Work Discrimination against Women

In today’s society, there are a lot of gender-linked social issues that affect people in a countless amount of ways. A gender-linked problem I women would like to touch on is work discrimination against women in the work place.  Studies have shown that 42 percent of working women in the United This gender-linked problem draws me to the question, how does work discrimination affect women in the United States?

The first way women face workplace discrimination is through the hiring process. When a woman applies for the same jobs that a man does their resume might be overturned, because the man might have a higher educational level than she does even though she might have more experience. Women also get turned away from being hired for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) versus men because society view these jobs as unfeminine and believe that men are more qualified in these fields of work. Moreover, the lack of hiring of women in STEM jobs is why women only make up 27 percent of science engineering jobs today in the United States. The lack of representation of women in corporate jobs creates a glassing ceiling effect, which puts up a barrier that prevents women for being hired or advancing in a job position. Society only view women to qualified for what is known as “pink collar” jobs, which are jobs in fields such as teaching, nursing, child care, secretarial work or waitressing.

Another way work discrimination is placed upon women in the workplace is by the wage differential between men and women. In the United Sates women make 78 cents to very dollar than a man would make. This number is even lower for women of color, as black women only earn 63 cents to the dollar, and Latinas only earn 54 cents. This issue affects women because the inability of companies to pay women equally as men hinders them from achieving economic stability and can in turn lead them into poverty. Another way this issue affects women is by making it harder for women to pay off her student loans. According to Whaley (2018) “A 2018 analysis from the American Association of University Women found that full-time working women who graduated college in 2007 and 2008 had paid off 33% of their student loan debt by 2012. Men who graduated in those same years had paid off 44%.”

A third way women face workplace discrimination in the workplace is by often getting interrupted or ignored by men in the workplace. Chemaly (2015) found

“Men talk 75 percent more than women in structural environments, yet we still have an interesting listeners’ bias. The listeners’ bias is that when women speak as little as 30 percent men and women both think women are dominating.”  Often times when a woman tries to speak at work meeting her sentences would either be cut off or finished by a man in the room. When a woman presents her ideas to her colleagues they often are dismissed and ignored. However, when a man presents the same idea in a work meeting he is often accredited for his efforts.

The last way women face workplace discrimination is by workplace harassment. When people associate sexual harassment in the workplace they often think of physical contact of forced penetration, however sexual harassment is also verbal as well. Zetlin (2018) found that about 54 percent of women in the United States reported workplace harassment. Those who do not report workplace harassment might not do so for various reasons. One of these reasons is due to the fear that if they report an incident they might face repercussions, or they fear that they might lose out on future endeavors in the current career. Another reason why women do not speak out against workplace harassment is because they feel as if they will be blamed for the situation in the sense of what they were wearing or how they came off to the harasser. Lastly, many women do not report workplace harassment because they do know that they are being harassed and sometimes overlook the behavior at hand.

Although, women now make up 50 percent of the workforce population in the United States, there is still a need for changes to be made in order to ensure equality for women in the workplace. Since the Equal Pay Act of 1996 there has still been little to no improvement over the gender wage gap amongst men and women. In fact, the gender wage gap for full time working women only went up by 0.1 percent from 80 to 80.1 percent between 2016 and 2017.

One way companies can eliminate inequality for women in the workplace is by reevaluating and revising their interview process. During the interview men and women should be asked the same questions, and the wording of the questions should not change for neither the men or women in order to create a fair a just hiring process. Companies who do group interviews should consider an even amount of both sexes to avoid hiring biases.

Another way companies can eliminate inequality for women in the workplace is by discarding the gender pay gap. Companies can do so by not basing a person’s salary off of the prior job they had. Instead, companies should start both men and women off with a salary range that is well suited for the position in which they applied for. To further ensure equal pay for women in the workplace companies should audit their payrolls. By doing so employers can ensure that women are accurately being pay for their contributions in the company. Lastly companies should consider giving a raise to women who have stuck with the company for a long time and who have been short-changed.

A third way to eliminate inequality in the workplace for women is by allowing women to have the floor when she speaks. Allow women to have their voices heard in the workplace when they are presenting or sharing ideas without cutting them off or talking over them and give women the same respect you would want yourself. Employers and employees should also give women credit when her ideas are used within the company as this can boost her self-esteem and confidence within the company, and further show that her efforts do not go unnoticed.

Lastly, companies can eliminate inequality in the workplace for women by training employees on what to do when one is sexually harassed or sees sexual harassment. It is important for companies to train other employees on basic knowledge of sexual harassment, so that they can speak out for others who are too afraid to speak up for themselves and possibly become potential witnesses for others. Companies should ensure women that all the information she shares in making a sexual harassment report is secured and confidential to ensure her safety. Companies should also make documents of claims being made to assure the woman to legal actions are being taken in matter and that her claims will be further investigated. If claims that the victim made are true, then the company should take the initiative to immediately terminate the accuser that the claims were made against. Companies should make clear polices against workplace harassment and notify all employees that any behavior that falls under harassment will not be tolerated in the workplace.

References

  1. Whaley, Nateleg. “3 Long-Term Effects the Gender Pay Gap Has on Women.” Mic, Mic Network Inc., 11 Apr. 2018, mic.com/articles/188833/3-long-term-effects-the-gender-pay-gap-has-on-women#.faJ0KGawT.
  2. Finn, Lisa. “Female Discrimination in the Workplace.” Career Trend, 25 July 2017, careertrend.com/female-discrimination-workplace-2736.html.
  3. Goudreau, Jenna. “13 Subtle Ways Women Are Treated Differently At Work.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 27 June 2014, www.businessinsider.com/subtle-ways-women-treated-differently-work-2014-6.
  4. Rivers, Caryl, and Rosalind C. Barnett. “8 Big Problems for Women in the Workplace.” Chicagotribune.com, 20 May 2016, www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-women-pay-gap-workplace-equality-perspec-0519-jm-20160518-story.html.
  5. Zetlin, Minda. “54 Percent of Women Report Workplace Harassment. How Is Your Company Responding?” Inc.com, Inc., 15 Mar. 2018, www.inc.com/magazine/201804/minda-zetlin/sexual-harassment-workplace-policy-metoo.html.
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