Ladies, we have a problem. It’s a big, big problem.
What is this problem, you ask? No matter what society tries to pound into our brains, we are not treated as equals to men.
If you follow me on my blog or any social media you know that I attended the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Conference a couple weekends ago. Being surrounded by so many intelligent and beautiful women was so empowering.
Although the conference consisted of women being treated equally, the real world is anything but. At the conference, I attended a couple sessions about salary negotiations and how to succeed in the workplace.
These two topics were quite different. But there was a common theme that came out loud and clear.
By now, I am sure you have heard about Jennifer Lawrence’s argument about not being paid the same amount as her fellow male actors (You can read her full essay here). The difference in pay has nothing to do with how she compares to male actors with regards to playing a role. It has everything to do with the fact that she is a woman and they are men.
It’s incredibly disheartening to know that when I graduate with a degree in Biomedical Engineering, I will earn less than my male classmates although we have taken the same classes and earned the same degree. As I continue to work toward my degree, I am learning that more people still need to be aware of the gender bias that still plagues our country (and even the world).
During one session, we watched this Pantene commercial. It is complete and utter crap that although male and female bosses treat their employees in the same authoritative manner, women as seen as b*tches, while men are viewed as excellent leaders. But how are women supposed to get their team to succeed in they don’t push everyone to be their best and only act as a mother figure? It’s a double standard because if women only acted like the nurturer as a boss, employees would complain that the female boss wasn’t fit for such a role.
Why is this?
I’ll tell you why. No matter how often anyone says that women and men are equal in the workplace, it has yet to become a reality due to one main reason: Women are still viewed as those who should take on the nurturing, caretaker roles and support men…not lead or control. So when they try to take on a leadership role, they are met with resistance because it’s not was we are “supposed” to do.
So how can we fix this??
In order to have equality in the workplace, we need to teach equality at home. Teaching boys and girls that both genders can achieve the same level of success will definitely benefit the future workplace. The speaker at one of the sessions I attended shared her conversation with a mother who expressed her concern about her daughter’s competitive drive. The mother wanted to know how she should go about decreasing her daughter’s need to be competitive.
However, by this mother treating her daughter like this, she is teaching her that she cannot have the same success as boys her age, which is completely wrong and not true. The mother then realized that she had been thinking about the situation the wrong way…if she wanted her daughter to succeed and achieve her dreams, she needed to encourage competition. Slowly, we can make a change and work toward a non gender bias environment.
Have you ever faced gender bias? Do you agree // disagree with the views on women + men?
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