Glass Ceiling Essay, Research Paper
The glass ceiling starts to form itself very early on. From the moment a woman enters the work force after college, she is faced with much discrimination and unjust belief that she will not be able to do as well of a job than a man. A man and a woman, who both have the same education and training for a job, will have a considerable gap in their yearly income. In a first year job, a man will make approximately $14,619 compared to a woman who will make only $12,201. That is a pay gap of 17%(Gender Pay 1). There is no reason why there should be any gap in their incomes during the first year of their jobs. They have both had the same formal education and both have the same qualifications necessary for the job, yet they are being treated unequally. The woman has not shown herself to be incapable of accomplishing her job and has given her employer no reason to doubt her commitment to her career other than the simple fact that she is a woman. And this discrimination does not go away. After five years of constant working, at the same rate and level as each other, the pay gap actually increases. A male will get paid an average of $28,119 while a female only receives $22,851 (Gender Pay 1). This is how things have been done for years. The man typically gets paid more money and holds more executive jobs than women do, simply because they are males. A man will be paid an average of 47% more than females in the course of their lives (Gender Pay 1). Although this is wrong, this has been tradition for so long, both men and women have accepted this way of thinking as right and have just gone along with it.
There have been changes in regards to women in top positions within the last few years. However, although those advances are positive, they are still no where equal. A certain statistic may say that there has been a 14% increase in the number of women in executive jobs for a certain company. However, although that increase is no doubt positive, it fails to tell the true story. That increase is only increases from a very minute number, if not zero, of women who previously held that position. Another thing that that statistic fails to mention is that the most of them include women in that position as that company from all of its worldwide locations. In other words, only 14% of executives around that world for a certain company are women (Misleading 1). So even though this may be an improvement on women’s behalf from years ago, it is still no where equal. Men and women must work hard together to make things equal.
“It’s not the profession that has the glass ceiling, someone has put it there” (Brower 162). Men need to change their attitudes and actions towards women in the workplace. They need to abandon believing that they are superior to women. Most men truly believe that a woman is simply not capable of doing as well of a job, or better, than a man can do. Therefore, they become extremely unsupportive of women and fail to recognize their accomplishments. They decline to give women raises, higher executive positions, more responsibility and overall respect. Many men have very subtle and low-key ways of showing their discrimination. These men know that it is unlawful to discriminate against women, so they do it ways that can have no reprimanding consequences. They will go out to lunch, dinner or drinks with the guys, claiming that it is just a time for male bonding. But the truth of the matter is that most business relationships develop over these “bonding times” therefore, leaving the female employees out of the equation (Brower 160). Other men are not so subtle. Male bosses often deliberately overlook a female employee for a promotion by making bogus credentials that only a male would be able to fulfill (Brower 162). Men aren’t planning to become pregnant and take maternity leave as often as a woman does. My mother has come into contact with both types of men. She has been scanned over for a business lunch or dinner just because she is a woman. She has also had male clients wish to speak with the “man in charge” instead of talking to her (Brzostowski). These are the types of men who put up the glass ceiling for women. They still carry prehistoric thoughts that women cannot be committed to a career because they belong at home, taking care of the house, and raising the family. Women in the past never had many rights. In the past, a woman’s power was always restricted over her own future. They were forced to depend on the men. In society, the men were the ones who represented the women. A woman was depicted as her husband’s wife and her children’s mother. These women worked in the home usually producing cloth, sewing, or being a cook or nurse to her family. But this is the year 2000. Women want to be independent, they want to succeed in a career for themselves, hey want it all-and they can to it all. But another thing that men fail to understand is that some women do not have a choice. Some never get married or have a family of their own, so they have no choice but to throw themselves into their job. Others are single parents, divorced or widowed, needing to work in order to support themselves and their children. Men and their unfair and preposterous beliefs toward women in the workplace makes it sometimes impossible for women to have any chance of succeeding. But it also causes many women to believe that they are not equal and that it is okay for them to be treated differently from men.
