Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Glass Ceiling: Who's to Blame?

Before women entered the workforce, it was an expectation for them to raise and take care of their family 24/7. Since then, the ‘all women are housewives’ stereotype has been slowly chipped away at but still exists much more subtly and is an expectation for some families. Placing the expectation on women to be the sole caretaker limits their ability in their career. This can lead to them having to take leaves of absence, cut back on hours, and for some women, stop working all together. If men were more involved in home life, women would have more opportunities in the workplace for advancement. Also, men are four times as likely to ask for a pay raise compared to a woman, which contributes to the wage gap (, ludden, 2011). Overall men are too aggressive and should help more with home life.

There are many contributing factors creating this theoretical glass ceiling. Maternal responsibilities is a huge factor for many women in the workforce. Since the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, both men and women have access to 12 weeks of leave regarding the birth or adoption of a child (, Fritscher, 2007). With this opportunity many mothers and fathers choose to alternate their leave so they’ll still have one income. But often times the responsibility is left solely to the mother. Regardless of how the parents choose to handle this responsibility, in no way is it “the man’s fault”, it is the couple’s choice.

The fact that US females have the median earnings that are only 79% that of males is misleading. Most of that gap is attributed to women’s career choice, resulting in lower paying jobs. For the most part in the United States, men and women working the job are receiving equal pay or very similar pay and fixing that is what has helped to begin to close the earnings gap. If women want to be truly equal in this aspect, more must seek higher education and be more aggressive to earn those higher positions. No one is to blame for the glass ceiling. If anything, we can blame those practicing good economics in the situation where a man is hired over a women due to a woman’s potential leave in the future. With so few top level positions, it will take more time for women to fully integrate into CEO and other higher up positions. A solution that many companies have adopted is having daycare facilities at the workplace. Through providing this on-site daycare, large companies have saved between $150,000 and $200,000 in wages and in turn the parents get to spend lunch breaks with their children while still being able to focus on work afterwards (, Magloff, 2017).

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