Gender Inequality in the Workforce

By: Rivka Lasson VP of Economic Equality and Healthcare  |  February 14, 2021
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Rivka Lasson VP of Economic Equality and Healthcare

Economic inequality and inequality in positions of authority are apparent issues when looking at the unequal distribution of workplace authoritative positions among the genders. JPMorgan, for instance, presents data which compares the percentages of women and men in leadership positions. They found that some fields appear to be male-dominated, while others are female-dominated. Regarding the education industry, 76% of teachers are women. Despite most teachers being women, the percentage of women holding the authoritative position of superintendent in schools is just 20%. Further, women make up almost half of the S&P 500 employees, however, when it comes to S&P 500 CEOs, only 5% are women. Why is it the predominantly female industry of education and the half-and-half industry of finance holds so few women in positions of power? Is this inequality due to the stereotypical woman being groomed from birth to focus on girly things, being given dolls with which to play, while stereotypical males are given toy cars? Perhaps these gender roles being bred from childhood are great contributors to gender separation; or perhaps women desire to work in positions similar to those of men, but are being restricted by societal rules.

This data shows that there are, in fact, more than enough women capable of holding such positions in fields with which women are very familiar; however, gender inequality is keeping these promotions from occurring. Therefore, gender equality in all fields is a cause that this country is striving for more now than ever. Too long has this country been on a rampant run of gender stereotypes manifesting themselves in the workplace, in positions that are based on skill rather than gender.

It is no secret that women are often thought of as “too emotional” to be in positions of power. Gender roles shape many decisions of hiring, and the first thing that employers look for is the mental capability of taking on specific roles. Far too often, women’s emotional capabilities mix themselves up in general mental abilities, thus adding a facet of professionality that may not exist when dealing with prospective male workers.

A Stanford news article suggests several steps to this national problem’s solution. First, workers must be educated about the gender bias in the workforce. Next, the workers must identify where such bias can stem from in terms of hiring and promoting. Finally, tools must be developed to lessen this bias and inequality. These essential steps not only promote female work ability, but shed a light on those who use other, unimportant ideas when hiring individuals for a given organization. To find out how gender roles really affect a workplace atmosphere, look at the employers and see if their strategy for employment is the same for male and female prospects. If they deviate from any of these steps, they need to repeat this sequence or be removed from the position entirely in order to fully comprehend just how to deal with employees regardless of gender, and maybe, through their own revelation, understand just how serious and rampant this issue truly is.

Sources:

https://news.stanford.edu/2017/12/19/new-approach-reducing-gender-inequality-work/

https://www.jpmorgan.com/commercial-banking/insights/gender-leadership-gap-infographic 

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