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Gender Diversity Essay, Research Paper

Gender Diversity

It’s not just a man’s world anymore. Gender diversity plays a major role in who runs our society. The roles of men and women vary greatly in the home and in the workplace. Although the roles of women in the business world have developed greatly, our society still has a long way to go before men and women will be considered equal in the workforce.

In homes, women have been considered to be the “homemakers” and the men to be the “providers.” If you look back to television shows that were created in the 50s or 60s, you can compare the roles of women then to the roles of women now. Women were portrayed as housewives and mothers. They served the family and took care of the household chores. Rarely, a television show from that era would put a wife into the workforce and if they did, it would be a job such as a secretary. As times have changed, the majority of men and women tend to meet somewhere in the middle. Men in today’s society have began to take on certain domestic duties in the household to enable them to play a larger role in the family. In a recent study most men reported happy to share household responsibilities with their wives. Women still, however, take on twice as many household chores than their husbands. (Morin 1)

A new road was paved for women after the Industrial Revolution. Few women worked outside of the home before the Revolution, instead, the woman’s job was considered to be taking care of the family and any household chores that needed to be done. After the Industrial Revolution, however, the need for women in the workforce became dominant. Women were needed for such skills as sewing, tailoring, and shoemaking. Of course, women were paid low wages and exposed to terrible conditions. (Ingraham 48-59) Women have slowly worked their way up the ladder to make their role more prominent in society. When conditions were extremely bad, women decided to take another step and start forming their own labor unions to promote better working conditions and more equality in the workforce. (50)

Women have no doubt come a long way since the days of the Industrial Revolution, but still have a long way to go. Women are still faced with many obstacles that are created by our stereotypical society. (Anderson 602-03) Men are the dominant gender, they are higher paid and more respected in the workforce. One career that breaks the boundaries is modeling. Women are dominant in the modeling field. Women models are paid a great deal higher salary than male models and also are more in demand. I think that most men and women should agree that even still, men have more benefits than women. If a man and a woman were competing for the same job and both met the job requirements and had equal qualifications, the man would most likely receive the job because men are more respected in business. Even if the woman had received the job, her salary would be less than the man’s would have been if he had been hired for the same position. (St. Pierre 33) The reason for this is that the man has always been seen as the dominant one and women as the weaker one. Behavior of men and women differ greatly. Men tend to be more confident, therefore giving them room to be more powerful. (31) Women to tend to be more sympathetic than men which links them to being the weaker sex. (Sex Roles 336)

The earnings gap is brought on because of the differences between men and women. Statistics reported by the authors of An Album of American Women: Their Changing Role show that at the end of 1985, the average earning per week for men was $581 while women dragged in far behind at $419. (Ingraham 57) Government statistics proved that between 1970 and 1995, the percentage went from 50 percent to 76 percent of women in the workforce. (Morin 4) The English Journal stated that the majority of men have a problem with women becoming more dominant in the business world. They feel that women take opportunities away from them and have better chances of earning higher income than they do. (St. Pierre 31) Women are also beginning to take on more jobs that are considered to be a “man’s job.” Women are becoming doctors, lawyers, judges, and athlete’s. In 1984, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was amended which states that women must be paid the same as men when they are doing equal work. (Sex Discrimination 1)

Women learning to be more independent and standing up for equal rights among the genders has helped the advancement of women in the business world. One day maybe our world will become a “woman and man’s world.”

Works Cited

Anderson, Cynthia D. “Gender and Family Issues in the Workplace.” Contemporary Sociology 27 (1998): 602-03.

Ingraham, Gloria D, and Leonard W. Ingraham. An Album of American Women: Their Changing Role. 1987.

Morin, Richard, and Megan Rosenfeld. “With More Equity, More Sweat.” Washington Post (March 1998) 17 Feb., 1999 .

“Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Act.” About the EOC. 17 Feb. 1999 .

“Sex Roles.” World Book Encyclopedia. 1994.

St. Pierre, Elizabeth. “A Historical Perspective on Gender.” English Journal (1999): 29-33.

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