Girl Power in the Workplace
Updated: Apr 3
The following is an article “Girl Power in the Workplace” by Marc Primo.
Today’s female professionals are not afraid of the gender gap anymore. In fact, there are 33 women CEOs on this year’s elite Fortune 500 list in companies like General Motors, IBM, Best Buy, and Oracle, to name a few. But while the fairer of the species is rising up the corporate ladder, the world is far from closing the gender gap just yet.
Based on a study conducted by McKinsey & Company entitled “Women in the Workplace”, there hasn’t been much significant improvement in terms of a woman’s role in offices across the country in the last four years. The study goes on to reveal that African-American women are the least represented in any level of office in the United States.
While inequality still exists in the workplace today, business leaders are waking up to a new tune that intends to foster equality in corporate America.
Where we are today. Based on the study, men are still preferred over women when it comes to filling-up positions in entry-level jobs. Educational attainment or attrition rates are said to be of no factor when it comes to hiring office positions, and the inequality only increases higher up the corporate ladder. What results is a meagre number of women who are qualified for upper management jobs. While almost 80% of women rise up the ranks through the years, 100% of men are promoted up to the managerial positions during the same time span. To end this cycle of inequality, today’s companies must take concrete action rather than simply express their support for gender diversity.
Equal Day Pay. For every dollar a man makes, women only earn $0.79 according to www.payscale.com. This fact serves as evidence to how gender, opportunity, and wage gaps are still present in U.S. companies today. In 1996, the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) established the annual ‘National Pay Inequity Awareness Day’, which is known today as ‘Equal Day Pay’. The observance aims to raise awareness on the disparity in wages between men and women in corporate America. Employees are asked to wear the official color (red) on Equal Pay Day which signifies how women need to work harder and longer to earn as much as men.
Through the years, Equal Pay Day observances have gained the support of more women who are not only those employed in corporate offices, but those who are into civil rights groups, local communities, and small and medium businesses as well. Betty Dukes, who in 2000 sued Walmart with sex-based discrimination in pay and promotion, became the face of Equal Day Pay and was honored in 2012. The NCPE also recommended the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010.
A call for organizational change. Aside from the passage of relevant bills via Congress, what matters most is how companies should take the initiative to implement reforms that will close the gaps. And it’s not just about hiring more women in the workplace. Making the workplace inclusive, not just based on gender but on cultural background and race, can truly make a difference.
Businesses should hire women who have attained commendable achievements in their careers to higher positions and offer promotions to those who deserve to climb the corporate ladder.
According to the McKinsey study, only 38% of women hold managerial positions in the U.S. today and only one in five are seated on the executive table. Women all over the country have always called for changes in their respective organizations, along with a number of benefits that transparent hiring and promotion can offer women. These include better work-life balance, access to child care, and time flexibility, all of which can help them become more productive in the workplace and contribute further to their organizations.