Gender Inequality: Women Fear for Their Future

by JacobT on October 14, 2016 - 2:34am

Recently there seems to be an increase in women fearing that their gender will have a negative direct effect on the possibilities of getting a career, or that career ever advancing, and a fear that their wages will be lower simply because they are women. There is also a fear that because they are women, they have slim pickings for jobs they can actually pick. This is obviously a huge problem. To be exact, around 42-43% of women believe that their gender would have no effect on their future employment and only 42% believed that their gender would not effect the progression of their chosen career. These numbers come from over 70% of these women saying that they are still very confident in their abilities and in their knowledge. Compared men, these numbers are much lower. 73% of men believing their gender may effect their employment and 72% of men believe it may effect their progression. (these numbers are based off of 20,000 different students from 21 different colleges)

With this idea in their heads, they may have less of a motivation to try and succeed in life, or may not even try in general. But the problem is discrimination is not something that we can just stop. It always has existed and it will always exist in some way. But recent years is still way better than what was to be expected many years ago. I’m not trying to discredit discrimination here (or even try and downplay its existence or seriousness), but I believe its not as significant as it was years ago and these women should not fear their careers on it, because odds are they have many options for them to choose from, and employers would be lucky to have them as employees. Don’t let a few bad apples get your entire life of track. All this being said, I (as a male) cant fully understand the discrimination women may go through in the work force.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gender-equality-more-tha...

Comments

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for your post, it was an interesting read. I do however, disagree with some of the things you said. To say that "I (as a male) can't fully understand the discrimination women may go through in the work force", could, in my opinion, impliy that discrimination is only something that women "may" go through in the work force, and that, if it did, though you "can't fully understand" it, you'd still be able to understand it enough to form "valuable" opinions on the subject. Perhaps it would've be more apt to say simply that "I (as a male) can't understand the discrimination women go through in the workplace". Maybe you wished to avoid making it sound like discrimination is inevitable for women in the workplace.

When you say "With this idea in their heads, they may have less of a motivation to try and succeed in life, or may not even try in general." , it's not really clear to me which idea you're referring to. Could you expand on that at all?

Thanks

Hi, sorry for the misunderstanding there. I know that discrimination exists in all directions regardless of your race, gender, religion, or anything like that. But as a male I cant particularly feel what a woman is facing in the workplace, and that's what I meant by I say.
What I meant by "With this idea in their heads, they may have less of a motivation to try and succeed in life, or may not even try in general" I meant that when discouraged to such an extent, women may not wish to even seek an education with the idea that it will just be a waste. If we continuously tell girls that all managers are sexist where is the encouragement for them to even try?

Hi, sorry for the misunderstanding there. I know that discrimination exists in all directions regardless of your race, gender, religion, or anything like that. But as a male I cant particularly feel what a woman is facing in the workplace, and that's what I meant by I say.
What I meant by "With this idea in their heads, they may have less of a motivation to try and succeed in life, or may not even try in general" I meant that when discouraged to such an extent, women may not wish to even seek an education with the idea that it will just be a waste. If we continuously tell girls that all managers are sexist where is the encouragement for them to even try?

Hello Jacob

Thank you for your insight on the gender inequality in the workforce in respect to wage. I also would like to thank you for your acknowledgment of how males no matter how empathetic cannot truly understand this gender inequality. I agree with your statement argument that there is an issue when women enter the workforce. As you also stated ““around 42-43% of women believe that their gender would have no effect on their future employment and only 42% believed that their gender would not effect the progression of their chosen career”” this shows that there are more individual concerned for their future job security. I personally am a female who works seasonally as a labor on a golf course and I personally have felt this gender inequality. I make less than most of my male colleges even though I have been there longer and have more training. Therefore as a person who has personally experienced wage inequality first hand I once again would like to thank you for your opinions. I would also like to ask if you can think of any ways to help amend this issue.

Andi

Thanks for reading Andi. Honestly its hard to say if there is a way to amend this issue. I plan to own a business at some point in my life, and I know for a fact that I would judge an employee simply on their knowledge and their work ethic, rather than anything else. Because really, why should any of that even matter to an employer? But the thing is, not all employees are people like me and you. There will always be people who discriminate, and showing them that what they are doing is wrong will most likely change nothing, because odds are they know that its wrong. You cant really just teach these employers not to be sexist, it just does not work. The best bet would be to better teach people studying now about gender, racial, etc discrimination and how wrong it is so the future will be better for us.

