Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
COMPANY CULTURE / JUL. 05, 2015
version 6, draft 6

A Woman’s Work: The State of Women in the Modern-Day Workplace

You wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. to shower, get dressed and wake the kids up. You dress them before heading downstairs to start breakfast. You feed them and the husband as well. You drop them off at school before going to work. By 9 a.m., you are sitting in your first meeting of the day. Then, as the boss, you run after your "office children”—making sure that assignments are completed in a timely fashion. After all, you are like a mentor to them and you want to see them succeed.

See also: #GenderDiscrimination2: Silicon Valley Wins Round One

By 5 or 6 p.m., you are picking the kids up from school to take them to soccer or ballet practice where you sit for another hour in order to be their personal cheerleader. By 6:30 p.m., someone from work is calling about an issue that only you can solve. At 7:30, when you arrive home, you cook dinner for the kids and the husband. Next, you help the kids with their homework. Lastly, you have sex with the husband. But before you go to sleep, there it is, another issue at work that you agree to help with.

You deserve a raise. But chances are, according to a recent study, you will not get one. “This is the sad reality in workplaces around the world: Women help more but benefit less from it,” says The New York Times contributor, Adam Grant, and best-selling author, Sheryl Sandberg.

The following explores the current state of women in the workplace.

Pay

Unfortunately, there is very little change when it comes to income equality for women. In fact, despite the increase of women taking on top positions, women still earn significantly less than men. Today, women only earn 78 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts take home, according to census and income data cited by the White House and The Huffington Post editor, Emily Peck. For minority women, the current statistics are really disappointing. African-American women earn 64 cents less than men, and Latinas 54 cents. According to Peck:

“In a range of studies, the pay gap between men and women has persisted even when you account for the fact that women are more likely to take jobs in lower-paying professions and time out of the workforce to care for children or family - though it does narrow,”

She also cites a recent study conducted by the American Association of University Women that says female college graduates earned 7 percent less than males just one year after graduation. And if that isn’t enough to make working women angry, try this: Most women have to work roughly 60 additional days, or approximately 90 days, “to earn what men did by the end of the previous year,” says Pew Research.

The question is, however, what’s the current status of the women who lead?

The Boss

Although some women have made significant strides when it comes to “breaking the glass ceiling” and taking the reins of top CEOs positions, there is still a great deal of bias when it comes to the battle of the sexes in the workplace. And, apparently, it’s the women themselves who have become their own worst enemies, according to the CEO of Vision Quest Consulting and author Wendy Capland. She told the Business Insider

“It’s not that I don’t think there’s a glass ceiling. More women now graduate from college than men, and women are the breadwinners in almost 50 percent of American households. But only 22 percent of executives in Corporate America are women, so that number is pitiful.”

Capland, who is responsible for coaching women, from Fortune 500 executives to small business owners, added that most women leaders tend to suffer from lower confidence than their male counterparts. In other words, they often fail to consider themselves as equals. As a result, many women in leadership positions experience "sticky-floor syndrome,” by self-sabotaging their own success, says Capland. And this doesn’t do much for how women are viewed in the workplace.

Gender Stereotypes

Those old stereotypes of the fragile, soft, pink, demure wife, and nurturing mother who simply prefers to stay at home and take care of her family still exists today. And in the workplace, the women who are aggressive often suffer professionally, according to The New York Times’ contributor, Adam Grant.

When a woman declines to help a colleague, people like her less and her career suffers,” says Grant. “But when a man says no, he faces no backlash.”

A recent study, conducted by the New York University psychologist Madeline Heilman, assessed “the performance of a male or female employee who did or did not stay late to help colleagues prepare for an important meeting.” And the results: men were rated 14 percent “more favorably than a woman,” although they were both equally team players in the workplace. But when they both refused to stay late to help their colleagues, the women were rated 12 percent lower than the men.

See also: #GenderDiscrimination: Twitter is the latest Tech-giant to be Sued by a Woman

So it seems that Hillary Clinton, one of the strongest woman rights advocates in the spotlight right now, still has a lot of work to do.

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