Male dominance has been prevalent since the earliest records of man, because of this; women in most societies have been at a disadvantage in most aspects in life. Since the industrial revolution the importance of the traditional` farm household activities of women, like agriculture and textiles, have long been taken over by factories. Since most men now work away from home, the basic “lower-status” housework has been solely put upon the women. This division of labor caused even more dominance over females, basically making the female a subordinate “worker” to the dominating “boss” (husband). This gender discrimination is so deeply rooted in our society that it causes problems for women in every aspect of their life. “This oppressed “minority” -which is actually a statistical majority of the U.S. population -is exploited at work, school, at home, in the media, and in politics, with one type of oppression reinforcing another. This ‘interior colonization’ of women is undoubtedly ignored and is taught and basically accepted since the conception. Segregation starts in the very first minutes that a young boy and girl is born. The boy gets wrapped in the little blue blanket and the girl gets put in the little pink blanket. Girls are looked upon as pretty and delicate, while the little boy, who practically looks the same, is seen as big, strong, and very attentive. No matter how little this situation seems it shows how the genders are being put into two different categories from day one, thus making the discrimination between the two sexes seem normal before the children even have a chance to see themselves for who they are. As these young girls grow up, they are exposed to even more gender stereotyping. It starts with their earliest readings in children books; where they find women only doing feminine actions and jobs, while males in the books are the ones doing courageous acts and jobs, taking the initiative to overcome impossible situations. As these girls start to grow up, the mass media, through the means of advertisements in newspapers, billboards, TV, and magazines, only see women pictured in feminine situations. For example, according to the textbook, ads for women generally tend to put them with beauty (modeling, make-up, fashions, and beauty) and household (cooking appliances, cleaning appliances, and food) themes. Having women being judged generally by their attractiveness, basing their self esteem on beauty (furthering their sex object identity), simultaneously banging the housewife identity into their heads. On the other hand the mass media tends to portrait the males in “manly” advertisements judging them primarily on what they do. These portraits that are painted by the mass media further the patriarchal society that is already established, and helps make gender domains stronger. All families in America, for a long time, have been based upon established roles between the husband and wife. Through the presence of these “women’s roles” and “man’s roles” the two genders are suppose to act a certain way. Since these roles have been a part of the American culture for so long, women are expected to be subordinate to men. For example, making them dinner after work, doing the laundry and conception and care of children. They lose much of the major decision making of the family, since society regards the male bringing in money so highly. This lack of power within the family is so institutionalized it gives them such meaningless position when it comes to major things in their life such as: employment, laws, politics, and even their very own body. This meaningless position can be seen in the idea that women do not even get rewarded when they do play the “women’s role”. Women do not get praised for their bearing of children or household work, nor do they gain any power within their family for this. The power that men hold over women keeps them in a constant state of subordination. This power conflict over women has become so severe that it is not all to uncommon for a man to go so far as to beat his wife. The amount of physical and sexual abuse of women in this society proves this point well. Domestic violence is the most common injury to women, statistically proven millions of women are yearly abuse by their male counter parts. Women in relationships are expected to give themselves, whether willingly or not, to the man’s sexual inhibitions. Another point that shows man’s thought of his power over women is the idea of rape in America. The male’s aggression and lack of respect for women in America make the U.S. have, by far, the most women raped every year. But, because the society is so male dominated these problems are not easily solved. Law officials are often quick to blame the women on most accounts. This patriarchal gender stratification has been carried out of the family and into the work place also. Because men look at females through the “women’s roles”, they have not been able to compete with men in job positions, incomes, or advancement within the work place. Men, with the idea of women being less capable, are quick to judge women, even if their have better credentials. ” a common problem for women trying to break into traditionally male occupations is the pre-existing male information and support network. This remains a problem once women are hired. For example only relatively recently have women workers broken into traditionally male-dominated sectors of the auto industry. Until gender stratification is abolished at the family level women will never have equal opportunities in other aspects of life. When women and men are taught from birth that women are mentally and physically inept compared to men the gender roles will prevail. ‘Women’s role’ and ‘men’s roles’ in society will only slowly improve unless some drastic changes are made. It is not an easy thing to change such an institutionalized social order. Huge efforts at the legislative, in the court, law enforcement, Constitutional rights, and especially by man itself are at need to adjust the society in order for equality and equity of women to happen.
