report

Gender Equality in the Workplace

Do Women Still have a Long way to go?


Ever since it became the rule rather than the exception for women to work outside of the home, the issue of discrimination in the workplace has been a serious dilemma. Women have consistently been paid less and promoted less often than men, and they have often been treated in a more demeaning and less professional manner than their male counter-parts. Despite having made significance gains toward workplace equality over the last few decades, progress has recently been slowed or stalled. Although it’s been over 40 years since the idea of female empowerment first inspired a generation of women to seek independent, professional careers, they are still facing the issue of sexism in the workplace.

Back in the 1970s, only two percent of executives were female. Today, 52% of middle management are women. Obviously, great strides have been made in the last few decades when it comes to women in the workplace. The gap between women’s and men’s salaries has narrowed significantly in the 1980s and 1990s. More women have graduated college in the 21st century than men have. So why, if that's the case, do women still claim that sexism exists?

Women, on average, get paid 78 cents for every dollar made by a man. Only 14% of Fortune 500 company Board Seats are held by women. Large numbers of female employees in the last ten years have filed class action suits against their employers for discriminatory treatment, and have been paid out more than $787 million in settlements. Young women fresh out of college typically get a lower starting salary than men who graduated at the same time.

The rationalization had once been that women deliberately chose less high-paying careers than men, such as secretarial, to explain why men in a particular company would make more money than a woman in that same company. That may have been true once but no longer, now that more women are holding mid-level management jobs, with their eyes on a promotion. Ambition is no longer just a male trait in our society. Therefore, career choices by women cannot be used as a legitimate excuse for pay disparities.

Women are less likely to be promoted over a male who is in contention for the same job. The common expression which has been used to describe this situation is “the Glass Ceiling.” This expression is meant to indicate a symbolic barrier in the corporate hierarchy where women are rarely allowed to pass. Women are given many excuses as to why they are passed over for promotion, including the all-too-often used reason that a woman may become pregnant and leave the company to raise a family. A recent story that made the newspapers was the story of a woman who was fired for being “Too pretty”. Her male co-workers claimed she was a distraction and that her dismissal was the best thing for the company. These are two examples of discrimination which prevent women from breaking through “the Glass Ceiling”.

Statistically, because of the higher rate that women are graduating college, it would seen logical that women are the future of the workforce that that it would be sensible for employers to start adjusting to this trend and appointing women to corporate officer posts. Surely in the days of Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, no one could ignore the fact that women are capable to doing what was traditionally a “man’s job”. However, it seems that corporate America has chosen to ignore this evolution of the workplace because progress seems to have been slowed to a great degree in the past 10 years.

The gains in salary that woman acquired over the eighties and nineties have not only leveled off but have, in fact, dropped off to the point where men’s salaries are pulling far ahead once again. The number of women promoted to board seats in Fortune 500 companies, which had been steadily increasing in the late 20th century, has dropped over the past three years. Apple Computers has appointed only one female board member since 2010 and Microsoft only two. Only 31 percent of corporations have more than three female corporate officers, while the number of corporations who have no women officers at all at the top has increased by 10% in the last year. This trend of reversal in the female rise to corporate equality has set back the movement so badly that some experts predict it will take another 70 years before actual equality can be achieved.

Another aspect of discrimination against women in the workplace concerns how they are treated. Are they being treated professionally and fairly? According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, incidents of sexual harassment lawsuits in corporate America have remained high, with companies paying out over $700 million in damages in the past 10 years. Women still report being spoken to or touched in a non-professional manner. The long fight for equality is far from over.

What is the reason for this sudden lack of momentum in the race for equality? One reason could be that women have become more complacent than they had been in recent years. Given the strides women have made in positions and salaries, it seemed safe to assume that sexual discrimination was dying and that there was no more need for women to be militant. However, without a movement behind them, women seem to have lost their leverage and therefore have seen their near-victory tumble backwards. Perhaps women need to become militant once again in order to regain the momentum they seem to have lost.

The history of the woman’s movement and the crisis of inequality goes back over forty years. Although woman first began entering the workplace in mass numbers during world war two, the trend did not last and the 1950s was a wasteland for women’s rights. However, things changed for women in 1963 when The Feminine Mystique was published.

Published in February of 1963, the Feminine Mystique is credited with starting the concept of feminism in America. Written Betty Frieden, the book describes what was called “the problem with no name”, which was essentially the ennui and depression of women who were unhappy having no greater goals or challenges in life that being a mother and housewife. Women of the day were completely dependent on their husbands for all their material comforts and security.

