When we talk about gender equality at work, what do we exactly think of? Equal salary, equal opportunities, or equal judgment toward performance? Gender equality at work is about all and more. It is about how we can work together as a global team without considering gender. A workplace that everyone is chosen, paid, and treated based on their skills and qualifications not based on their gender and unspoken expectations that come with each gender.
Gender gap at work
Despite all changes we have had in the last century towards hiring women, unfortunately, the number of women who are working outside the home is not even close to men. The chances of men being hired for an entry-level position are still much higher than women even with a higher degree. The number of women at a high level of management, as CEOs, politicians or presidents is still much lower than men.
Although we are trying to have equal rights in workplaces, there are still countries in the world that women who decide to work outside the home and be active in society are considered rebels. Ambitious women have much less chance to succeed than ambitious men. Because of the image of women that is made through history as the gender who needs to give up on her dreams for family and children.
Unfortunately, for some people believing that families with working parents could be as happy and successful as families with just fathers working is impossible. This has made women try harder and work more at home and at work to prove it wrong. Despite all these efforts, women are still considered as the second gender when it comes to playing a role in society.
The picture of working women is still shadowed by the cultural and historical role of women at home.Author of Females Force
Salary equity means being paid equally for the same work without considering gender. Unfortunately, studies show that there is still a significant gap between the salaries of men and women who do the same job and have the same qualifications and responsibilities. Women, despite their abilities and skills and the knowledge that they deserve the same amount of salary as their male co-workers, accept the offer because they know at least they can work and it is a step forward to equal chances in society.
The most obvious examples could be the salary of Hollywood actors. Let’s take a look at some examples;
Meryl Streep who has the most Oscar nominations in all history, 21 nominations, has been always paid less than her male co-actors.
In 2018 the highest-paid actress, Scarlett Johansson, made $198.5 million less than the highest-paid actor, George Clooney.
Charlize Theron was offered far less than Chris Hemsworth to return for the “Snow White and the Huntsman” sequel.
Ellen Pompeo, who plays the titular character on “Grey’s Anatomy,” was paid less than Patrick Dempsey, who played her love interest.
But why is that? What is our responsibility towards this unfair situation? How can we change it for the better?
Help us to find the answers by leaving comments. Talking about the reasons leads us to find the solutions.
Sexism at work
I can clearly remember the day that I had a heated conversation with one of my team members about his performance. I had to question him about his day and the time he wasn’t present at work. It wasn’t the first time he underperformed and didn’t have a proper reason for it. As his manager, I needed to be more serious about the situation as the performance of the whole team was my responsibility and I couldn’t ignore the fact that one of my team members affected others’ performance in a negative way.
After a few minutes of talking and not being able to find a reasonable explanation, he tried to get away from the conversation by leaving the office. When I asked him to stay and finish the conversation, he answered this way:
“If you weren’t a women, I would show you …”
He didn’t finish his sentence but with the closed fist and aggressive expression, I could guess that there wasn’t a friendly message behind it.
It was a real example of sexism at work. Bringing up gender, showing physical strength, and ignoring the fact that the manager, no matter what their gender is, is responsible for the team’s performance, were sexist comments and behavior.
Underestimating women at work, sexual harassment, bullying, and intimidating to show superiority at work towards women happen so often at workplaces. It is very important for women to know their rights, to be able to recognize sexist comments and behaviors, and to be assertive enough to stand for their rights.
Gender equality at work is an ongoing journey that needs everyone’s effort. Women have all the rights to stand up for themselves, never forget that!