Women are the first who need to change in this situation in order for there to ever be a modification and a shatter of this glass ceiling. They must believe that they can not only succeed, but also that they deserve a chance to succeed. Because the notion that women do not belong in the workplace has been around for so long, women have started to believe that they have no place in a career and at least have no place in the upper level, executive job. A friend of mine puts it best when she stated, “Everyone around me believed that it was the man’s right to get a promotion before me or the other women in our department, so I just kind of accepted it too. Until one day I realized I deserved it just as much-if not more-than they did.” (Budzinski). Believing that they deserve a better job and equal treatment is the first step that a woman needs to take. Although she will come across many men who will try to hold her back, a woman needs to press on. There are a few simple, obvious “success factors” that a woman can follow to help her succeed first. Firs, a “good track record of achievements” will show her boss that she has the attitudes to handle a higher executive position. She has to have the “willingness to take career risks.” A woman cannot be afraid of herself. She must go out there and give it her all, even if it means taking some risks. But most importantly, she must have the “desire to succeed.” She has to want it bad enough, and be willing to do whatever it takes to make is as far as she want to go (Center for Creative et al 24-32). There are many other things that a woman can do, but these are just examples of some basic rules that she can follow. But they will not help if she does not believe. Any woman has the potential to break down the glass ceiling; they just have to use their assets to the best of their ability.
It is true that things are getting better for women in the workplace. They are beginning to make little cracks in the glass ceiling, but things are still no where near to being equal. In order for that to happen, men and women need to work together as a team. Men, as well as women, have to do their part. They both must first believe that women are equal to men, then they must act upon it. It is possible.
It is an uphill battle every day, but if we continue to show these men that we are not going away, and if we make our voices heard, they will have no choice but to listen to us and make changes (Brower 160). “Women and men move up in their companies to a point, but eventually you find that men keep moving and women stop”(Brower).
Women belong in the kitchen. Women are the ones who should take care of their children. Men bring home the bacon. These types of standards were placed upon men and women many years ago. According to “old” ways of thinking, men are the ones who are supposed to go out into the real world and make all the money. But these “old” ways of thinking are still the current beliefs too. The men are the ones who are supposed to support their family and do all of the “manly” handiwork around the house. Women are supposed to be the passive ones. They are the ones who clean the house, do the shopping, cook, and take care of the children. Stereotypes and social norms play a huge role in the earnings differences between males and females. I agree with her that these two factors did play a huge role in our society explaining differences by sex. Most women decided to get married, become pregnant, and stay home to raise the children, while the men went to work to support the family. This demanded women’s jobs to be different from men’s with less stress, tension, and physical strain. This difference existed because traditionally the mothers were required to stay home and raise the children. Women are not traditionally the working types. But as the years have gone by, women have become tired of being passive and want to have their own career and own life. However, something stands in their way—the glass ceiling. This ceiling is an imaginary one that exists for women in the workplace. It represents a line that few women are ever able to cross throughout their lives. On the other side of that line exists a world of corporate executives, heightened responsibility and higher paying jobs. This is an area that most women can never get to because of that glass ceiling. In the year 2000, the glass ceiling still exists. This ceiling cannot be broken until women are treated as equals. The only way that equality will come about is if both men and women modify their beliefs and actions.
I think that today some women are still silent about not being promoted and having different results of earnings than the men even though having equal experience and education. This silence will always exist among some women causing a difference of earnings among men and women to exist for some time still. Also, some firms tend to hire men more often than women for many reasons. A man is known to be more aggressive than a woman is. Some firms tent to advance more men than women and segregate the different occupations that exist in the firm by their sex. These are basically social norms placed by people in our society due to the major one that men are the dominant figures and that they always will be.
I think that a huge impact on the difference among earnings between men and women is because they each enter the labor force with different reasons, tastes, expectations, or maybe qualifications. One of them may be able to work longer hours or in an unpleasant environment where in return they receive higher pay. Most of us will probably agree that this description fits a man’s role more than a woman’s does. This would be one stereotype that can cause a woman to earn less than a man would. Because women tend to concentrate more on low-paying jobs, their earning rates are lower compared to men. Large earnings differentials exist among male and females occupations and probably will for the next decades. Women might have made some progress toward integrating these occupations due to the fact of human capital investments. For example, many moms go back to college after raising their kids to earn a better degree so that they can obtain a higher income job. But these women still have not reached equality with men regarding earnings. Many women are reentering the labor force after staying home to raise young children. Slow income growth continues to encourage the need for dual-earner families; ranks of single women are growing also. These trends might continue to grow and develop where the working women can become the majority of the workforce in the future. There really can’t be any policies implemented to address this difference in earnings. Our society has placed stereotypes and social norms that will always exist among us. Women must be allowed to compete freely in all occupations; but they must me undercut. They must demand and receive equal wages for equal work. But women now work for pay in greater numbers, in more occupations, and far more years of their lives than ever before, but too many still settle for compensation far below what it should be, and too many still find their potential curbed by the glass ceiling.