Gender Equality in the Workforce

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Our world has progressed over time in many aspects such as technologically, politically, and socially. The right to vote, equality in public areas, and freedom of speech and press common protected civil rights that exist today. However, there are still many subconscious aspects of inequality in society that often times go unnoticed or aren’t protested against as much. Men and women, though created equal at birth, are put into different spectrums based on society’s norms. So no matter how far we have progressed over time in terms of gender equality, differences still exist. This disparity in the gender inequality can clearly be seen in the workforce. Men tend to be paid more than women regardless of which field of profession. Though, there are several groups of people who are protesting regarding this issue, it’s still lacks a wide range of awareness of the problem which puts to rest many of the voices protesting it.

As an essential consequence, due to wide range of acceptance and awareness of the issue, gender inequality almost become a norm of society. Normalizing gender inequality isn’t right. Therefore, social media can be used as a platform to spread this awareness to people about the issue at hand. Social media has helped many people around have access to world news and important issues at the palms of their hands. Many issues have spread like wildfire just with the help of a hashtag. Not only does social media prove to be effective but it’s also quite efficient in getting things done. This brings us to our research question which is to what what extent can social media be used to address civils rights issues such as gender inequality in the workplace.

Often times people are proud and satisfied with how progressive we have become today in terms of civil rights issues. Compared to the 1950’s, when Martin Luther King Jr. started the civil rights movement, we have come far in providing equality to other races by not discriminating them lawfully in any manner. However, though the law demands not to discriminate against other races and humans, humans can almost never do complete justice to that. Discrimination is subconsciously engraved in to our society against women and other races. Women in the workplace face many forms discrimination such as holding a prominent position and equal pay. “According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women earn 49 cents compared to every $1 men earn.”(Wilson). Also, often times women in less developed countries are expected to hand over a substantial amount of their salary over to their husbands. So essentially, women are paid less than men and then on top of that they also don’t have the freedom to have their own money. Regarding all this, one might wonder if maybe women are being paid fairly for what they’re capable of;maybe men are more skillful and productive and therefore they are paid more. However, that isn’t the case.

In fact, “There is not a problem with female achievement. Women have caught up with men in terms of education. In fact, in the United States and a number of other countries, women now actually surpass men in educational achievement.”(Josh) Women more often than not have higher educational achievement and have higher degrees and Phds than men do. It’s not due to the lack of educational skills that women in the workforce are being paid less, there are also several factors a women has to endure, such as pregnancy and childbirth. Often times women take on most of the caregiving responsibilities at home and therefore tend to struggle the balance between being an ideal mother and working woman. When woman don’t show up to work as often as men, they lose pay and there’s no proper system to help compensate that loss of pay. Even if there is, it’s not quite as efficient. Not that surprisingly, sad to state, “The wage gap typically translates into more than $10,000 per year in lost earnings for women”(Women’s Wages) Another form of discrimination that happens in the workforce besides the equal pay is that women tend to be promoted less than men which is a part of the reason as to why not many CEOs and managers are women. “…women make up less than 5 percent of CEOs and less than 10 percent of women are top earners in the S&P 500.”(Wilson)

This can be due to many reasons such as male prejudices and also lack of proper role models of women in the workplace. Male prejudices is something that not everyone possesses in today’s world but the fact can’t be denied that it still exists. Women are treated as if they’re not competent enough to handle large tasks so therefore they’re never assigned important tasks. This notion of women being more soft and nurturing rather than as a leader perhaps transfers from the household at home with women taking on the caregiving responsibilities instead of the men. “Women are roughly four times as likely as men to say they have been treated as if they were not competent because of their gender (23% of employed women versus 6% of men), and they are about three times as likely as men to say they have experienced repeated small slights at work because of their gender (16% versus 5%).”(Parker, Kim, and Funk) This prevents women from showing what they’re capable of and their prowess and so they’re not receiving the promotion in position that they are expecting.

As a matter of fact, more educated women are denied opportunities than less educated women. “Similarly, working women with a postgraduate degree are much more likely than their less-educated counterparts to say they have received less support from senior leaders than a man doing the same job (27% of postgraduate women, compared with 11% of women with bachelor’s degrees and 13% of women with less education).”(Parker, Kim, and Funk) This is probably due to the fear that more educated women would surpass the men if they were to be offered higher positions. These issues are all very important and must be addressed. And in order to make a significant impact on the issue more people must gain awareness of the problem in order to gain support the movement. “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” (King Jr.) As Dr. King said, it must be demanded by the women if they want change. One such form of spreading awareness on the issue is through the use of technology: social media.

Social media has a huge impact on the social issues today spreading awareness because it can expand exponentially in an efficient way. Another reason as to why social media is useful is that “…information technology today is used by such a wide variety of people that no one has a monopoly over how it is used or for what purpose.”(Kessler). Several issues that blew up over social media include the #Metoo campaign. Many people have realized the horrors of the movie industry and just to the extent sexual harassment is an issue which encouraged many women to come out in to the public and talk about their experiences. Not only does social media give a platform and power to women to talk about their opinions and experiences, it also allows for empathy to be created from people who would otherwise not care about the problem. For example, a person that doesn’t generally have a heart to care for equal pay or gender equality in the workforce, would empathize and perhaps change his view if he were to read real life experiences from victims of the problem.

According to one the stimulus materials“ Perhaps the greatest sense of empowerment has come through the ability to use cyberspace as a location for doing what might not otherwise be done in reality: assemble to discuss idea, concerns and complaints, and to share frustrations, while also providing the social networking opportunity to unite, strategise, and plan for change” (Kessler). Therefore, strategies can be brainstormed in order to provide a solution to the issue at hand through the use of social media in an efficient way. Ways to combat gender inequality can be strategized on social media and if not that, then at least campaigns and protests can be planned and it would be easier to communicate to people around the world. Many non profit organizations use social media as a platform to conduct their outreach on various social issues. They use the “#” technique to spread awareness on the issue. According to equalpaytoday.org, several women’s workers and social justice advocates haved used the # to conduct a social medial storm. For example, two big social media storms that happened last year were the #BlackWomen’sEqualPay and #NativeWomen’sPay conducted on August 7th and September 27th, respectively. As mentioned earlier, social media can be used as a place to conduct and plan such campaigns. It has already been put to use by several non-profit organizations proving to be a possible use of social media.

Despite, being a great platform to raise awareness about gender equality in the workforce there certainly are many limitations. One being that third world countries often don’t have access to internet and so such issues won’t really reach them. In such circumstances, the media in the form of Tv and radio would be the only source of information for the most part. Other limitations that could exist include the fact that social media isn’t properly filtered with the content that’s being published by people. Though social media can empower and inform people regarding the issue about gender equality in the workforce and equal pay, it can also pave a path for negativity. There’s always two sides to a coin. Often times people express their feelings and ideas on a post through the comments section. Comments have the power to manipulate others and thus can cause a bias of opinions. So in addition to raising awareness and support for the issue, it fosters negativity. Another limitation at hand is the fact that social media is a mediator and doesn’t have an immediate or direct effect on the situation. A person won’t be able to change the equal pay issue just by liking or sharing a post. It’s a gradual process and requires someone with great empathy and leadership skills to properly implement social media as a tool and put efforts in to campaigning in real life for the issue. However, the benefits outweigh the negatives in terms of scale.

In conclusion, social media is a great platform to voice out and bring awareness to the public about gender inequality in the workplace, despite the limitations presented. However, one thing to note is that results are not going to be immediate and a socially responsible person is required to get the best results.

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Gender Equality in the Workforce. (2019, Aug 16). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/gender-equality-in-the-workforce/

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