The article concerns the question – Gender Equality in Business: How realistic is it? We see high profile female CEOs being interviewed on the television and we see their pictures in business journals. We know they exist.
But does their existence mean that there is gender equality in business? Realistically, there are many women who have broken through the glass ceiling, but there are many more who have no hope of reaching any kind of gender equality in business. In fact, statistics prove that what appears to be a movement toward making women equals in the workplace, is really nothing more than the advancement of a very small group.
The sad and frustrating truth is that women are still openly denied senior positions due to fear of pregnancy, fear of women not having the same loyalty to the corporation or specifically individuals in power, and the general belief that men cannot take orders from women, thus women cannot be capable of managing large groups. To exacerbate the issue, “supposed professionals” continue to write garbage blaming women for their plight.
While we have no intention of providing any credit to this author, we read a report recently from a noted psychotherapist who indicated that women did not choose the right degrees at university. He went on to say that men invariably chose MBAs and women chose degrees in “softer” fields like social work. Maybe he should walk into a business school class at any university in the US and see how many females are present.
He further debases women by saying that when women open their own businesses, they charge less (which we agree is probably true), but instead of leaving well enough alone, he clarifies by insisting that other women follow suit and thus, skew the numbers making it look women are paid less, when in fact, they are paid what they want to be paid.
The point we try to make here is not to disagree with what he says, but to make people realize that these types of opinions are the reason women are not promoted and why they have not moved ahead at a significant pace. It is these false assumptions that make things difficult for women.
Instead of acknowledging that the numbers say women are paid less and women are not promoted, he manages to blame the victims and show that the numbers are the direct result of females’ actions. All he has done is prove what women have been saying for a long time. There is not enough gender equality in business.
Moreover, it is impossible to prove that a woman was passed over for promotion. It is illegal, of course, but to whom is the woman going to complain? How is she going to reap justice? First of all, to prove her case, she needs to show how the man was inferior in his duties, and how she performed at a higher level. The organization will ultimately counter her with all the mistakes she made and downplay her successes. Again, it will be her own fault for not being promoted.
And in terms of pay, management positions do not necessarily follow a rigid pay scale. Within an executive or upper management contract, there is always room to negotiate actual salary, benefits and performance bonuses. Additionally, sick days, vacation and even hours worked will impact the type of contract one person receives against one that another receives.
In reality, between the available statistics and comments from females trying to scale the ranks, it must be concluded that gender equality is not as pronounced as one would like to believe.