Hi, this is really an interesting post which points out a popular concern of today’s professional women : gender inequality in workplace. The statement is also supported by the statistic data. In my opinion, your encouragement for women who are worried about the unequal working environment is important and helpful. Girls are socialized to be emotional and less ambitious because of the gender norms. The messages that the media keep sending to girls make them less confident and competitive than boys. Therefore, if women want to have equal place in the society and reduce the wage gap, they need to gain more confidence and be more willing to compete with men. However, today’s working condition is also a factor that limits women’s progression in the workplace. Many women have to sacrifice their career to take care of their family, which has been seen as a freewill choice of women. In fact, social policies overlook the needs of professional women and create a glass ceiling that prevents women from occupying a higher position. Thus, the disadvantages of today's working environment for women is also one of the reasons that make women fear for their future. In addition, the gender wage gap, which shows the disparity of incomes between the genders, has been existing for long time. The earnings ratio between men and women has decreased from 74.4% in 2009 to 72.0% in 20111, which illustrates an extension of the gap. (The article below from CBC News might be helpful for you to know more about the gender wage gap.) Thus, the gender inequality is still a serious problem that has not really been improved yet. It explains the concerns of women for their future carrier. In brief, I believe that we need to encourage women to get more involved in the competitions with men and adjust the social policies in favors of women’s needs at same time in order to improve the gender inequality and eliminate the fear of women for their future.

1 CBC NEWS, Women’s wage gap getting wider in Canada, new report indicates, 07 March 2016, http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/wage-gap-oxfam-1.3478938, accessed 16 October 2016.

Great article! I want to begin by crediting you for including actual statistics regarding this particular topic. The percentages you included support the points that you are trying to make and shows that effort was made to research this particular issue. In the article, you stated that you believe discrimination in the workforce is no longer an issue that is as significant now as it was years ago and that women should not fear that their careers depend on it. While I agree that we have indeed come a long way since the days when women were not given equal rights, I still seem to disagree with this point. Despite all the progress made by women in the workforce, recent studies show that woman today still earn on average 0.77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work. This pay gap is even more prevalent for minority and indigenous women. This alone supports the fact that gender inequality in the workforce is still relevant and a real issue that needs to be addressed. Despite the fact that woman do indeed have many more employment opportunities today than they did years ago, pay inequality is still an obstacle that is demotivating women from advancing to the top ranks of the corporate ladder. Regardless of wether you are a male or female, I think that we must still acknowledge that this issue still exists to this day and work towards eliminating it.

http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

Hi Jacob,

Thank you for posting about gender and its effects on employment opportunities. Like NewsBot’s previous comment, I too was not sure what you meant by the phrase "With this idea in their heads, they may have less of a motivation to try and succeed in life, or may not even try in general." After you explained further, I think that what you’re talking about is a self-fulfilling prophecy – have you heard of this term before? The theory of self-fulfilling prophecies makes sense in my life as a woman: growing up as a girl, the discourse surrounding my gender indicated that we were inferior and less likely to succeed, especially in the workplace.

Indeed, the name which I am using on this site is not my own, but is instead a masculine-sounding pseudonym which I chose in hopes that I could be taken more seriously when I do post here. In many feminist ideologies, it is recognized that it’s not just the “few bad apples” that impact career choices, but the underlying structures and social systems which maintain sexist discrimination. Through your post, I can see that you understand some implications of this, definitely. I noticed too that you say you cannot fully understand from a male perspective – and while it is true that you cannot step into the place of a woman, I am glad that you are looking into the issues of gender inequality and perhaps institutional sexism.

A very well written and concise article that addresses gender inequality in today’s society that needs to be abolished. Your pertinent use of numerous statistics demonstrates that the majority of women believe that their gender will affect their future employment and the progression of their chosen career. However, when you argue that the problem of discrimination is “not as significant as it was years ago”, it is troublesome because discrimination should not exist, period. The fact that the majority of young women feel that their career choices are plagued by gender discrimination can certainly explain why they are less likely to present themselves as candidates for managerial positions. Focusing on the ways in which this gender discrimination manifests itself in today’s workforce will not only reinforce your already solid argument but it should motivate both men and women to reflect on ways to indeed abolish this problem. One such manifestation of systematic gender inequality is the Gendered “Wage Gap” which calculates the disparity between female/male wages in a given country. In the UK the wage gap ranges from 47% in Wales to 69% East of England, statistics show that women make on average 15K pounds less than men, according to SommersetLive. This data clearly reflects that women hold fewer positions in male dominated fields, which are the higher paying jobs. One can explain this wage gap as a result of women choosing careers that are flexible enough to allow them to have a family. This “mommy track” path must be changed with solutions such as flexible working schedules for women and men with young families, and improving social programs such as paternity and maternity leaves.

Here are some interesting articles:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mommy_track

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/aug/23/gender-pay-gap-average-18-...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/gender-equality-more-tha...