Why is it that men receive higher salaries than women when females are graduating college at a higher rate?
I know what you’re thinking… It’s 2017! Do gender roles even exist anymore? You bet they do. And, depending on the circumstances, they can either hold you back or give you unfair advantages at work.
Whether we want to admit it or not, gender roles affect us profoundly and in so many different ways— especially in professional settings. Our pay, output, experience level, the way we’re viewed by others, and the way we ultimately view ourselves are all things that can be greatly affected by the simple fact that men and women are often treated differently at work.
If you need an example of gender roles in the workplace, you’ve come to the right place. Any employee can probably name quite a few stereotypical gender roles off the top of their head. However, for this article’s sake, let’s focus primarily on two important issues: how gender can affect equal pay and equal opportunity employment.
If I had to bet on it, I’d say that when the average person thinks of those two things, they imagine them as female-oriented issues in the workplace. And they probably should, since women deal with issues like these on a more consistent basis. But that doesn’t mean they’re limited to women.
Many men encounter similar gender-related issues at work. So, if you started reading this article and thought, “here we go, another feminist writer complaining about the unequal treatment of women at work,” then you thought wrong… sort of. Because, while I do believe women typically get the short end of the stick at work, I also recognize that men are often treated unfairly as well. At the end of the day, the question I think we’d all like answered is…
“What can we do to eliminate gender roles altogether?”
Now, because that’s such an enormous task, I’m going to stick to the more refined issue of eliminating gender roles in the workplace. More specifically, what we can all do to help ensure equal pay and equal opportunities at work.
Get ready to turn some negatives into positives with the help of these handy tips, and remember— equal treatment is attainable, and it’s closer than ever.
In order to ensure we get these things, we need to first better understand these issues.
One of the biggest impacts gender roles have on our society today is reflected in our paychecks. No matter your gender or your opinion on the topic, the facts are in the numbers. And according to the Center for American Progress, the numbers still say that “women would need a doctoral degree to earn the same as men with a bachelor’s degree.” In this situation, it can be extremely difficult to even get hired if you’re a woman.
However, seeing as how it is 2017, many employers today are hiring more women over men in order to prove that their company doesn’t discriminate based on gender. They’re recognizing that people are sensitive to female-oriented movements, such as the recent Women’s Marches, and are looking to get behind the cause. And while I applaud those employers and companies for trying to do their part, I can’t help but feel like they’re going about it the wrong way.
As you can see, both genders are still currently struggling to receive fair treatment at work. Here are some suggestions for those of you who are trying to break past these barriers…
1. Start defying gender roles at work as early on as possible. This means being prepared when it comes time to crunch numbers during the hiring process. Granted, this wouldn’t need to be discussed until the job is pretty much yours, but it’s still a good way to defy gender roles at work nonetheless.
By “be prepared with numbers,” I simply mean research the position’s worth beforehand. Don’t be afraid to boldly ask for the fair salary you deserve. In fact, you might even want to bring some of the research you find with you, just in case your soon-to-be employer asks for your opinion on a given figure. This is an especially helpful tip for women since men are typically seen as the more confident gender when it comes to establishing monetized worth.
2. If you’re a woman, familiarize yourself with subjects that are often considered more male-oriented. If you’re a man, do the same with female-oriented subjects. These can be personal or recreational subjects, but will be more useful if industry-related. This way, when a task your employer wrongly assumes you wouldn’t perform well at needs done, you can volunteer to do it and make a good name for yourself in the process. No matter your gender, this is a great way to set yourself apart from your co-workers.
3. Start and finish the job as a model employee. Do so by addressing everyone in the office, no matter how high or low on the chain of command they are, with respect and kindness. On top of that, offer to do tasks that could be considered beneath you pay-grade, as well as tasks that could be considered above it.
Now, these things may come naturally for all of you hard workers out there, but they’re also some of the easiest things to let slip over time. As time passes, people can often become a little too comfortable at work and start to lose the desire to impress and dash of fear of unemployment needed to excel at their job.
You may be wondering how this tip can affect gender roles at work… Well, simply put, consistently exceeding expectations leaves no room for your superiors or co-workers to stereotype you in any negative way— gender included. In fact, excelling at work will only make your gender look that much better in their eyes.
Though not the most obvious way to defy gender roles, this tip is still one of the most important pieces of career advice for both men and women who are interested in receiving fair and equal treatment at work.
As always, thanks for reading and happy marketing!
—Amanda Myers, Copywriter at BoydTech Design, Inc.