The challenges a woman face in the workplace. Women have tried to break the norms and standards set by society. They have been marching for equal rights and fighting for their rightful place in the world.
It is clear that work requires effort and time. But, aside from changing the mindset at work, managers must try to stop the hardships that women face. Some progress is happening. For example, Spain is in the 8th position of the countries with the smallest wage gap. However, there are still countries in which there has not been any type of reform to boost equality the last 10 years.
The challenges women face at work are not easy. Most of the time it is not just a small incident. There are problems that transcend the moral barriers of women. It can cause many problems for them on a psychological and emotional levels. Sometimes, this damage can even be physical.
The lack of respect that most men have towards women in the workplace is truly alarming. Most women face a discriminatory environment in which they don’t have the same benefits as men.
In addition, they also have to deal with harassment from some men who do not respect the intimacy, privacy, and integrity of women. This makes most of the women decide to retire from the world of work after a while.
However, today things have changed a bit in many countries of the world. There are now some laws that protect women in the workplace. This has encouraged many women to follow their dreams and become powerful and successful workers and entrepreneurs.
Challenges a woman face in the workplace: Representation of women
Women continue to be underrepresented at all levels, from entry-level jobs to executive positions. The Women In The Workplace 2018 report gave some info on this. It showed that colored women are the least represented. White men are most common, then colored men, white women, and finally colored women.
This is even worse in senior management positions. Only 22% of senior executives are women. In fact, compared to 62% of men in managerial positions, only 38% of women become managers.
The interesting thing to see is that the number of women and men who leave their companies is almost the same. Therefore, attrition isn’t to blame for inequality and misogyny. Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest challenges women face at work.
Despite this, today they take more into account the factor of labor competitiveness. If a woman has the skills to run for a managerial position, she is taken into account more quickly than many men.
Gender pay gap
Women earn 77.9 cents for every dollar men earn. PayScale research says that in 2018, the median salary for women is about 22 percent lower than the median salary for men.
The fight for equal pay happens all over the world. For example, let’s take India. The Indian Labor Office has found that in rural areas in the agricultural sector, the daily wage for men is Rs 264.05 and for women Rs 205.32. In other sectors, the average daily wage for men is £ 271.17, while for women it is £ 205.90.
However, it is true that not all jobs are the same. Today there are many job options that offer a good wage for all those women who have an excellent job performance and meet the minimum requirements for the job.
Sadly, there are many obstacles that prevent women, girls and teens from living a life free of violence and having equal rights. For example, the wage gap, the unfair burden of domestic and unpaid work that falls mainly on women and girls, workplace violence, child marriage, and sexual harassment. Also, gender stereotypes, discriminatory laws, practices, and customs.
The #MeToo movement uncovered numerous cases of women facing sexual and non-sexual harassment in the workplace. It ranged from unwanted verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical harassment.
The Women in the Workplace report found that 35% of women in full-time jobs in the corporate sector have experienced sexual harassment. Another EEOC study estimates that 75% of women who suffer from this will not report their harassment. And especially when the abuser is someone in positions of power.
People often ask “why didn’t the victim report?” The main reason for this is the fear of losing the job. The same EEOC investigation found that “75% of victims suffer from retaliation when they report it.”
This is a problem women face in any area of their life, from home and school, to work. However, there are now some laws that protect women who suffer from domestic and workplace harassment. This is thanks to the work of some governments, and of many organizations worldwide.
Challenges a woman face in the workplace: Penalty for unemployment
During the parenting years, finding a job is even harder for women. What this means is that when women take longer licenses, they have a harder time rehiring them.
This is one of the biggest challenges that women face at work because you can’t just put motherhood aside.
The report shows that the percentage of men unemployed for more than 12 months between the ages of 20 and 29 is 4%, while for women it is 11%. Among the age group 30-44 years, the numbers are is 10% and 20%, respectively.
Ultimately, this shows in the gender pay gap that makes it difficult for women to occupy high-level positions.
Race and ethnicity
64% of Americans say that racism remains a major problem in society. It is also a problem at work. Unfortunately, many tend to ignore colored people when looking for workers. This is even worse when it comes to colored women.
The 2017 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) workplace discrimination claims found that racial discrimination accounted for 33.9% of claims. A report released by the UK government in 2017 shows that if people used black and ethnic minority (BME) talent to the fullest in the UK, the economy could grow by as much as $29 billion.
A common example of racial and ethnic discrimination against women in the workplace is telling them they won’t fit in with the culture and work ethic. Then, hiring a white person over them.
Challenges a woman face in the workplace: Pregnancy discrimination
The Guardian reports that more than 50,000 women lose their jobs due to maternity discrimination. This refers to when a boss fires, doesn’t hire, or discriminates against women because they are pregnant.
This can occur in the form of offensive remarks by senior officials, clients, colleagues, and clients regarding their physical and medical condition. Some other ways are where employers reduce working hours, pay, change her benefits, refuse to promote her or force her to take time off (paid or unpaid).
Women around the world have suffered at least once in their lives prejudice during menstruation. When they show feelings like anger or irritation, they tease them with comments like “stop worrying. Do you have your period? “
Women suffer awful physical pain during their periods. A classic example of everyday sexism is that of male employees who view women taking menstrual leave as an excuse not to go to work.
A ridiculous incident occurred in 2017 when a woman in Georgia lost her job, believe it or not, for menstruating. Her “offense” was that on a busy day, she stained his office chair.
Challenges a woman face in the workplace: Female Heads
Many men feel threatened by bosses. Countless studies are showing that men prefer male bosses to women. In Gallup polls recorded since the 1950s, the number of respondents who said they would prefer to work for a woman never went over 25%.
This is also a reason why you don’t see as many women at work. Because there is a lack of powerful female leaders at the top. So, there is no one to encourage and support women who have just started work and are in entry-level positions.
It is 2021, the era in which the world speaks of progress and equality. But why does that stop when it comes to women? Why are women expected to maintain a balance between career and home, while men are just supposed to be breadwinners?
In every country in the world, women face multiple barriers and gender discrimination in the workplace. This appears early: from the type of education girls receive to the kind of work to which they are relegated. This happens in both the private and public spheres. Women face professional segregation, stereotypes, barriers to exercising their rights, lack of access to credit, resources, and technology, gender violence, and many other obstacles that hinder equality with men in the world of work.
While there are men who work to support women in all their endeavors, why is the word “feminism” marked with so much hatred and contempt? It is time for us to destroy toxic masculinity and let people know that the goal of feminism is to reduce gender gaps and achieve political, economic, personal, and social gender equality.
Prejudices make the challenges women face at work that much greater. So, women must know to the letter the laws that protect them. Then, this way they have the chance to defend themselves against injustice.