The book shattered the myth that all the women of America were happy with this status quo. The book points out that women were viewed as akin to children who needed to be taken care of, rather than taking care of themselves. Even when women went to college, they were steered toward non-challenging curriculums such as home economics. Frieden encouraged women to think for themselves and to resist the limitations that have left them stagnant for so long.

The Feminine Mystique created such a sensation that it inspired millions of women to get jobs or to get a good education. It also encouraged congress to pass the Equal Pay Act the same year, which prohibits employers from discriminating salary amounts depending on sex. Despite resistance from traditionalists, more and more women began entering the workforce. In 1966, Friden helped found NOW (The National Organization for Women), which was followed by the Professional Women’s Caucus (PWC), the Federally Employed Women (FEW), and the Women’s Equality Action League (WEAL). In 1968, female student organizations began what was known as the “rap group”. Women, who had been structurally deprived of interactions with large groups of other women now began to band together. The “rap groups” became a mechanism for social change. This group solidarity allowed women to become more militant than ever before. In the 1970s, this spread of Female Consciousness led to what became known as the Women’s Liberation Movement or the Feminist Movement. This movement brought about sweeping cultural and social changes regarding the place of women in our society, particularly in regards to women’s ever-increasing role in the workplace. The 1980s and 1990s were decades of remarkable progress for women in business. The ramifications of the movement continued until only recently, when it has paused.

The situation seems to indicate that women need to become militant again, just as they did in the 20th century. They need to regain their momentum if they don’t want to wait 70 years until they level the playing field. Can this be done? Now that women are no longer prisoners in the home, is it possible to reignite the passion that once motivated the creation of NOW and the “rap groups” and women’s liberation?

What barriers are there to the implementation of workplace equality? What factors could hold progress back? One problem may be a lack of forcefulness and confidence in some women. Women have been conditioned to expect less than men get so they tend to be satisfied with less. They do not negotiate or “play hardball” the way a man in her position might. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that women who are aggressive and who push for what they want are often considered unlikable or labeled as having a bad attitude. They might be seen as someone who will be a problem in the office. The same strong negotiating that might be laudable for a man is considered unseemly for a female. This is another reason woman are less likely to ask for a raise or promotion.

Married women are also less likely to be assertive about a rise since they have the safety net of a husband who, in general, has a higher salary than she does. In our society, we’re all trained to believe the husband’s career is more important than the women’s, so a married woman is apt to be less focused on getting ahead. A married women is often seen to be providing “a second paycheck” to supplement the primary breadwinner.

Pregnancy becomes another hurdle for women. The number of women who have filed suits claiming discrimination because they are pregnant have been growing, even while birthrates have been dropping. Complaints of pregnancy discrimination have jumped 32% in the past 15 years. This makes pregnancy suits the most frequent type of lawsuit leveled against employers in the United States. The complaints range from women in entry level positions to top-level corporate officers. Women say they have been fired or denied promotions due to their pregnancy.

It is assumed by employers that a woman will have a child at some point and that the child will take precedence over career. Other employers use the excuse that they fear for the health and safety of a pregnant employee if she has to do anything physical. Some companies to not even guarantee that a woman will still have a position when she returns from maternity leave.

Discrimination against pregnant women is a serious issue since women of child-bearing age make up 47% of the nation’s workforce in the early 21st century and are expected to account for more than half by 2013. Furthering the problem is that women are having children later in life, when their careers are firmly established and therefore more is at stake financially than for a young woman just starting out. A woman who has been in the company for 15 years and has a six-figure salary has more to lose than the recent college graduate who is getting her foot in the door with a $50,000 dollar entry level position.

Companies see pregnant workers as a liability, especially in this era of rising health costs, which companies provide. It’s even more problematic for small business owners, who need every worker they can get. They need to replace the absentee employee. Also, research has shown that employers see pregnant woman as more fragile and less reliable and therefore less competent than other employees. Surprisingly, this view is held by fellow female employees as well as men. These factors drive employers to discriminate against pregnant women, hence the increase in lawsuits. Lawsuits of this nature have cost companies to pay out over $30 million a year in settlements since 2003.

Some employers would argue that sexism doesn’t exist anymore and point to statistics of female employment as proof. They say that because we’re in a meritocracy, all failure to advance in the corporate world is due to weak performance, rather than any perceived sexism on the part of the employer. Some might not even be aware of their own unfair actions. They may truly believe that “Glass Ceiling” doesn’t exist.

