Feminism and Sexism in Corporate America

Powerful Essays
Introduction:

Take it all in all a man has a certain chance to get along in life. A woman, on the other hand, has little or none. The world 's work is open to her, but she cannot do it. She lacks the physical strength for laying bricks or digging coal. If put to work on a steel beam a hundred feet above the ground, she would fall off. For the pursuit of business her head is all wrong. Figures confuse her. She lacks sustained attention and in point of morals the average woman is, even for business, too crooked.
—Stephen Leacock, October 1915

Women have faced several obstacles in their pursuit of equal rights. In the early 1900 's they struggled to be heard and recognized. After a long hard fought battle, they won their right to vote on that historic day in August. Women are receiving recognition in all areas of society for the ways they touch others’ lives. Great women from Marie Curie to Sally Ride have affected the way society lives and dreams. They nominated a woman, Geraldine Ferraro, to be the running mate of Walter Mondale in the 1984 Presidential Election. Although women have made remarkable strides in opening the doors of opportunity, they still face prejudicial barriers in modern society. Sexism is defined as “prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially: discrimination against women; behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.” (Merriam-Webster, 2004.) Of all the accomplishments women have achieved, the one hurdle they constantly face is sexism in the work place. Mechanisms have been established that prohibit women from reaching the upper echelons of the Corporate Structure. Women are generally paid less wages then men for the same performance, even when all conditions are equal, including education, position and tenure. To be successful in Corporate America, having a supportive mentor will have a profound influence on an individual. Fewer individuals are willing to become



References: Dreher, G.F. and Ash, R.A. (1990). A Comparative Study of Mentoring Among Men and Women in Managerial, Professional, and Technical Positions. Journal of Applied Psychology , 75, 539-546. Dreher, G.F. and Cox, T. (1996). Race, Gender and Opportunity: A Study of Compensation Attainment and the Establishment of Mentoring Relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 297-308. Fagenson, E. (1990). Perceived Masculine and Feminine Attributes Examined as a Function of Individual’s Sex and Level in the Organizational Power Hierarchy: A Test of Four Theoretical Perspectives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 204-211. Franke, G.R., Crown D.F., and Spake, D.F. (1997). Gender Differences in Ethical Perceptions of Business Practices, A Social Role Theory Perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 920-934. Pratch, L and Jacobowitz, J. (1996). Gender, Motivation and Coping in the Evaluation of Leadership Effectiveness. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 48, 203-220. Rudman, L.A and Glick, P. (1999). Feminized Management and Backlash Toward Agentic Women: The Hidden Costs to Women of a Kinder, Gentler Image of Middle Managers. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1004-1010. Additional Resources: Catalyst, (2003) Gurer, D. (2002). Why are Women Leaving Corporate America and Where are They Going? CobolReport.com. Vaughan, R (2004) Commentary: Women still have a long way to go in the banking industry. www.workdayminnesota.org/permanent/working_life/history/womens_history/willmar_commentary.php.

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