Opinion

Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

By Ishika Bhatia via Immigain

As a seventeen year old girl preparing for her future, I am often told that hard work pays off in the end. However, statistics tell a different story. Historically, women have not been fairly compensated for their work due to deep-rooted gender bias. Whether or not gender discrimination in the workplace is intentional, it is the reality of the world we live in today. 

Many people know that women currently make only 80.5 cents to the dollar that their male counterparts earn. However, gender discrimination in the workplace goes a lot further than the gender pay gap, as varying forms of bias against women continue to persist. According to the Pew Research Center, 42 percent of employed women say they have experienced some form of gender bias or discrimination at work, 25 percent say that a man with their same job has earned more than them, and 23 percent say that they have been treated at work as less knowledgeable than men. Evidently, gender inequality in the workplace is experienced by far too many women, something that the women around you will likely come across too. One more than common practice of gender discrimination at the workplace is gender bias in promotions. 

A study conducted by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Co. determined that across all tiers of organizations, women are 15 percent less likely to be promoted than men. The researchers say that at this rate, it will take at least a century to achieve gender parity in the C-suite. The study also concluded one in five C-suite leaders is a female as a result of biased promotions. If entry-level women were promoted at the same rate as their male colleagues, the number of women at the senior vice president and C-suite levels would more than double. 

The unlikeliness for a woman to be promoted rather than a man may be due to the assumption that female workers do not desire to be promoted or be placed in higher level positions. It is possible that, traditionally, women who were homemakers felt no desire to have a role in society other than being caregivers. But today, women are just as interested in being promoted as men, and they explore for promotions at comparable rates. According to the Wall Street Journal, 69 percent of women would like to advance to the next level in their organization, yet in a Gallup poll of 1,039 women, it was found that 15 percent of U.S. working women say they have at one point or another felt passed over at work for a job or promotion due to their gender. 

It brings me great concern that one day I may not receive the same treatment as my male colleagues simply because of my gender. I hope other members of Generation Z — regardless of their gender — will commit to working towards a more just future.

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