Women have long suffered from inequality in the workplace. It’s hard to believe today, but we’re only a couple of generations removed from a society that didn’t even give women the right to vote. Discrimination against women as a long history and unfortunately it is still being seen in the modern workplace.
3 out of 4 women today participate in the workplace in some way, up from 20% just a century ago.
Discrimination Against Women
Times have changed in many ways and women are contributing more than ever before, but they still can’t seem to break through that glass ceiling of equality. What makes these statistics even worse is the fact that the more educated and independent a woman happens to be, then the more likely she is to face some form of discrimination.
- Women in professional specialty occupations were found to earn just 72.7% of what men in the same position earned.
- 77.5 cents. That’s how much a woman will make when compared to a man who has the same job title, education, and experience.
- Women comprise 46% of the total workforce population right now.
- 59% of women who are working today are making less than $8 per hour for their contributions.
- 16% of U.S. households have women who are divorced, widowed, or never married as the sole providers.
- The percentage of businesses around the world that do not have a single woman in their senior levels of management: 40%.
- 99%. That’s the percentage of jobs that are available to men and women today where the woman will not earn as much as the man will.
Discrimination in wages is the #1 issue that women face in the modern workplace. Over the course of a lifetime, a woman who begins working the day after she graduates from high school will make $700,000 less than her male counterparts. When professional degrees are involved at a graduate level or higher, women will make $2 million less in their career than men. It is even worse for minority women, who may make just 52 cents on the dollar when it comes to white men. There’s only one explanation for this: women are seen as being less valuable by their employers. The only problem is that the average woman can outperform the average man in equal job duties.
Sexual Discrimination Happens Frequently
- In 2013, there were over 27,000 claims of sexual discrimination made against employees, accounting for 29.5% of the total complaints that were filed.
- 7,256. That’s the number of sexual harassment claims that were filed with the EEOC in 2013.
- Women filed over 3,500 complaints about being discriminated against because they were pregnant.
- Nearly 30% of women report experiencing discrimination in the workplace.
- 67% of women think professional women are scrutinized more harshly than men, compared to half of men who agree.
- 80% of men and 87% of women support paid maternity leave.
- Women hold just over 16% of the board seats for companies that are on the S&P 500 or the Fortune 500.
- 12% of women have received threats of termination if they did no comply with the requests of the sexual harassers.
- Only half of women who have been the victim of sexual harassment know of an individual within their organization that can help them find redress.
Here’s the problem: women aren’t seen as being a contributing individual or employee. They are seen as a tool to be used in selfish ways. It’s the 21st century, but 1 in 10 women are still be threatened with their job if they don’t accept the sexual advances and contact that their co-workers, supervisors, or managers are throwing their way. The good news is that the number of reports is going down. It just isn’t going down very quickly. 2013 numbers are just down 10%, which translates to a 700 complaint drop in the United States. Add in the wage gap to these figures and it’s no wonder why women are struggling to make their way in the professional world today.
Do Younger Women Have An Advantage?
- 34% of women in the Millennial demographic say they are not interested in becoming a boss or top manager.
- Just 15% of Millennial women say that they have been discriminated against because of their gender.
- 6%. That’s the percentage of younger women that see the modern workplace that provides equal advantages to men and women.
- 75% of younger women say this country needs to continue making changes to achieve gender equality in the workplace.
- In 2012, among workers ages 25 to 34, women’s hourly earnings were 93% those of men, or 21 cents better than historical wage gap averages.
- Working mothers are 3x more likely to say that having children has made it more difficult for them to advance in their career
- Wages have been consistently trending upward for women since 1980 and trending slightly downward for men during the same time period.
The middle class has seen stagnant wages in the United States of 30 years, but the one place of hope is for women. The hourly wages for men from 1980 to 2012 is down almost $5 an hour in the 25-34 age demographic. In comparison, the wages for women of the same age are up over $2 per hour, which has effectively closed the wage gap by $7 per hour over the last 30 years. There is still a long way to go in order to achieve true gender equality in all forms, but women are making some big gains. If younger women are willing to keep pushing the issue, then there is a good possibility that some time within our lifetimes, women will at least achieve wage equality. As for harassment, better educational programs and disciplinary action when it is discovered could help to turn the tide. It might be a man’s world now, but it might just be a woman’s world soon.