Would not be considered as such a serious issue if it did not create such a huge number of adversities in a woman’s well-being. The glass ceiling, the wage gap, workplace prejudice, increased risk of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and limited opportunities to build a career are all a product of gender inequality. A huge problem with Gender inequality that is still prevalent today, is the gender wage gap. A study even showed that a gender pay gap is present in every single country in the world and that all the statistics and prevention techniques vary throughout the countries.
In the European Union, the gender wage gap is still 15 percent on average across all the countries apart of the EU. The gap is present in almost every field of work and it is the reason why it is so large scale. For example, women academics earn way less than men. EU reports show that women scientific researchers earn 18% less than their male counterparts (Pardhan S.
360). In places in which the wage gap is narrowed, it is seen to have huge benefits towards a country.
For example, a narrowing gender wage gap can cause an increase in GDP per capita. On a smaller scale, a drop off in the wage gap saw a reduced amount of violence and domestic violence towards women, consistent with the household bargaining model. So, if a woman brings in the same amount of income or more than their partner, they will be seen as more of a dominant figure in the house and will lead to a drastic decrease in the overall amount of domestic violence in a country.
Violence and sexual harassment towards women are more terrible results of gender inequality. A recent poll showed that more than half of the women in the U.S. have experienced “unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances” at some point in their lives . Most Violence towards women happens in the household, with three-quarters of all types of violence against women being afflicted by their domestic partners. However, in the 21st century, a rise of nonphysical sexual harassment has skyrocketed with the recent popularity of social media use.
For example, in the United States alone, 62% of online abuses towards women have occurred through Facebook and the most common form of online abuse which is sexual harassment stands at 44%. This social media harassment is not only affecting individual women but is also causing problems in the workplace. Through the use of social media in companies there are negative effects on sexual harassment at work and the prevention of unethical behavior. Even in the political sector women have been treated unethically with a huge rise of reports of reports of assault and abuse directed towards women in politics. Unfair treatment in the workplace doesn’t stop with unethical sexual behavior but also with the glass ceiling and women not being selected for leading jobs. For example, in cardiology, only 20% of cardiology trainees and 4.5% of interventional cardiologists in the U.S are female. In politics specifically, women have been severely underrepresented for much of history. Today, Women are only 23% of U.S. Senators, 19% of representatives in the house and 22% of senior-level Cabinet members.
The U.S political sector is, however, making great strides in cracking the glass ceiling. With Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker of the house, Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, and a record number of women serving as committee chairs, it has changed the perception of women in U.S politics. Women politicians today don’t even lose at higher rates than males in the primaries, however, it is seen that women in both parties face more primary competition than do men. Although the U.S. is slightly cracking the glass ceiling in politics, Obama’s cabinet was only 30% female and Trump’s cabinet only 22% female. On the other hand, both these cabinets still hold a higher percentage of females than the international median of 14%. The glass ceiling is obviously still prevalent today and only a few countries have done anything to crack it. Uganda for example has taken great strides in increasing gender equality by requiring that at least 39 seats in the Ugandan parliament are to be women.
Another example the EU for instance, the EU has set up strategies to make sure that women researchers are in at least 25% of the leading research positions. So how and why did all this unfair treatment and inequality towards women come about? Gender Stereotypes and biases. Stereotypes of each gender that have been around for thousands of years and it is the idea that women are supposed to be a certain way and men are supposed to be certain way. Girls play with “dolls” while boys play with “action figures.” Women cook, clean, and take care of the children while men go to work and bring in the income. These stereotypes are the root of the problems like the wage gap, the glass ceiling, and violence. For example, gender stereotypes framed women as not belonging in science and unintelligent. There is also a preference for “male” characteristics at higher levels of business because stereotypes portray women as insufficiently aggressive or less knowledgeable. This male bias and stereotypical view women create a huge disadvantage towards women. Take for example the female stereotype of poverty, this stereotype statistically increased the economic vulnerability of women.
It has gone so far that women are regularly recruited for upper-level positions that have a high risk of failure, and female managers are stereotyped as either competent or warm but never both. The male bias goes hand and hand with the gender stereotypes and it is leaving women doubting their abilities. Multiple studies have shown that women underestimate their abilities at work compared to male colleagues. They even found that males had higher entrepreneurial intentions than women. This low self-doubting and lack of entrepreneurial interest is a result of the countless cases of male biases. For example, female applicants are less likely to obtain a business loan than male applicants, women are strongly under-represented among Nobel laureates across all the Nobel peace prizes given, or the fact that men are 5.6 times more likely to be awarded medical grants than women. The argument that women just need to be more competent to be as successful as men are completely false because even if a woman is as competent it still doesn’t secure that a woman will advance to the same level as a less competent man.
In 2016, 62% of undergrads who graduated from a UK optometry school were female, and 22% of these women graduated with a first-class degree compared to 17% of males. However, as the numbers show that these women are capable, they still aren’t guaranteed a higher paying job in optometry than some men because of the gender bias. It will be a long time until gender inequality is completely cut out of society but if countries start implementing some programs and start encouraging gender equality. If every single country started looking towards countries like the EU and Uganda for ways to promote a fairer society, gender equality would progress much more. Not only do governments need to implement programs but also companies and workplaces as well. Workplaces need to start promoting wage transparency to target salary discrepancies and narrow the gender pay gap. Businesses also need to establish a clear and unbiased evaluation process for incoming employees and look at their abilities and experience rather than a stereotypical view of the person.
Educating employees about gender stereotypes and biases is crucial because if people are informed about how stereotypes work it will lead people to focus more on their decision making rather than using stereotypes as a shortcut (Correll). These small actions can prevent gender inequality in the workplace but also at home by reducing domestic violence. In finality, gender inequality has been around for so many years and it seems to be ingrained in our society even to this day. Gender Stereotypes, Male biases, the wage gap, the glass ceiling, and the overwhelming amount of sexual harassment have all left women with less confidence and portrayed as lesser. But with proactive steps in government and in the workplace and by spreading the word of the problems with gender inequality; economies will boom with competent women running for office and leading companies, rates of domestic violence will lower as the glass ceiling cracks, and the world will have a much more unbiased view as gender stereotypes fade and wage gap narrows.