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Gender Inequity In Corporate America Essay

1011 words - 5 pages

When reaching adulthood many people begin to face a number of challenges and decisions, where they want to go to school, what they want to major in, and what career they wish to join. In theory everyone should be entering the job market as equals, facing people for positions that they are equally qualified for, and once they obtain that job they will be treated as equals. Unfortunately for the young women in this situation they will have to face wage inequity as well as discrimination. In our society there appears to be a large disparity in the pay of men and women. In fact white women earn 77 cents less per every dollar a man makes, and the rates are even lower for women of color (Basset). And despite the fact that our government has created bills like the Equal Pay Act of 1963 the inequality between the two genders persists. There are many different beliefs as to why this has become a problem in corporate America, but some of the main reasons include stereotypes, socialization, as well as unconscious continuation of employers.
The root of this problem begins as early as Industrialization. During this time many men went out to work in factories while women stayed home, raised kids, and kept house. (Kendal). With these roles came the idea of a nuclear family, the idea that the man is the primary breadwinner and that women are the keeper of the house. The nuclear family became the norm, this is what most people expected and strive to create within their own family, as well as others. This belief became one of the strongest gender roles, and the people who broke them faced harsh backlash. According to Diana Kendal, in order to discourage women from working, and to encourage men to continue earning the central income, men fought for division of labor between the sexes “as well as corresponding pay differentials” (Kendal 325). With these rigid gender roles men were guaranteed their position as the head of the family. Over time this system became a serious problem because it was extremely hard for single, divorced, as well as widowed women to make a livelihood, it was even harder for single mothers. It became such an issue that in 1963 President Kennedy help to create a bill which made discrimination against women in the workplace illegal (Noguchi). Though this bill has significantly helped shrink the wage differential, but as stated before, it is still extremely high.
Though there have been steps to further women’s opportunities in the corporate world, one of the biggest boundaries is the way we socialize our youth. From a young age we teach our children to accept gender roles, and more importantly the qualities each gender is supposed to have. Women are typically supposed to be submissive, empathetic, and kind; men on the other hand are expected to be dominant, assertive, and strong. When people break these out of the roles society has placed them in they are seen and treated negatively....

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