What recommendations can be made regarding ways to curtail the problem and get the momentum back into the movement toward workplace equality again? One problem that needs to be dealt with is the unwillingness on the part of many women to discuss the matter. People who have done studies on discrimination in the workplace have often found it difficult to find women willing to speak to them about it. This is partly because they don’t want to raise the ire of their superiors by exposing their bias treatment.

Another reason for this silence is that some women don’t want to be “gender wimps”, meaning women who use their sex as an excuse why they failed to climb the corporate ladder. They want to believe that if they play by the same rules as males, they can beat the men at their own game. Despite this optimistic attitude, there is a clear difference in the way men and women are treated and more woman need to open up about it if they are to regain that group social consciousness that spurred on the 1970s feminist movement.

To sum up the situation, the state of woman’s equality in the United States has come a long way since the Feminine Mystique and the “rap groups”, with women on the verge of becoming the majority of the national workforce and already making up more than half of the country’s middle management. However, the long climb has slowed in the last three years and needs to be reignited otherwise it make take another seven decades for workplace equality to be reached. No doubt the economic downturn of the last few years has contributed to the problem but that does not explain why men’s salaries are pulling further ahead of women once again. Women cannot become too complacent about equal treatment in the workplace because while they have come close, they haven’t made it yet and the recent sloth of the once energized women’s movement threatens to derail all efforts if more attention and militant thinking isn’t used for the problem.

The phrase “so close and yet so far” sums up the situation.



Comments 85 comments

lddant profile image

lddant 5 years ago from Washington, DC

What a great 'read'. Thanks so much for writing it and articulating so many women's frustrations in the workplace.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Iddant; Thanks for reading. It's an important issue.

Rob


HSchneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Great Hub Rob. You are right that women have come a long way but that progress is slowing down. This is true in the political field also. Their percentages in government took a slight dip after the 2010 elections. We need to get more vocal about these disparities especially since women constitute more than 50% of our population. The world is way ahead of us in this area.


saesha profile image

saesha 5 years ago

Great to hear a commentary on this issue from a man. For once I see that men also care! I have faced discrimination at my work place and I was the first to quit. So much of the world is still traditional. It's time to wake up.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Very well done Rob. I really enjoyed reading this hub. I gained lots of information from reading this hub.....which I think is always the sign of a great hub...I agree 100% about that the phrase "so close and yet so far" does sum up the situation. Voted upo and useful


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi HSchneider; That's a good point about the political field and the dip after the 2010 elections. Thanks for that.

Rob


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi saesha; Sorry to hear about your job difficulties. But to paraphrase, "You shall overcome".

Rob

..

Hi Cogerson; I'm always glad to hear I helped inform someone about something important. As always, good to hear from you.

Rob


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Brilliant hub. You really made every point.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks HH. I appreciate the comments.


Rusty 5 years ago

Rob, you say, "Today, 52% of middle management are women." Then you say, "Women are less likely to be promoted over a male who is in contention for the same job." If these two statements are both true, does than mean fewer men than women contend for middle management positions? If that is true, why?


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Rusty; In recent years, more women are graduating college and going for higher degrees (masters and PhD) than men are. There have been more women with credentials entering the workforce than men.


sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 5 years ago from Western Washington

Since I haven't researched gender statistics and income in the workforce, I can neither agree or disagree with you. But, you wrote a very great article and some points I certainly agree with.

For example, Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz was just recently fired.

And, when I worked as a customer service representative of a used-car lot 7 years ago, and on Occasion had to do car repos, the tow-truck driver was nothing but short of crude. He was not affiliated with the company I worked for.

Finally, a male co-worker who I assisted with this repo piped up and told this tow-truck driver that they could be fired for this.

That is all my co-worker said, and needed to say.

The tow truck driver shut up.

I never reported it.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi; Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience.

Rob


SanXuary 5 years ago

Discrimination is completely based on where you work and what you do. It is not people who discriminate but companies that discriminate against anyone they desire to discriminate against. In fact most everyone is being discriminated against. All you have to do is look at your pay check and the profits these companies our making is all the proof you need. Everyone needs to become militant and also realize that full equality is the answer to putting an end to discrimination. I always wonder how 75 percent of us have nothing to lose and yet we still do nothing but lose.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello SanXuary; I agree that most American workers are being treated unfairly and getting a boot in the gut from corporate America. That's why I support the whole Occupy Wall Street protest.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 5 years ago

Rob

Sexism, stereotyping and perceptions of gender from the social point of view have a major impact on the role of women in workforce, like you have rightly pointed out. These numbers are quite revealing of the current situation and show where we actually need to be at in terms of equality.

