Sexism in the Workplace

Topics: Gender, Sexism, Discrimination Pages: 6 (2296 words) Published: November 6, 2012
Discrimination can be expressed in many different ways, which n no matter can be very hurtful to a person. Discrimination itself means making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit (Merriam-Webster). One way of expressing discrimination is denying one a job because of his/her race or gender, or treating others unfairly because of his/her race or gender. Discrimination can lead to quitting a job, and possibly doing something harmful to oneself or to the aggressor. Different ways of discrimination occurs very often in the workplace. The most common would be, sexism against women; because men are the more dominant figure in today s society they receive more jobs, than do women Sexism is described as “discrimination or devaluation based on a person's sex as in restricted job opportunities; especially, such discrimination directed against women.” (Merriam-Webster) Since the beginning of history, sexism has always been a prominent barrier between sexes. The notion that women are not on the same level as men has always been in existence. Children learn from their parents and society the conception of "feminine" and "masculine." (Leon-Guerrero) Much about these conceptions is not biological at all but cultural. Sexism in education is clearly associated with sexism in the workplace. When women are expected to “stay in the home,” they are unable to access the necessary educational resources to compete with men in the job market. If by chance they are able to secure a position, women may be less prepared educationally for the task, and thus draw lower wages. When you think of a CEO of a company or of world political leaders, do you think of a man or of a woman? Many, if not most of us, see these positions as being held by men. There is more sexism in the workplace than we could ever imagine but it is so important for us to be aware of this. Women in the same jobs as men usually earn less, even though these women may have the same or better training, education, and skills. As a general statistic, women make only 60 percent or less than men in comparable positions. Why this disparity? Sociologists speculate that, in some cases, the fact that women often must take time off to have and raise children interrupts their career path. As much as Americans may hate to admit it, women in the United States still bear the primary responsibilities of childbearing. Conflicting demands may partly explain why married women with children are more likely to leave their jobs than are childless and single women. Also, men are seen as the “chief bread winners,” so the belief is that they should be paid more than women in order to support their families. Whatever the reason is for paying women less than men for equally demanding work is discrimination. One study for example claims that there is a gender gap and that it is worse for women who have achieved high levels of education. (Berg) That is, not only does the study demonstrate that a gender gap exists, but also it claims that education does not help women. “According to the 2005 survey, women’s wages are in general, notably lower than those of men. Moreover, the gender pay gap widens as educational attainment increases: Women with a high school education earn 81% of what men with an equivalent education average, while women’s pay decreases to 74% of men what men average when they both hold a degree; the gender pay gap declines even further, to 65%, at post-graduate level” (The Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is one example and there is clearly evidence to back up the claim. In 1975 the equal pay act came into power. This made it illegal to offer different wages for the same work on the grounds of sex. Men's full time wages over woman's fell drastically. The gap has been narrowing ever since. The New Earnings Survey shows that in 1980, men's pay stood 40% more on average...
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