By Mike Wolf
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women working 41-44 hour workweeks make about 86 percent of the salary that men in equal positions make. This is a fact and I can acknowledge that this discrepancy discourages the thought that the modern office promotes gender equality.
When one thinks of gender discrimination, most would probably think of the 1950s where typical male bosses could sexually harass any woman in the office without fear of repercussion. At this time, bosses were almost exclusively male and many jobs were designated as male or female work. I would say we have made great leaps in gender equality since that time.
I believe that men and women doing equal work should receive equal pay. Most would call that fair, but that is not the reality of the situation. Even today, business and industry favor a strong male leader over a female one. Call it ignorance or tradition, but men are more likely to make a higher salary when going into the same field as women. From the male perspective, this has almost no negative effect on me. As much as I want life to be fair, it isn’t. It is hard for me to argue against a system that gives me a natural edge.
At the same time, there is much to be said about earning what you get in life. This is really the reason I would argue for gender equality. I want everyone in the workplace to start out at the same point so that every raise I get, I know I deserved completely and earned over all of my peers, male and female.
Though I can honestly say I am for gender equality in the workplace, I also suffer from what some in gender studies call “gender fatigue.” This term refers to one who is tired of hearing about the issue of gender. As much as I understand women are discouraged, I am tired of hearing about women who feel they are treated unfairly in the workplace, or paid less because of their gender.
There are many people who complain about the unfairness of the situation. At the same time, many women don’t care. Many of these women are the ones who are CEOs of major companies, or have achieved such success in their fields. The days of women being prevented from achieving success are over. The women who put in more effort than their male counterparts and work as much as they can may easily surpass any man. The women who don’t complain about gender inequality are the ones who ignore the issue and keep their focus on advancement.
Overall, I would say gender equality is still an issue in today’s workplace. Many steps have been taken and much has been accomplished for the cause of equality, but the issue still exists. Now comes the time for women to step up and prove that they can be equal to or better than any man in a workplace environment. More women now go to college than men and I have total faith that women can take equal power within the office as well.