Gender inequality is a real issue in the workplace. To be clear, women in the workplace tend to be the individuals on the inequality side of the spectrum.
The overall reach of gender inequality isn’t limited to a certain industry, education level, or demographic. It is an overarching issue, spanning the globe. Concentrating on the United States, these statistics illustrate the unbalanced workplace:
- Women earn between 11-36% less, depending on the state.
- The pay gap will not close until 2152.
- The pay gap is worse for mothers and women of color.
- Women with college and advanced-degrees earn 26% less.
- Women owe 11% more student debt as compared with men the same age.
Three Leading Feminists Take on Gender Inequality
1. Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is an activist and author who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She created the Lean in Foundation. This is a nonprofit organization supporting women in their attempts to achieve their goals. Sandberg started the foundation because she struggled in her career and is now working to change the paradigms of the past for other women.
Sandberg believes companies should better track the hiring and promoting of men and women company-wide. By analyzing these statistics in a broad view, the trends of inequality will clearly present themselves. Consequently, a step forward would be to set targets and work towards achieving a balanced workplace with regards to hiring and promoting.
Sandberg underlines the importance of making a case for gender equality. Individuals need to talk about the why of gender inequality. Why does gender inequality persist and how does society work faster to end it?
2. Iris Bohnet
For those of you who are not familiar with her, Iris Bohnet teaches at Harvard University. She is also the author of “What Works,” a book about gender inequality. She talks about the actions that must be taken in order to find solutions to all the surrounding issues.
She explains how to promote gender equality in the workplace; companies must pay attention to the way they phrase their job postings. The job description language stereotypically targets a certain gender. Furthermore, employers should stop comparing candidates to a certain stereotype they think is the best option for the job. If they were to focus more on applicant skill sets, the individual’s resume, regardless of the first name, would be the deciding factor, not the gender of the individual.
3. Emma Watson
Emma Watson has become one of the better-known feminist proponents. The actress, who rose to fame as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter franchise, is constantly fighting for gender equality. In 2014, she took her passion for this issue to the next level. She was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
In one of her speeches, she urges all people, regardless of gender, to take action. If the world wants women to be paid as much as men and to enjoy the same rights at the workplace, then everyone should be called a feminist. There is no reason to wait 100 years until a happy medium is achieved.
Emma’s social presence has become a powerful platform for feminist activism. Her Twitter account, @EmmaWatson, has over 23 million followers. The Women’s March on Washington (#WomensMarch) is a prevalent hashtag throughout the site. She also supports heforshe.org (#heforshe). This site moves visitors to act now, to create a gender equal world.
Everyone Should Fight for Gender Equality
The Woman’s March drew over 1 million people to Washington and 5 million worldwide to speak out against gender inequality throughout the world. While the main topic was women’s rights, the bigger issue is equality for all. History teaches, apathy leads to persecution. When one sector of the population, gender, or race is discriminated against and nothing is done to defend those affected, further discrimination is bound to spread. Only through action and the defense of humanitarian rights can change occur.
Civil disobedience is needed to protest any form of inequality. With the spotlight currently on gender inequality, it is important to stay aware of issues that are not as prominent at the moment. Change starts from within. It takes the actions of many to start a movement. Much needs to be done to close the gender pay gap before 2152; this is the year projected, on the current course of history.
About the Author
Chuck is a writer for, and Managing Editor of GrowthFreaks.com. He worked for Inc. Magazine and helped create the first Inc. 5000 list. With over 30 years of diverse business experience, including: marketing, project management, database management, customer satisfaction and nuclear medicine (yes, nuclear medicine), he has helped both enterprise and small businesses exceed sales and revenue goals.