Is gender discrimination a thing of the past?
It’s 2021, and women are making great strides in the business world. Women are CEOs of international billion-dollar companies; they serve their country as military commanders or political leaders. They are thought-leaders and successful business owners. With all these strides in job equality, is gender discrimination really still a thing?
The short answer is, sadly, yes. Unfortunately, women are still discriminated against in the workforce and receive less pay for the same job that men do. (That isn’t fair!)
The problem lies in our societal beliefs. For all of our advances forward, there is still a stigma about what women should do. Women are natural caregivers, so they’re expected to raise the children, cook the meals, and clean the house. Society frowns on and even laughs at men who take on these traditional parenting and household roles. Unfortunately, society as a whole still believes that men should be the breadwinners and women should care for the family.
These gender stereotypes conflict with what is expected in leadership roles. In the workplace, many feel men can likely work longer hours and be more aggressive when it comes to sales, while women need to end their shift at five so they can go home and make dinner. Any potential employer who thinks this way is less likely to hire a woman for a job that the employer thinks a man is better suited for.
But, since you can’t turn someone down for a job based on their gender, the employer will decide that the man is “more qualified” for the position. (Another reason for making sure your resume is up to date and includes all your qualifications!)
How Can We Help Eliminate Gender Discrimination?
What can we do as a society and as individuals to solve the problem? These ideas might help.
Gender bias is not as relevant as it once was, but it still exists. Companies need to offer awareness training on this topic, and individuals need to be aware of their own biases and learn to recognize their shortcomings. Harvard University offers an Implicit Association Test that allows you to test your own biases.
Change Your Attitude
As long as men are seen as weak for taking on parenting and household roles traditionally held by women, far fewer men will take on these roles. Being a stay-at-home parent taking care of your family is one of the most complex and challenging jobs anyone can do, and they should be positively recognized for their work. On the flip side, women should be recognized for the hard work, experience, and knowledge they bring to their careers in the workforce.
The only authentic way to eliminate gender discrimination is to make changes. And those changes need to come from state and federal governments. There need to be stronger laws about equal pay and discrimination of any kind. We have to stop assessing job candidates on gender and allow for gender-blind applications. By doing so, all candidates will be judged on their qualifications and experience and provided an equal opportunity.
We also need to make male parenting roles equal. By creating a paternity leave policy it would allow both parents to spend time and bond with their newborn. At the same time it will help both spouses adjust to the changes a baby brings to their home.
Educate Yourself on Gender Discrimination
You can make a change by educating yourself on discrimination, contacting your government representatives, and speaking with your company’s HR department about training.
Do You Need Career Search or Interview Help?
If you need help updating your resume to include all of your qualifications, practicing for an interview, or organizing your job search information during these challenging times, consider reaching out to Rachel Schneider, CPC at Career Find to assist you.