Gender inequality can be described as the biased treatment of members of a particular gender because of perceptions that their roles are inferior. Gender inequality mainly affects women who have continued to lag behind men in many areas including education, politics, and employment (Kalev & Deutsch, 2018). Gender differences occur naturally as displayed in anatomical and biological features such as chromosomal and hormonal differences. Even though gender inequality has reduced in the US due to activism and political advances, it continues in some ways as experienced in political participation, in education, and in the workplace. This paper will explain gender inequality in the US and some possible solutions and expected outcome in the immediate and far future.
Research has indicated that one of the major forms of gender inequality is sexual harassment which is deeply rooted in society (Kalev & Deutsch, 2018). More than 22% of employed women have experienced sexual harassment in their workplaces as confirmed by several studies. 42 per cent of women continue to face gender discrimination at work in terms of wages and promotions. Furthermore, American women face a lot of pressure to be responsible parents, be hardworking at their workplaces, and remain physically attractive at the same time. Despite all these issues, many American polls show that there is no gender that is favoured in the US nowadays.
Cultural biases have significantly contributed to disparities in the workplace, have placed women at a disadvantage, and affect all women regardless of their education, social background, or ages. Even after proving to be diligent like their male counterparts, women employees are usually judged more strictly thus appearing to be incompetent. Gender disparity is evident in pay, with women receiving lower wages than men in doing the same work in almost all occupations. Women from minority groups receive much lower pays compared to white women.
There is a need for companies to re-evaluate hiring criteria and processes to provide room for more especially in senior-level positions. For the companies that do not hire women in their senior-level positions, they need to realize that women are equally talented and they can bring a lot of experience and expertise to the senior levels of management. The requirement for women in these positions should be lowered to compensate for the time women use in maternity leaves. For example, instead of asking for 15 years of experience, it would be reasonable for the company to ask for 10 years for women. Removing all these barriers would go a long way in giving women a fair platform to showcase their ability and talent rather than judging them (Raj, 2019).
For a long time, women have received lower pay for the same work done by their male counterparts. The gender pay gap is perpetuated by a culture of secrecy is within organizations that continue to treat women as inferior. There is a need for companies to cultivate a culture of transparency which challenges companies to investigate the pay gap between women and men and stop basing women’s pay based on all their earnings from their previous jobs. Instead, they should outline fair pay brackets for every position. A great example of the company embracing transparency across the whole organization is Buffer, the social media management platform. The company has been sharing details about its employees’ salaries since 2013. This is a great way of eliminating gender pay gaps by setting specific salaries for every position and allowing all employees to know what they earn. It also improves productivity and job satisfaction.
Research studies have shown that the gender pay gap is reducing for young workers but is widening among working mothers and most of them suffer pay penalties for taking time off to attend to emergencies at home. A major hurdle that currently prevents women from reaching the top of their careers is the lack of available childcare support (Raj et al., 2019). Companies need to consider helping by paying for child and eldercare. They should also pay women for the days they take off due to emergencies at home. Such measures will make women less stressed and will be more productive and also succeed in raising happy families. Companies should also make provisions for paternal leaves to relieve working mothers and allow mothers to invest more time in their careers. Research has indicated that fathers are willing to be and should be actively involved in childcare responsibilities. Companies should also be flexible with their work hours and whenever possible to allow mothers to work from home.
Research has shown that one in every four women has experienced harassment at work at some point in their career (O’Brien et al., 2017). Managers have the responsibility of ensuring that they step in to identify harassment and stop it immediately. Unfortunately, many companies ignore harassment cases when it happens. Employers should put in place policies against women harassment and encourage women employees to report these cases when they happen. Companies should thoroughly investigate any claims of harassment and discipline or suspend the offenders.
The issue of gender parity is of major concern to me and some of the actions I can take to stop it include the following. Forming a social movement for advocating against gender inequality at all levels of society and especially at the workplace. This movement will start mobilizing support at the local level by talking to our political leaders and corporate about gender disparity and how we can work together to achieve gender parity. The movement will also focus on educating girls and women about the actions they should take when they face harassment. Finally, the movement will push for policies that address the pay gap and harassment of women in the workplace.
More women will be empowered.
Our leaders will be informed about the change we want and help in advocating for policies that promote gender parity.
Corporate leaders will also be informed about the issue they can incorporate in their policies.
Women will get treatment at their workplaces and be motivated to advance their careers.
More women will be holding senior positions in companies.
Women will receive equal pay as their male counterparts
Companies will have policies that promote gender parity and protect the interests of women.
Women will be more satisfied with their jobs.
Even though gender disparity has persisted for a long time, with determination and strong will, gender inequality can be addressed. It will take collective action for us to achieve gender parity. Companies should develop policies that protect women in terms of harassment, pay gap, promotions, and any other forms of inequality. Political leaders should also push for policies that set the pay for specific roles in companies and take action on those that violate such policies. Women should also learn their rights and speak out against gender inequality. The men should not view women as inferior but rather them the opportunity to showcase their capability and support them by providing equal opportunities at the workplace.