Editor’s note: Sadie’s post today barely scrapes the surface of the issues women face in today’s workplace. Use it as an introduction. For on-campus resources of more information, check out the Commission for Women and WRAC (Women’s Resource Action Center).
Since the early 1900s, women have been fighting for their equality in the workplace. Over the years, women have continued to prove how vital their role is in the economic development of the country and how their contributions are just as important as their male counterparts. Women have come a long way in being respected as an equal in the workplace; there are still several issues and problems that women face today.
- Pregnancy and Maternity Leaves: Women still sometimes choose to conceal their pregnancy to a supervisor because of a number of fears they have. One example being that they might lose their chances of getting a promotion with how much leave they have to take after having a baby. Another example is being scared to tell a possible employer during an interview about their pregnancy for the fear that they would think she wouldn’t be able to work long hours after the baby is born and that a different person would be chosen for the position. Lastly, women might not receive the sufficient amount of leave and a supervisor might not be flexible with letting a mother work from home, taking off more time, etc.
- Appearance and Sexual Harassment: A woman could be discriminated against in the workplace by her clothing or physical appearance. An employer might hire a woman based off of her looks to increase sales or the same woman might not get hired because of the supervisor’s fear of numerous men in the workplace and the possibility of sexual harassment law suits that might arise. Sexual harassment in the workplace includes whistling, obscene jokes, threats, derogatory remarks, and comments on a women’s appearance.
- Unequal Pay and Wages: In some instances, a woman who has the same job title, level of seniority, and responsibilities as a man is paid less. If an employer is caught unequally paying its employees, they can be sued under provisions of The Equal Pay Act of 1963 that made it illegal to pay men and women working under the same circumstances with different salaries.
- The Glass Ceiling Effect: Many women say they experience the “glass ceiling” effect in their profession. This phrase refers to the invisible barrier or “glass ceiling” that prevents a woman from achieving further success at their place of employment. A woman can see through the “glass ceiling” and can see those above her who are more powerful, but is unable to achieve the same success because of the ceiling that is preventing her from rising any further.
Of Possible Interest:
- Levo League – one of our favorite career websites; their focus just happens to be towards women
- Online Resources for Professional Women
- 12 Must-See TED Talks for Purposeful Women
- Are You Marginalizing the Women You Work With? (Forbes)