This has been a fantastic read!

Princesswithapen


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Princess; I'm glad you found it interesting, although I wish it wasn't something that still needed to be discussed these days.

Thanks for the reading and commenting,

Rob


josak 4 years ago

While I dissaprove entirely of sexism its important to realise why men are more often employed and promoted in the work enviroment its not because of "traditional values" the vast majority of the time it is simple profit before all else mathematics, extensive studies do show that men are better investments as employees, in general they stay with one company longer are far more likely to stay all the way to retirement age and deal with stress better they are also 35% less likely to quit a job for emotional reasons. These factors make it easy for employers to generalise and pick what is mathematically the better option, the problem offcourse is that there are mnay women who will perform as well or better than the men competing with them and they are passed up as a result of a generalisation. If my job was to hire people for a company to maximise profit the logical option is for me to select a man over a woman if i know nothing else about either of them, that is the unfurtunate truth and really the only remedy is for those statistics to change (they are slowly improving over time)


Trionoide profile image

Trionoide 4 years ago from Ireland

Having made some progress in the workplace where do women stand today? The rise in unemployment may well see less women in work and a preferenece in hiring men. One of the more worrying aspects of women in the workplace is the amount of stress they deal with on a daily basis: family responsibilities, promotion and salary issues, recognition and respect for a job well done (if a woman can do it attitude),overtime; top that with the monthly condition peculiar to women (that no-one dare mention but can be very very painful), and of course my overall favourite the menopause. And no I am not going through this serenely and with dignity. I am going through it kicking and screaming which is my God given right...so there!


howay 4 years ago

hi howzit hahhhh womens have the right in everything same as man


anivardiashvili profile image

anivardiashvili 4 years ago from Georgia

Hi HSchneider; That's a good point about the political field and the dip after the 2010 elections. Thanks for that.


pramodgokhale profile image

pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

I am an Indian,found women are not honored and even highly qualified and competent women stay on job at he mercy of their Male boss.In India women are occupying important jobs like Bank CEO,researchers but this is a fraction of the community.

Women are less paid than their male colleagues.there are many welfare schemes and laws to protect rights of women but still long way to go.


Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

Wage gap may have to do with the fact men put in 8.14 hours of work a day in and tend to make up over 90% of work place deaths. Tell me something I'm a man who works in a female dominated space I suffer harassment and mocking daily, but I also outperform my female coworkers. If a man outperforms a woman, doesn't that give him the right to his advancement in rank?


e-how-to profile image

e-how-to 4 years ago from Kgn. Jamaica

The truth has to be told. Excellent hub! :)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you,


Becky Bruce profile image

Becky Bruce 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

Great hub, lots of accurate points! So many people assume that woman are equal to men, but they are not! Workplace inequality still persists because even once the books change laws to be equal, actions and stereotypes take way longer to die out and reshape society.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello Becky; True, personal actions change slower than the law. Old attitudes die hard.

Thanks for reading my hub,

Rob


marketingbloke profile image

marketingbloke 4 years ago

I think women wear the trousers in New Zealand.


vkrbibin 4 years ago

Great Hub


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Robwrite, You're right saying, "Old attitudes die hard." It's not only companies or men that are responsible for discrimination in the workplace. I confronted a woman manager who promoted a male counterpart in the department, but not me. I asked her why I was not promoted and she said, "He has children to support as a single parent." No joke. This was the reason. When I asked if I had adequately performed the duties that would support my promotion, the answer was yes, but the budget wouldn't allow for both of us to get a raise!

This is only one example of how women contribute to inequity in the workplace. I could describe many other examples of this attitude from a career of working in a male dominated business. When I left this job I was making 75% of what my male counterparts were earning for the same position.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Peg; Sorry you had to go through all that. I've heard plenty of stories about women contributing to the oppression of other women. In the corporation world, there is no unity!!

Rob


molometer profile image

molometer 4 years ago

The laws may have changed but attitudes have not. The suffergettes must be spinning in their graves. I wrote something on this a while back.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

True; Attitudes are harder to change than the law. The spirits of the suffregettes need to return and put some fire back into the movement.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


naimishika profile image

naimishika 4 years ago from India

Great to see this article.. Nicely narrated.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

At age 28 I became self-employed. The first place I worked as a science research associate, I did all the work, and the guy in my lab got all the credit, and all he did was sit around and poke fun of me all day. In my second job, as an associate chemist, my department manager and agreed to support my efforts to do experiments for a research journal. He and I had great scientific discussions. When my immediate boss found out about this, he banned me from all new product meetings. Next I found a job as Director of Protein Research at one of the first genetic engineering companies. Turns out that guy lied to me to get me there.

