Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Hey OWU!

I hope everyone is looking forward to the end of the semester and not too stressed out just yet. In light of the upcoming event, Powerful Women Paving The Way, sponsored by the Woltemade Center, the Ohio Wesleyan Fund, and Career Services, where students get the chance to hear from and network with influential women in the work place, I was inspired to write about the obstacles that still exist for women in today’s society.

The panel of women coming to Ohio Wesleyan includes women with diverse skill sets from many different sectors of the corporate world. They have worked their ways up to respectable positions, receiving recognition for their hard work and effort.

Admittedly, these women are inspiring and we see them as women who have overcome odds and persevered. But isn’t this problematic in itself? We, as a society, see women as powerful for holding high positions typically associated with what men should do. Women should be recognized for their influence on today’s working world, just as men are, but should not have to praise women more for working equally as hard.

While progress is being made with the equality of how women and men are treated, we can’t ignore the fact that women are still underrepresented in the workplace. Here’s the facts:

-Women make $.77 for every $1 a man makes (and that’s even less for women of color)
-Women currently only hold 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEO positions
-Women would need to work an additional 70 days to catch up to a man’s salary
-1 in 5 women are working part time because they cannot find full time jobs

Now, lets compare those facts with these:

37.1% of women hold at least a bachelors degree compared to 34.9% of men
-Women complete college and graduate school at higher rates than men
-Women earned 47 percent of all law degrees in 2011 and 47 percent of all
medical degrees in 2014

It is proven that women are equal to men in ability, yet the problem persists. This indicates that it is not based on talent level that women are not succeeding in the workplace, it is more based on external factors. Whether it is men finding women less competent than themselves, women feeling like they should not even try because of the inequalities they have experienced, or any number of other reasons people are still stuck in the 1920’s, these facts are indisputable.

It is 2016, people!

If we have figured out a way to fly to the moon, make telephones smart, and hover on our boards, there should be a way we can treat women as equals. While there are numerous studies that recognize the disadvantages women still face today in the workplace, there is also progress being made. Helping raise awareness of this issue and not standing for unfair treatment are ways people can aid the fight for gender equality. Women are just as capable as men and the fact that they aren’t treated as such is an injustice.

There are seven amazing women coming to Ohio Wesleyan this Saturday, April 9th to talk about their experiences as women in the workplace and their success. These ladies have overcome the odds that still persist in the workplace. All students are welcome to come hear their stories and take part in the networking reception that follows. To RSVP you can email to reserve your spot.

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