Essay on Gender Discrimination And The Workplace

Essay on Gender Discrimination And The Workplace

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Introduction
Sexism has been a part of American culture since its very foundation, and has persisted through multiple movements of feminism and civil rights. Though much progress has been made, discrimination against women still occurs both overtly and covertly in our modern society and can be clearly seen in gender roles and expectations. More obvious signs of bias can be seen in topics like the gender wage gap, though many indications of oppression are more subtle, such as the expectation of “pretty” presentation for women but not men. These acts of inequity continue to occur due to conformation to traditional social and cultural norms that segregate males and females.
Normative conformity is one of the strongest forces of social influence and guides behaviors of an individual in order to maintain group membership. Deviation from norms can lead to rejection from the majority group and sever positive social connections that are a necessary part of human nature (Claidiere & Whiten, 2012).
Gender in Education and Occupation
Gender discrimination in the workforce is shown through obvious inequalities, such as access to education advancement, the gender pay gap, or more subtle factors like allocated leave for parental or family responsibilities. The wage gap has narrowed significantly since the 1980’s, much due to deindustrialization as the majority of jobs shifted to services rather than manufacturing (Kongar, 2008). Women began entering into occupations that had traditionally been male dominated and thus higher paying. However, men’s wages in these occupations increased with the influx of women, further maintaining the gap and reinforcing the inequality between genders (Kongar, 2008).
The occupational differences seen between wom...


... middle of paper ...


... lead to laws and gender boundaries being enforced through male interest, resulting in unfavorable economic, social, and legal conditions for women.
Domestic Roles
It is extremely common in American families for the mother to hold the responsibilities of the household and children. Even in cohabiting couples without kids, household chores often fall to the woman’s obligation. This ‘second shift’ of domestic duties is often expected to be performed around the her central job or career, as she often also contributes financially to the family (Cha, 2010). This puts the woman at a strong disadvantage, and it can be very difficult to fulfill the dual roles. The United States, being extremely heteronormative, values traditional family roles, and questions those who deviate from them, so unconventional family structures can become targets of social judgement and criticism.

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