Oh well. I don't make as much money, but, now, when one of my suppliers fails to perform, I dump them, not the reverse.

I am a businessperson now, and would NEVER be an employee again. No-sir-eeeee-bob.

There is NO WAY women will EVER be equal as employees. Not in a million years. Ain't gonna happen. I advise all the young women I know to figure out how to work for themselves.

As an employee I was constantly hit on....even though and even when I wore a full-length white lab coat, which was ALL THE TIME.

Self-employment.....then all you gotta do is memorize and understand the US tax code, which is a constant project unto itself.


ThisisShe profile image

ThisisShe 4 years ago

This is a great hub with some very interesting and valid points. I am fortunate enough to work with a company that is mostly female dominated (but our boss is a male) and I also work for myself. For the most part, I feel as though so many women are oblivious to the inequality, and worse yet, do not care enough to want to change anything.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

Thisisshe----THANK YOU. I think you are right about women being oblivious. Why? What happened?


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Doodlehead and ThisIsShe;

You both make good points. I don't know why women seem so oblivious about all this.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


UpTight1 4 years ago

However, I must say this. Although there is truth to your post, there are two sides to every story. While it is no longer acceptable to discriminate against women in the workplace, it is acceptable for "the powers that be" to take it out on men. If a woman greets a man with words like "Babe" or "Honey" or "Sweetie" - why nothing is said because a woman is being sweet or kind or nice. And most men will not say anything about it because they are not supposed to feel bothered by those terms. On the other hand, if a man says a similar thing to a woman...then Watch Out! A woman will yell "Sexual Harassment" fast enough to singe a persons hair. And corporate will listen to the woman and make her feel better. The man, however, because he is a man is seen by corporate as Guily simply because he is a man and is not given the opportunity to explain his actions. He is a man, ergo, he is in the wrong. I have seen this happen to people I know and find it as wrong as when women were not allowed the same opporttunities as men.


Nomascus concolor profile image

Nomascus concolor 4 years ago from A Country called Earth

At equal qualification, equal ability, men are still too often prefered to women without any reasons. This has to change. However, we have to be careful when preaching equality for everything. For example, women tennis players now earning as much as men at Wimbledon, whereas they do not play 3 sets and do not have the same strength as men. The politically correct sometimes takes over reality in terms of equality... great hub, thanks for sharing.


counting sheep profile image

counting sheep 4 years ago

This was fantastic to read. I think you made so many outstanding points, especially the emphasis on the fact that women do need to stand up again. Something is (not) happening and we need correct what's going on. With this standard against women, it puts a standard against men to hold to a certain level as well. Everything is off balance. Thank you for bringing so much light to this.

-J


Free2writ3 profile image

Free2writ3 4 years ago from Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania

Great hub


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Glad you feel that way. Thanks.


HouseBuyersUS profile image

HouseBuyersUS 4 years ago from Centreville, Virginia, USA

great hub Rob...I think now-a-days women can excel in every field...but they are not getting their dues properly...


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

True. Thanks for reading,

Rob


randslam profile image

randslam 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

This is a very important topic...and one that my business partner (a woman) and I have been doing a great deal of deliberating over.

It is time for a New Feminism...militant bitches just don't cut it...it is a disservice to the gentler gender. Women have been working as hard, and usually much harder, than men from the beginning of Time--not just since the last world war.

This New Feminism has to be inclusive...it isn't just men who are the problem and need to be vanquished. Education must occur for both genders...propaganda needs to ring true...

Women are just as capable as men...in almost every arena of life...but for muscle mass--this is really the only difference, but for the fact that women outlive men by 5-10 years...so which is the "stronger" gender?

The fact remains, that the New Feminism must be embraced by both genders...a cooperative effort where one gender is not oppressed by the other...but rather impressed by the qualities, oft times very different, of the other.

It may take another 70 years, but most religious institutions haven't helped women...the corporate and political arenas have improved, but they have a long way to go yet.

I thoroughly enjoyed your hub...but the direction of women today needs to move away from the sad display on reality shows. You know what I'm talking about...the bimbos in high heels with nothing better to do than look in the mirror. The ditzy narcissists that can only spend money shopping...not earn money for themselves.

