Achieving Gender Equality in the Workplace

Posted by at 11:16PM

I recently had a conversation with a female resident in my dorm about how women are underrepresented in the top level positions of academia and industry. Our discussion centered around the fact that as a man, I come into the conversation with assumptions about how women should be treated in the work-force. I recently wrote her an email:

” I’m not trying to start anything here. Like I said earlier, I am 100% in support of getting women equal salaries and top positions in industry and academia. But getting there will be very hard, because of one fact:

Women bear children and are generally expected to the primary caretaker for their children at least through infancy.

Penelope Trunk is an amazing writer/blogger and her blog Brazen Careerist is one of the few blogs where every single post is both worth reading and worth saving for future reference. She also talks about her personal issues, liker going into couples therapy and eventually annoucing her divorce. But it’s never annoying, but always mixed with some advice and reflection on the situation.

She blogged 6 years ago about how getting pregnant later in her career has affected her: Slowing down a career to have kids

I had access to education, I had access to the pill, I had access to money and jobs. I felt that society easily accepted my choices to be single, to focus on my career. Everyone told me “don’t worry about kids, you’ll have time.” … I thought I was so smart, so organized and driven for waiting. But I’m not sure if waiting got me all that much except a high-risk pregnancy.

She blogged recently about what post-partum depression was like for her – a working mother with no time off – and the story is heart-wrenching, real and illustrates the difficulties that women who wish to have a family face when advancing their career.

The part of postpartum depression that no one talks about

Also, people like Lynzee “I believe every girls should marry every rich guy so they never have to work” Stauss don’t help the cause.

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2 Responses to “Achieving Gender Equality in the Workplace”

  1. Burak says:

    “Yes, this is the issue and that’s the reason of going down for a professional girl for their career after getting pregnant.
    Does anyone know how can we resolve this issue?”
    yes, i sayed 2 month ago.
    thank you:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    That has got to be one of the stupidest articles about gender equality that I’ve ever read. The ASSUMPTION that women’s careers must slow down because they bear children is antiquated.
    First, women who have successful careers as single women, and then get married to successful men, and then get pregnant do NOT have to give up getting higher in their ranks or grades. They DO have to decide if THEY want to be the primary care takers of their children. And they DO have to decide if THEY want their HUSBANDS to have a larger role in raising the children.
    Second, what can women do? Well, first of all, tell your husband that as a family you need to support your child in the best manner possible. Then, decide on your course of action. Daycares, nannies, and babysitters are all options.
    Third, NEVER let a boss tell you as a woman that you cannot perform something that you are perfectly capable of performing, just because you are “pregnant” or have just had a child. The person that should decide the level of involvement that a mother has in her career is the mother herself.
    Fourth, when discriminating practices happen in the workplace, DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT, and then SPEAK UP! Make a complaint! Make it continue up until you get results. And, if repercussions happen? DOCUMENT THOSE!
    Now I shall write of my personal experience.
    As a woman, I have a better paying job than my husband. I am higher in rank than he is, and will accellerate in rank faster than he will. I am 5 months pregnant, and I am still working as hard as before I became pregnant, with one exception: if I feel that something would jeopardise my pregnancy, I don’t do it. I delegate it.
    At the end of my pregnancy I have the option of taking up to 6 weeks off to care for my baby. I plan to take that time. After that, my plan is to hire a nanny who will bring my child to me at various times during the day so that I can feed him.
    I will recieve a promotion just before my baby is born. I do not feel that having a child is going to hinder my progress as a successful female in the workplace.
    Additionally, I plan to have more children later, as I progress in my career. I plan to make the moves that will continue to forward my career, while also making the moves that will benefit my children. I believe this is possible for me, as well as for most women.
    I am a very proactive woman. I have gotten many men fired or removed from their positions for sexual harrassment and gender inequality. I have also stood up for many men and women who were facing other types of discrimination in the work place.
    My personal opinion is that power is there for the taking. If you want it, you go for it. It is not something to be abused. It is not something to use to coerce people with. It is a tool that should be used to forge new horizons and implement changes.
    Power is not a gender, race, religion or other specific tool. It is a function that can be used by anyone, but should only be used by those who know how to use it wisely.

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