Even though women are moving their way up in the workplace, the stereotype is for our gender to hold lower-level positions. As an accounting major and a woman pursuing a career within a large accounting firm, the stereotypes shown in an office setting really hit home. It’s discouraging to go on a search engine and find that almost all of the top photos for “manager” are of men, while all but one of the top photos for “assistant” are of women, as seen in the photos below. In the past, men were provided training for managerial jobs, while women answered telephone inquiries (Acker 447) or took on lower-level positions. It’s disheartening to see that this is not an inequality that has disintegrated. Feminized jobs such as secretaries are by no means unimpressive, but women are forced into the mold of jobs that pay less than the stereotypical male occupations without reason.
Being a student of Virginia Tech, an institution with a well-respected engineering program, I can understand the shocking male to female ratio of engineering students. Women are very under-represented as engineers, falling into yet another inequality example. Engineers are expected to be very proficient both mathematically and scientifically. Some think that this is what sets women back; however conclusions can be made that men and women have an equal propensity for science and mathematics (Buchmann 323). This simultaneously rejects the idea that men have a greater aptitude for occupations such as doctors or scientists. Meanwhile, top searches on Google show photos of almost strictly men when searching “doctor” and “scientist”.
At every level of achievement academically, women are earning less than men when median earnings are compared (Hallman 13). Why? Because women are pigeon held in lower level jobs, while men are expected to thrive economically in their prestigious positions. How are women supposed to gain the confidence to pursue well-paying occupations when they’re constantly expected to fail? There is no reason for there to be a gap in earnings, and there’s research to back it up. I think we can all look forward to the day when gender is ignored, and somewhat invisible to employers.
Acker, J. (2006, August). Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations. Gender and Society, 20(4), 441-464. doi:10.1177/0891243206289499
Buchmann, C., Diprete, T. A., & McDaniel, A. (2008). Gender Inequalities in Education [Abstract]. Annual Review of Sociology, 34(1), 319-337. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134719
Hallman, L. D. (n.d.). The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap. Retrieved June 20, 2016.