Television, the fashion world, reality shows have demonstrated some very poor role models...The Kardashians, Hiltons, and Lohans of the world need to start taking a real interest in people, charity, intelligence instead of the "self-worship" that is being witnessed--it makes me physically ill to watch these people who are making billions by being astonishingly grotesque in spirit.

All women CAN be beautiful, wise, capable, intelligent, etc...and equal to men in regards to every facet in life...except men aren't quite as fascinating as women in many cases. Women can't reach the plateau that the "Old Boys Club" stands upon without breaking the modern trap of vanity and narcissism...time to break down the walled mirror and break into the real world...we don't need a New Era of The Bitch...it's time for the release of true feminism--the one that works with men--as equals.


Mesha Minnerman profile image

Mesha Minnerman 4 years ago from Merced

I agree whole heartedly sexism is alive and thriving. From your page name I am assuming you are a man and for you realizing this phenomenon is greatly appreciated. This is a beautiful piece and maybe it is time for a change to occur once again...On my page I wrote a hub similar to this one called it's man's world but it would be nothing without a woman. You should check it out it's an interesting read.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I think this is important stuff. But sometimes we have to keep our eyes wide open. The young and the Old seem more discriminated against in this economy. But even that seems strange.

If business is spending all this time discriminating against folks, who the heck are they discriminating in favor of? And if you say white males between 40-60, I would not take your seriously.

No matter, all that is my rambling - discrimination against women in whatever form is dead wrong.


penelope mulusa 4 years ago

Wonderful comments indeed let's fight hard to stop this even in developing country.


MCDavis 4 years ago

Incredible. Thank you so much for writing this! I'm doing a project on Gender Equality and this is by far the best article I've found on the subject. Amazing job!


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you all for the very kind comments.

Rob


Pat 4 years ago

Pregnancy detours virtually confirm that the workplace will be anything but equal for men and women simply because of the "time out" to have a child. Any runner knows that in a race, time out's mean losses.

But society does not think of the workplace in this fashion even though it is designed in that manner, affirmed by time keeping practices and the docking of pay for employees not "on the job."

Women can ill afford to put society at risk of extinction by opting out of child bearing but do corporates wish we would to protect their profits?

Shall the wealthy be able to afford the luxury of child bearing but no one else?

The fundamental flaw of fiction that men and women of equal pay makes women equal to men in employment is scientifically and mathematically eroneous, fed by the fiction that women do not, can not, or should not take time off for child birth. How much is enough depends upon the quality of the society we demand since early care of infants dictates whether and how well they survive and thrive.

If humans are free, should corporations be allowed to dictate what is good for humanity, safe for children, or appropriate for women, and families by making the rules for them?


tario 4 years ago

hey rob can you post the link to from the National Bureau of Labor statistics please? this was a really great article


BOB 4 years ago

hello


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 4 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hello Bob


Sanxuary 3 years ago

My observation is that no one is equal and equality and fairness are two separate issues. The best thing to do is to make the environment equal for everyone. The other is to choose to be a co-worker and build teams. You can not be a lady or a man and expect that treatment while you our doing a job. You have to be a co-worker first and always. Coming to my work place dressed to kill is probably not going to work, unless you plan on looking good and muddy. Still I do not expect Sally who can probably lift more then some guys I know to lift some very heavy stuff. Get the equalizer, a pallet jack, some machinery, whatever it takes to get the job done. Yes we all better get paid what we are worth and it should always be fair. Teams are stronger when we are not equals and there is value in diversity. This is even more valuable when we do the work of three people these days. We all have are strengths and diversity makes up for our weaknesses. Never fear weakness and always be willing to learn.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks for the insightful comments.

Rob


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 3 years ago from Southern California

Equality in the workplace is a misnomer.

The most exploited workers in the country is the White Male. The reason is that they have no legal grounds to defend themselves.

As for the number of females in the workforce, the White Males have been there forever, and most of them don't get the good compensation. So now that the women are joining the workforce they have to compete with the average white male, and not the six and seven figure white males that rose to the top of a very populated male workforce.

President Obama didn't feel that Senator Hillary Clinton was worthy of being his Vice President. He overcame the White Elite Presidents and yet wouldn't help the females do the same.

So if the president of the US does this, shouldn't that be number one for the problem of women in the workforce.

In the private sector, there are quite few female CEOs.


Frangipanni profile image

Frangipanni 3 years ago

Thanks, very interesting hub, we still have a way to go to make women equal, I think.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi;

Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

Rob


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I was competing for a job, it went to a younger woman. I was very qualified. The skill sets needed were matters like empathy, compassion, personal relationships. I got all that.

