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Stereotypes Ruining Equality

The tendency of females striving for being equal with men is now developing at a furious pace, as well as racial diversity within a territory of any country in the world. However, despite claiming that everyone is equal, the decisions of modern employers and their managing staff can still be influenced by  gender and race-ethnicity as a the factors causing difference in salaries, position distribution and career opportunities. The following discussion of inequality at a workplace is aimed to analyze it as a complex issue predetermined by a combination of gender and racial factors that can be erased only with long-term efforts of the government and social organizations.

It is a very disturbing fact, but women and men are not paid equally. Regardless of their race and ethnicity females usually get lower salaries. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has protected gender equality for 130 years. During this time, women have got much more power in the work force right. Regardless nowadays half of all employed people are women, they still earn less than men for performing the same amount of work. There are several explanations of such inequality. Some of them are based on the inappropriate college major, occupation, hours at work or other variable factors. However, in reality, all of these factors can become explanation for few cases, not for the statistics that shows obvious prevalence of males’ higher earnings. It is obvious that despite progress in movement for right of women, these rights are still violated very often. The first thing that can explain pay gap is the patriarchal society that implies “women’s economic dependence on men” and capitalistic system that “reinforces sexual division of labor. Secondly, women do work on less paid jobs. More men work as engineers in IT industry, which is paid better due to higher demand. In contrast, the majority of women work mostly in education and social services with lower salaries.  According to womanhood ideology, manual work, it is “not in women’s nature”. Finally, another commonly heard reason is that women work less than men.

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However, there also exists a part of the payment gap that can hardly be explained by means of the above mentioned reasons.  Every year there numerous complains about sex discrimination are considerably influential for females’ job performance or even job losses.  Most of these complain were rejected, but there were some loud cases which ended with large payments for victims. In some cases, discrimination can happen on subconscious level because some bosses and managers just prefer to promote men instead of women because of historical prejudices. It is very difficult to measure the exact amount of sex discrimination yet one can state that that sex discrimination can partially explain the concealed reasons of poorer job performance and wages among females.

The notions of gender and race-ethnicity are inextricably linked to the history of discrimination in the US as all the preferences have been developing with the flow of time. For instance, the suppressions of people of color leading to whites’ domination may serve as one of the brightest examples. Women of the United Sated have been discriminated not just because of their gender, but due to complex characteristics such as gender-race-class distinction, and, in case any of these is somehow considered improper, chances for achieving high wages or building successful career were low. Thankfully, today there are less racially aggressive people, so societies can easily co-exist and function more effectively. However, till nowadays, one can find a number of examples that African American women cannot achieve the same prospects as “white ones” do simply because of the historically predetermined lower position. They were viewed as the slaves for hundred centuries. Hence, even today, some people disrespect them, and a good career in successful enterprise is not quite promising.

By the end of 90s, women occupied “45 percent of the paid labor force”. However, they fell behind men when the matters of wages and positions at a workplace appeared. One of the explanations regarding why women are less successful at the workplace has been connected to the fact that originally they are born not so much aggressive and ambitious, moreover, having to perform house duties as well. However, modern women are very likely to break this stereotype as far as the societal and hierarchical views have been revised and changed. Hence, women today are willing and able to perform perfectly both job and home duties. Moreover, it is obvious that career-related ambitions are dependent on the character of a person, and there still are many men, who can be even less successful than women. As a result, the stereotypes and historically predetermined attitudes still carry some role when shaping the beliefs about gender as the factor that influences the career perspectives.

Women’s choices can explain the biggest part of the payment gap. There really are numerous cases, when the life circumstances or other reasons do not let women take the most paid jobs. However, it is important to emphasize that they may do it not because they are not smart enough or not because they are forbidden to take these good paid jobs (though they definitely will have to face some stereotypical attitude when they apply for the “man’s jobs”); the reason is in their childhood. Sex roles applied to children by their parents influence them the entire life. The majority of modern girls was brought upon mixed statements of their mothers that girl must be independent, but at the same time always attractive. Though women had opportunities to work before, they didn’t use them mostly according to their men’s decisions. Such situation was also obviously a reflection of the historically established stereotypes implying that males have to earn money and females have to manage the household. All these and other roles are highly dependent on the social norms and the family of a woman that establishes these norms in conscience.After the recent economic shortage, modern girls saw how unprepared were their mothers for modern challenges. Today, women have strict desire to become mothers and wives but not at the cause of their financial independence.  In such a way, if a century before females took a decision to work mainly if the husband or father was not able to do it, nowadays, their choice to work is predetermined by personal ambitions. However, the responsibility for household and children is still mostly laid on women. In such a way, women practically come back home from work to go on doing the work that is not paid and “become breadwinner moms”. Including this aspect into discussion would make a payment gap even bigger.

According to the recent surveys, more and more “young women surpass young men” by achieving success in “highly paid” and perspective job, which also provides some future benefits. Moreover, they claim that this is their priority especially with those “aged 18 to 34” attempting not to fall behind the males. In 2010, women comprised “46,7% of all labor force”. Hence, it is obvious that they are getting more persistent and successful in an attempt to achieve independence, equality and root out the main discrimination issues. The survey also shows that families with both husband and wife employed produce more positive atmosphere with the family. The level of qualification does not actually matter, as the sex segregation is a dominant idea when discussing salary increase and growing dissatisfaction with such a tendency.

Sadly, but, in the sphere of science, women are poorly expected to become as successful as men simply because historically there are more men than women and the tendency for hiring either men or women is absolutely personal decision. For instance, some scientific fields of the USA such as biological one comprise mainly females while engineering or IT is associated mainly with males. However, this tendency is also currently transforming, and in Malaysia, almost half of computer sciences graduates are female. Consequently, one can conclude that the influence of sociological context as well as legislation is crucial for career success.

The above mentioned idea can be also supported when referring to the foreigners, who left their native countries to work. Women from different countries have problems of adapting to new culture and conditions, not all of them can easily deal with these challenges. There is small support for the foreigners from the government because of constant shortage of funds.  The challenges for women of color are even bigger, because they have to deal with stereotypical attitude to their race. Black women are still considered less skillful than white and are given less opportunities.  According to the current legislations, any type of segregation due to some peculiarities or diversities is restricted and punished by the law, both national and international. However, there still remain some areas, where women are practically powerless and have no chance for any job prospect or career in general due to religious or societal norms. Hence, women of all races must also increase the cultural understanding of gender equality.

The most compelling explanation of gender inequality at work is based on the historically based stereotypes that are deeply input in humans’ minds. Such stereotypes as well as various social norms are highly influential for the gender roles and identities formations among people. As a result, mainly such roles and beliefs become influential for the decisions of the employees as well as employers. Moreover, the practice proves that only the long period of time and proper supportive social and national quality can establish the equal approach to all workers regardless their gender or race.

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