are often given fewer hours to work for a job. More men apply and get hired for full-time jobs than women. Women tend to get the short end of the stick and are often high for part time jobs only. Men get first dibs at having a full-time job because they are expected to work to support his family (Housh 141). Meanwhile, women only work part-time because in the workforce people think women should not work as long as men because they need to take care of her family so she did not need the job (Housh 141). Sexual harassment is also something that is very occurring in a business setting. Sexual harassment has a lot of definitions but simply put it is, unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work, which include psychical, verbal and non-verbal conduct (Bimrose 110). Although both men and women can be victims, a study taken showed 96% of the people who said they were harassed were women (Bimrose 111). This is because women are quicker to take things men say as negative and automatically think it is some form of sexual harassment, which it tends to be. Even though this is not only work-related one in every two women have had some form of harassment in their lifetime. The problem with sexual harassment is that it could lead to further problems. They will have a loss of self-confidence and due to that, they will self-harm to cope (Bimrose 113). This does not help solve what is going on in the workplace. Another thing that does not help harassment in the workplace is the fact that many women who file a report will just get fired. To me, that is ignoring the problem. Why get rid of a victim and not the real problem, the one doing the harassing. They are just allowing the harassment to keep progressing. But, because of women getting fired over filling a report many just ignore that it, and try and cope within themselves (Bimrose 114).

Along with being unequal in the workplace at many levels, there are also inequalities at society levels. Women and girls continue to be the ones who maintain the household, including cleaning and taking care of the children or siblings (Mooney, Knox, Schacht 327). Even when women were working full time they are expected to pick up slack at home. I dont understand how men think they dont need to pick up after themselves. I think it is fair for both men and women to split the chores especially if they are both . Women get tired too. I truly understand this because my family went through this. Growing up my father worked and would come home only to boss my mother around and demand supper at the snap of his fingers. But, my mother also worked a full-time job so she would come home exhausted but would do it for him because she had no energy to argue with him. I do think that times are changing and more men are stepping in but a lot of families still follow a traditional style of marriage. Politics have been a major issue for women too. Until 1920 women were not allowed to vote, but to this day women have the minority in politics. More and more women are finally standing up for what they want to do and are running for different political positions. My mother currently care takes for Jocelyn Burdick, who was the first woman United States Senator of North Dakota. She did not run for that position but her husband did and passed away so she stepped in for his place until a new election could be held. The presidential position of the United States is still run by males although there has been one candidate that had ran for president who was, Hillary Clinton, she did not get elected but it is nice to see women trying to get womens views out there. Minnesota has progressed a lot this year also, Ilhan Omar will be the first woman Muslim to be sitting in a Minnesota Rep. spot. There have only been two Muslims that were elected to Congress, and are both men. It is important for race and gender to start becoming equal. Having more women in office would bring a different perspective to things especially by them bringing in experiences women have gone through. Most of politics are from a mans view. I am not one to want to rush to get a woman to be in office, the time will come, so when people vote for a poor candidate just to have a woman in a position it sickens me that people dont just vote for what they want.

The world as a whole is trying to come together to make women and men equal but there are just a few barriers in the way. We have not been able to solve these issues efficiently, but slowly women will be able to express their views for everyone to hear. Both genders are not treated the same in the workplace both individually and as a group, and even at a societal level.

Works Cited

  • Avent-Holt, Dustin, and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. Relational Inequality: Gender Earnings Inequality in U.S. andJapanese Manufacturing Plants in the Early 1980s.Social Forces, vol. 91, no. 1, Sept. 2012, pp. 157180.EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=85098993&site=ehost-live.
  • Bimrose, Jenny. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: An Ethical Dilemma for Career Guidance Practice?British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, vol. 32, no. 1, Feb. 2004, pp. 109121.EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/03069880310001648049.
  • Housh, Kristin. Different but Equal? Inequalities in the Workplace, the Nature-Based Narrative, and the Title VII Prohibition on the Masculinization of the Ideal Worker.Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, vol. 17, no. 1, Fall 2011, pp. 117142.EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=76501947&site=ehost-live.
  • Mooney, Linda A., et al.Understanding Social Problems. Ninth, Belmont, CA: Cengage Publishing, 2011, pp. 30776.
  • ORand, Angela M. The Hidden Payroll: Employee Benefits and the Structure of Workplace Inequality.Sociological Forum, vol. 1, no. 4, Fall 1986, p. 657.EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=10795294&site=ehost-live.
  • Mooney, Linda A., et al.Understanding Social Problems. Ninth, Belmont, CA: Cengage Publishing, 2011, pp. 30776.


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