If I were the boss, and I told him so, I would hire the lady, because of perception. I think we need to be careful with equality --- it sounds great, but it is often the difference that makes a woman MORE qualified.


newusedcarssacram profile image

newusedcarssacram 3 years ago from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A

Hi Robwrite,

Loved reading the post, it is truly inspiring.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks for reading. Glad you found it interesting.

Rob


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Rob, very interesting read! I studied 'gender and workplace' when I studied sociology many moons ago - the class was all women so it was a lesson of strong opinions, annoyance but also quite a bit if reminiscence from the older students. A subject which could lead you down a few avenues? Well written piece, shared etc.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Jools; Good to hear from you. Glad you found it interesting.

Thanks for reading,

Rob


Mindy Meisel profile image

Mindy Meisel 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

Very well presented. Shows research and good writing skills.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thank you Mindy.


healthyfitness profile image

healthyfitness 3 years ago

You can never have workplace equality as long as women

1.) Get pregnant

2.) Go into more liberal art fields


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

I'm not sure if that's stil the case these days about women going more into liberal arts fields. Almost 60 % of college graduates in the 21st century have been women.


Walt Kienia profile image

Walt Kienia 3 years ago from Hartford, Connecticut

I was working on a Hub about the minimum wage and read that in a 1923 the Supreme Court ruled a minimum wage law in D.C. which set a wage minimum for working women was unconstitutional.

Part of the reason given by the Court was stated in this way: "...women had become so nearly the equal of men that special safeguards to protect them in making contracts for their labor were no longer needed."

Nearly 100 years ago. Justice and Justices can be blind.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks for that bit of information, Walt.


wowtgp profile image

wowtgp 3 years ago from Delhi, India

Thank you Walt.


ryanjhoe profile image

ryanjhoe 3 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

Nice articles you have and interesting thoughts, this can give insight to readers. Equality must be enforced.


ceejay1980 profile image

ceejay1980 3 years ago

I did a research project on the Glass Ceiling among women in the IT profession, many years ago...sad to say that it still exists. One of the biggest drawbacks is the absence of good female role models to inspire new entrants in the field. The percentage of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies (particularly in the IT field) is appalling. Another barrier is the inability to 'network' the way men do, outside the workplace...many important official decisions are made over beer!

Good hub...:-)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

True, ryan; thanks for reading


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Ceejay; Good point about the networking.

Thanks for stopping by,

Rob


Astra Nomik profile image

Astra Nomik 3 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

Women need to be more organised and less complacent about their place in society and their place in work. It sickens me to think of women getting less salary than guys, despite doing the same work in many circumstances.

The flip side to this is that women are becoming more independent and less reliant on males when it comes to the more important things that count in life. It just means we cannot rely on how things are regulated any more and that the "system" is broke. This is a great hub. Tweeted.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Thanks for the tweet, Astra. Glad you liked the hub.

Rob


Marie-Renee profile image

Marie-Renee 3 years ago

Yes, there have been lots and lots of changes for women but there is still a long way to go. I would have to agree that there are still discrimination biased against women, but then there are also cases of the other way around. Also, there is a problem in the fact that women are not one/united in what they really want. Some women would rather have that status quo than be branded a feminist. I am all for women empowerment and advancement but women have to want it too, we need to stand up for our rights. It's harder when you come from a country like the Philippines where the patriarchal system is deeply ingrained, and thus a drawback. Great article. Voted up and across, shared, pinned and tweeted.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 3 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY Author

Hi Marie-Renee; Good points. I agree with you.

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing my article.

Rob


warehouse Joe 3 years ago

I don't think companiess should be required to give pregnant women special treatment, they chose to have unprotected sex resulting in pregnancy and because of that choice their proeformance at work is hindered. The warehouse where I work makes it very clear. If you can't perform the duties of the job you accepted, don't come..f.at least for males. A company should definitely should not give special treatment out of fear of being sued. I do think provisions should be made in rape cases as long as documentation of the police report is given. I do not know about working in an office though so I cannot give an opinion on that. However, when out comes to physical labor a majority of women cannot compete with men and often slow a process down due to lack of physical capabilities. If a job requires fifty pound boxes to be lifted and this was given at some point during the hiring process then the woman should be expected to carry through with the terms she agreed with. At my job they leave the heavy boxes on the pallet so at the end I have to go back after finishing my part of the same task and lift theirs. I am able to preform all task at work they can plus heavy lifting. I believe this makes me and the others that preform such task more valuable and should get. higher pay. If a woman can do the same lifting she should also ge the same pay. People wanting a equality forget that to be equal means that you are the same, no exceptions for any reason if one gender can do this in the work environment the other must as well. When I'm working being a gentleman is out of the question when it comes to work. You make the same money as me, I'll hold the door open for you and such, but that box is your problem. Equal rights should not mean special rights if one gender has any exceptions the other does not, equality will never be reached.


