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Discrimination Against Women In The Workplace

2152 words - 9 pages

Women make up over 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, yet only 14 percent of executive officer positions within companies are filled by women. Within the Fortune 500 CEOs, only 21 of them are women. The United States prides itself on equality and justice, but the majority of the population is not adequately represented in leadership roles. It is time for the entire country to reevaluate its internal gender biases. Women are taking strides to overcome the centuries-old tradition of men being the breadwinners and women taking care of the family and having low-demanding jobs. Biases do not just come from men, as it is proven that women are just as biased against ...view middle of the document...

Even though there have been exponential improvements in the past 50 years, women are still discriminated against in the workplace.
The Glass Ceiling: Hiring and Promotions
Women who want to stay and compete in the workforce oftentimes are finding themselves stuck underneath a “glass ceiling” where they can see top positions but just cannot get into them. Some people believe that discrimination is not a problem, and both genders are considered equally in the processes of hiring and promotion. This “glass ceiling” begs to differ. Still, some believe that some women are just not as qualified or as well-educated as men. The truth is, almost everyone, male and female, has hidden biases within them that make them skeptical about women leaders. They view female managers as aggressive and bossy, while male managers fit their stereotypical mold of being influential and driven (Quast). As written in the book “Lean In,” “Success and likeability are positively correlated for men, and negatively correlated for women” (Sandberg 40). Double standards and labels in the workplace cause intentional or unintentional bias in the ever-competitive job search (Plank). While some believe that bias is not an issue in hiring and promotions, it is evident that women continue to be discriminated against when being considered for new careers and positions.
It is clear that women are not equally considered in the hiring process when put up against men. To prove that point, two college professors ran an experiment to test the perceptions of different genders in the workplace. The Heidi/Howard study took the exact same resume but put two different names on it—Heidi and Howard—to give to two different test groups. Both groups agreed that Heidi and Howard were well-qualified, but Heidi did not seem like the type of person they would want to work with. Decisions are made based on stereotypes. The fact is that women are “supposed” to be nice and nurturing; when they are not, they are not liked. The people involved in the study agreed that Heidi is probably difficult to work with and a bit political. Howard, on the other hand, was well-liked and the one everyone wanted to hire (Sandberg). Across various studies, women and men consistently assign lower salaries and competence ratings to women that have the same qualifications as the men opposing them (Plank).
This is hidden discrimination that was recorded, but “standardized” hiring practices are also becoming biased against women. In a class action case against the federal government, the government agreed to pay $508 million to more than 1,100 women who were intentionally discriminated against and not hired because of rigged tests. The agencies accused also hired males who failed prerequisite tests that women passed and destructed the test files as a cover-up ("Sex Discrimination in the American Workplace: Still a Fact of Life"). The fact that agencies within the government did this is a reason to be skeptical that anything...

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