Today’s reading summarized major issues facing women in the workplace. The Gambles explained the difference between internal and external barriers to advancement in the workplace and also touched on inequality of women’s and men’s wages. The 2003 figures estimated that, on average, women make 72 cents for every dollar men earn. This more recent New York Times’ graphic display of the gender wage gap breaks the difference up by occupation. If you scroll your mouse over the dots on the graph you can see specific percentage differences. A few that I think are striking include physicians and surgeons. Women in these professions earn an astounding 40% less than their male counterparts. In the higher education sector, women earn 22% less than men. One study explains the higher pay disparity at executive level corporate employment, while another highlights the relationship between traditional values and men’s wages.
Another important thing to recognize beyond the gender barriers and pay inequality are the societal pressures and expectations to perform (so-called) masculinity and femininity in the workplace. The text only briefly approaches the topic, so I’d like for us to expand the discussion and connect it to the gender wage gap that clearly still persists. One article that I think successfully brings the two ideas together is focused on women’s transition from educational success to workplace struggle. A second article discusses the gender expecations in hosting programs on the Food Network. Please read the articles (as well as the other links I’ve included in the post) and reflect on your experience and that of women and men close to you who have experienced gender discrimination (societal, economic or both) in the workplace. What pressures still exist? How might we resolve these issues civilly?