Sanxuary 3 years ago

Reading the last article I experience the same thing almost daily. I wonder why I have to lift 80 pound bags when half the employees can not and most of the customers buying it are even less capable. My 5 foot 90 pound daughter is out a job I figure. The question is why some company that does not want to give wages or hours to avoid paying medical benefits for my broken back still sells 80 pound bags. Why not 60 or 40 pounds? There the smart people making all the money. 3.2 million women were told to fight Walmart for discrimination one at a time. Sure with there salary that should be easy. Every time a Corporation tells 3.2 million women to go to hell its only a matter of time before your company does the same. Why did 3,2 million women think it was only about Walmart. Take it to the streets sisters, the rest of us being robbed each day have plenty of reasons to join you.


chizy 3 years ago

In your opinion, do you feel equal pay is still and issue today and how can we make further progress in the protection of wages based on skill set rather than gender?


Fernandex 3 years ago

If so many an individual speak for a certain side on grounds of they being oppressed, are they still oppressed? Not likely, as life experience have told me. The truly oppressed are those who suffer in silence and have no avenue to voice their sorrow and no one to represent them. On such grounds, the women are no longer the victim; the men are. It is true that it’s a good thing for more women to step up into the workforce so we can have more diversity, but isn’t it imperative they follow the same rules as the men? So far I have seen rules have applied across race, but not gender. Current office workplace have shown too much tolerance and leeway to attires which young women nowadays turn up in which are far from desirable, like tank tops and miniskirts; and yet no one has thought of allowing or tolerating men to turn up in shorts. I’ve seen women turn up in T shirts and casual denim or shorts-like skirts but not one man in shorts. Despite their more comfortable attires, they still expect men to do more of the physical labour when the need arises, ignoring the fact that physical might no longer depends solely on gender. If a certain physically uninclined man injures himself while lifting heavy objects, would the women pay him for medical fees and MC days? Even for a physically competent male, why should he do the heavy lifting for free, especially if it is not within his jobscope? Isn’t that demeaning men as mere tools of manual labour? If women want respect they better earn it by setting an example doing their own hard or dirty work, and not trying to push it to the men, else do they deserve the pay and position they are getting? That goes even more so for female bosses trying to arrow male surbodinates to do the labour and exempting the female surbodinates; ask yourselves if that is fair. Stop objectifying or stereotyping men as labourers; and stop being so aversive to our leg exposure if you(the women) value yours.


Fernandex 3 years ago

If so many an individual speak for a certain side on grounds of they being oppressed, are they still oppressed? Not likely, as life experience have told me. The truly oppressed are those who suffer in silence and have no avenue to voice their sorrow and no one to represent them. On such grounds, the women are no longer the victim; the men are. It is true that it’s a good thing for more women to step up into the workforce so we can have more diversity, but isn’t it imperative they follow the same rules as the men? So far I have seen rules have applied across race, but not gender. Current office workplace have shown too much tolerance and leeway to attires which young women nowadays turn up in which are far from desirable, like tank tops and miniskirts; and yet no one has thought of allowing or tolerating men to turn up in shorts. I’ve seen women turn up in T shirts and casual denim or shorts-like skirts but not one man in shorts. Despite their more comfortable attires, they still expect men to do more of the physical labour when the need arises, ignoring the fact that physical might no longer depend solely on gender. If a certain physically uninclined man injures himself while lifting heavy objects, would the women pay him for medical fees and MC days? Even for a physically competent male, why should he do the heavy lifting for free, especially if it is not within his jobscope? Isn’t that demeaning men as mere tools of manual labour? If women want respect they better earn it by setting an example doing their own hard or dirty work, and not trying to push it to the men, else do they deserve the pay and position they are getting? That goes even more so for female bosses trying to arrow male surbodinates to do the labour and exempting the female surbodinates; ask yourselves if that is fair. Stop objectifying or stereotyping men as labourers; and stop being so aversive to our leg exposure if you(the women) value yours.

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