The challenges women experience in the workplace For many centuries women have been regarded as housewives. However, The Long Island Business News reported on May 2017 that in a speech at Brown University, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that in the past century women have made major advances in the workplace. Yellen also noted that the “rate for women in their prime working years currently stands at about 75 percent, compared to men with a rate of around 88 percent” (The Associated, Press, 2017).
Over the years more women are moving forward with getting an education, earning an advanced degree and entering the workplace. In spite of all these advances, women still encounter many challenges and gender equality remains a threat in the workplace. Achieving work-life balance, family, and discrimination are among the many challenges women experience today at the workplace. As a woman, a mother and a wife I feel that maintaining a balance between work and the responsibilities at home has been one of the most difficult challenges I have experience. New research from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed women from 19 countries and found that “44% of women reported work-life balance as the toughest challenge in the workplace” (Dishman, 2015). In today’s fast-paced life a lot of women struggle to uphold a balance between work, life, and family. While some women choose to stay home after having a child, many women have no other choice but to go back to work in order to provide financial support for the family. This combination of family responsibilities and career-work can be very stressful, but many working mothers try their best to find a balance between work and family.
While women are expanding their lives to include a career, they play a major role in raising their family, a never-ending job. Women with small children may find it difficult to find a job flexible enough to offer mother hours. Often they need to settle for a part-time job in order to ensure they are home at a certain time to care for their small children and some employers are reluctant to hire them. I still have vivid memories of my first interview and I remember the employer asking me if I had a family and if I intended to have children.
Of course being nervous I answered the questions and I believe that’s the reasoning behind not getting the job position. Afterwards, I realized that I was a victim of gender discrimination. Another challenge women experience today in the workplace is gender discrimination. A term referring to “biased treatment of a particular group of people” (Matlin, 2012, pg. 37) in this case between men and women. Throughout history men and women are often viewed and treated differently and these “gender-related impediments hold back women from succeeding in the workplace” (The Associated, Press, 2017). Women have always been in disadvantage and a “review of many studies of U.
S. decision-makers who hired candidates found that clearly competent men were rated higher than equally competent women” (Rivers & Barnett, 2016). Even when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination, today many women undergo unfair and unequal treatment in the workplace by the way they are treated or promoted based on their gender. Throughout time philosophers’ have considered women to be inferior to men. The French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) once wrote: “Nature intended women to be our slaves…. They are our property….
Women are nothing but machines for producing children” (Matlin, 2012, pg. 39). On the contrary, John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was the only well-known philosopher whose views about women were different. He argued that “women should have equal rights, equal opportunities and they should be able to own property, to vote, to be educated, and to choose a profession” (Matlin, 2012, pg. 39). Despite the opinions of men, in recent decades the roles of women have taken a shift and women have become more financially independent by entering the workplace rather than taking the role of a housewife. References:Dishman L.
2015. These are the biggest work challenges for women around the world. Retrieved from: https://www.
fastcompany.com/3052181/these-are-the-biggest-work-challenges-for-women-around-the-worldKashyap, V. 2017. Biggest work challenges for women in the workplace. Retrieved from: https://www.linkedin.
com/pulse/biggest-work-challenges-women-workplace-vartika-kashyapMatlin, M. V. 2012. The Psychology of Women (7th ed.). Belmont, Ca: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Rivers C., & Barnett R. 2016. 8 big problems for women in the workplace. Retrieved from: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-women-pay-gap-workplace-equality-perspec-0519-jm-20160518-story.
html The Associated, Press. 2017. Yellen says women still face challenges in workplace. Long Island Business News (Ronkonkoma, NY).