Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gender Inequality in the Workplace

1.01/1.00:  according to The World Factbook, and supported through various other sources, this is the ratio of how many more men than women there are in the world.

97/100:  according the U.S. Census Bureau, this is the ratio of how many fewer men there are than women in the United States alone.

So why is that, with almost an equal ratio of men and women in the U.S. and the world, we struggle to maintain gender equality in the workplace?

Gender inequality is an ignored reality that impacts all of us. Every day. It's an unfortunate driver for seemingly so much animosity towards feminism and other productive efforts to improve social change in the world. It's a particularly sticky topic in the U.S. as our government is always at odds to make meaningful decisions for the workplace. Perhaps the biggest example here is that the ERA which has yet to be ratified. 

Could it be that creating a gender equal workplace requires that we uphold what's logical and not what's morally subjective? So long as women still make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, and are yet still expected to be the primary homemaker and parent, the odds will continue to be stacked against women. Is it getting better? No. Well, maybe. But even more progressive Millennials are still struggling with gender roles.

In business, salespeople are encouraged by management to reach for the lowest hanging fruit. The lowest hanging fruit of inequality in the workplace is unquestionably gender inequality. 
Ratify the ERA

Heck, take a simple, yet widely used word like salesman. Salesperson or salespeople is certainly better than salesmen just like all of the gender biased words and terms we use daily in the workplace. Guys is another problematic word. 

Could it be argued that sexism has been weakening our evolution through the ages? Gone are the days of the Ozzie and Harriet mentality of a woman's place being a homemaker, but we still have so far to go.

Blinded by tradition, at least where big business and government is concerned, being professional means high heels and make-up for women. They have been the fashion for how many decades now? Outside of the why, let's overcome this barbaric contribution of negative stereotypes driven by the male dominated business ship that we continue to let sail without regard of where it's taking us. 

So what might we take from these thoughts? Where gender equality in the workplace is concerned, and no matter what your position or role, if it looks or feels wrong, it is. If doesn't feel wrong or you're not sure, and yet someone else is telling you it's wrong - it still is. If it feels good, if it makes other people feel good, and if it encourages others to change their positions on gender equality - run with it.

Let's continue calling out gender inequality until men, as a whole, actually have cause to complain about their position in culture. Let's support women, engage them, and be a part of their movements. #YesAllWomen

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