Does Gender Still Play a role in the Workplace

Since the nineteen twenties women of America have been considered equal citizens of our country, and had to work hard in order to obtain that equality in the workplace. One may reconsider the success rate of females in America, and if they really have made it as far as popular belief may have it. Of course, American women can vote, can hold office, and they can work, which is more than can be said for some countries. But do both sexes really hold equal in the workplace regarding manners of salary and respect? Does the corporate executive world really take women seriously? These are some of the arguments made by women today that do not feel that they are being treated equal in the workplace. On the other hand, those who believe women are treated equally usually reason that differences balance out in statistics, things such as majority of teachers are women, and women also have a hold on the entrepreneur side of businesses. The voices that are still screaming come from an audience who feel that women still have a long way to go before achieving a status of total equality.
We may just not be being told any information. In Lenny Liebmann’s article, “Mending the Gender Gap,” he reveals that women earn an average of $18,000 less annually than men. He further reports that the US Census Bureau states the male/female pay differential ranges between 15-50%, depending on the industry and the job title. Not to mention that within the Fortune 1000, 95% of all executive positions were held by men in 1997. (62-63)
Although these examples could prove a case in the corporate world some may take defense by balancing with further statistics. It is stated in Clayton Collin’s article, “Why Girls May Still Need an Edge,” that women in America may not be at the top of the corporate ladder, but they do hold around forty percent of all privately owned businesses in the United States. (11) So, even though women haven’t quite proven themselves to the corporate world, they have most certainly conquered a portion in the entrepreneur world and in a big way. That is definitely a positive point for America’s look on gender equality in the workplace.
This same viewpoint could throw the fact that male babysitters and male elementary teachers are less common to homes and classrooms than women. Only 15% of 1.6 million elementary school teachers are male, according to the article “It’s a Guy Thing,” by Jennifer Wolcott. (par. 35) The difference is male elementary school teachers are wanted in this particular field. According to the article, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that their male education program students are “usually the first one’s to be hired.” (par. 30) There is no comparison between genders in the workplace when it comes to a man being discriminated against.
In a recent and still ongoing lawsuit in Texas, Rent-A-Center, a nation wide recognized furniture rental store, is being charged for managers pushing women out of top positions and destroying women’s job applications. A particular senior executive stated, “’Women should be home taking care of their husbands and children.’” (Zellner, Prasso, 14) Although Rent-A-Center denies allegations, a recent photo can speak louder than words. This photo was published in a company newsletter in 2000 of 66 stores’ managers-all male.
Mindsets such as the one demonstrated above are the viewpoints who help to make my decision that although we have come a far way in the past century for making the workplace available and partially equal for women, we have a way to go. The instances stated about specific discriminations in the workplace are examples of something that should not be thought or a tolerated issue in the twenty first century; especially if we live in a society where equality of genders reigns free. America is supposed to set an example to other countries for our idea of freedom and equality between different races, religions, and genders-but in some instances we look like hypocrites.


Annotated Bibliography

Collins, Clayton. “Why Girls May Still Need an Edge.”
Christian Science Monitor August 2000: 11

Clayton Collins addresses the gender gap in the work place. According to him, women may not be winning the race as executive