6 October 2011
The Glass Ceiling
“No country in the world has yet managed the gender gap,” states the World Forum Gender Gap Report. Then why are there people who claim gender discrimination has not been a major issue for at least 15 years? It has been widely reported that women have a harder time getting higher positions of authority at work and that they are paid less than a man is for the same amount of work (Stoler). For example, The Census Bureau reported that in 2002, a woman’s salary was only 77% of a man’s salary. The glass ceiling still exists in 2011, keeping women from achieving their career dreams based on misguided preconceptions of women’s roles, commitment, and the harassment some face in the workplace.
Until industrialization took over, women had restricted entry to the workforce mainly because of cultural practices and religious and educational traditions. As a woman, your role was to stay home, raise children, and have a hot dinner ready when your husband came home. Nowadays, women hold some of the most sought after jobs such as doctors and lawyers. The problem is that in a lot of companies, women are not given the same rights when it comes to promotions and higher wages. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites women working 41 to 44 hours per week earn 84.6% of what men working similar hours earn (“Gender Discrimination in the Workplace”). It gets worse as women work longer hours — women working more than 60 hours per week earn only 78.3% of what men in the same time category earn (“Gender Discrimination in the Workplace”).. Over the course of a woman’s life (based on 47 years of working full-time year-round), the average women loses earnings worth:
o $700,000 if she is a high school graduate.
o $1.2 million if she is a college graduate.
o $2 million...
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