GENDER EQUALITY Factors Affecting Women’s Occupational Endeavors STS 210 Final ProjectAdrianna C. Gray
WHY? Over the course of the semester, we have often spoken the word feminism. I think that each of us have come to form an opinion of how feminism is defined. For me, feminism is the idea of creating equal opportunities, rights and freedoms across genders, ethnicities and ages. It is more than “girl power”, it is a mission to make all aspects of life fair regardless of one’s appearance and circumstances.
WHY? …It is for this reason that I chose to do my project on gender equality in the workplace. More specifically, reasons why women chose certain occupations more frequently caught my interest. I decided to start out by gathering the opinions of people. How do people feel about gender with regards to occupation? Do they see stereotypes on a regular basis? Have they experienced prejudice in the workplace because of their gender? I wanted to know.
Gender & Occupation Survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DJDY5DX Though the project is complete, the survey is still open. This is a study that will not be complete until all understand how gender and occupation affect one another, and fuel this understanding to create change. Feel free to participate. GATHERINGEXPERIMENTAL DATA
WHEN I GROW UP… Teacher Business Owner Engineer Dancer Baker Astronaut Athlete Coach Doctor FBI Agent Lawyer Veterinarian Doctor Mother
Challenges in Pursing Childhood Dream Job Reasons for Not Pursing Childhood Dream Job SURVEY RESULTS
How much does it matter? Cultural norms define the roles we each take in society. This includes, but is not limited to, our career choices and the reasons for making these decisions. Stereotypes, prejudices and biases all swarm around the workplace. Most participants felt that stereotypes somewhat impact the gender distribution in their field.
Who brings home the bacon? The greatest, yet most simple challenge our nation faces is the pay gap. According to the 2010 Census, women only earned 77 cents per dollar their male equals earned. It saddens me that the majority of survey participants really don’t know whether their career of choice offers equal pay across genders. US Department of Labor
How did my experiment measure up to the facts? Were the stereotypes mentioned by my participants a reflection of Reality? How did their views on gender & occupation compare to the statistics? BACK TO REALITY
http://careers.cwis-llc.com/careers2/images1/administrative.jpg In 2009, there were 3,074,000 Administrative Assistants and Secretaries.This is the most prevalent occupation among women and the average annual pay was $29,050 in 2008. The second most held female occupation is Registered Nurse which also happens to be the 19th top salaried occupation women hold. RNs, on average, made $63,750 in 2009.
Top 20 Female Concentrated Occupations Secretaries & Administrative Assistants Registered Nurses Elementary/Middle School Teachers Cashiers Nursing, Psychiatric & Home Health Aides Retail Salesperson First-line Supervisors/Managers of Retail Sales Workers Waitresses Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners Customer Service Representatives Child Care Workers Bookkeeping, Accounting & Auditing Clerks Receptionists & Information Clerks First-line Supervisors/Managers of Office & Administrative Support Workers Managers (all others) Accountants & Auditors Teaching Assistants Cooks Office Clerks (general) Personal & Home Care AidesDepartment of Labor- 2009
http://www.visualphotos.com/photo/2x3924639/close-up_of_a_female_construction_worker_talking_dki-0073-063.jpg In 1970, less than one percent of construction workers were women. In 1995, 25 years later, women are only 2.3% of all US Construction workers. Participants in my survey stated that construction work is a predominantly male field – indeed, the presence of women in this field is almost nonexistent.OSHA
http://www.howdoesshe.com/wp-content/uploads/SUZE_ORMAN-MY_JOB_CHART.jpg Females accounted for 66.6% of financial specialists in the US in 2009. This includes accountants, financial advisorsand analysts to list a few. One example of an extremely successful female financial specialist is SuzeOrman. In my survey, participants listed financial specialists as a stereotypically male field. US Department of Labor
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_AR3FNcs6p30/SctqcW9NnKI/AAAAAAAACtk/_lOpuAaZE90/s400/black_pharmacist.jpg In 2009, the top paid position women held was as pharmacists.These women earned 85% of the wages their male equals earned. Unbelievably, this “most fair” paying position is comprised of less than 50% women.There are 36 times more female administrative assistants than female pharmacists. Female physicians only make 59% of their male equals and go to school longer than pharmacists. Forbes.com
ARE STEREOTYPES CHANGING? “Nursing used to be a female occupation. That has changed tremendously in the past decade.” “In the past very few women were allowed to attend prestigious culinary schools, however those times are gone and now females as well as males dominate this field. One occupation that I would think is stereotypical for males is construction work; there doesn't seem to be that many women in that field.” “Not completely, I am a stay at home mom and I feel that people still look down on some men that choose to let their wives work and they stay home with the children.” “I definitely feel they will be less impacted. However I still believe that those gender based tendencies will still make many positions remain lopsided by a gender. Women and Men have natural differences in interest that plays into certain professions.”“Yes, I do expect future generations to be less impacted by occupational stereotypes. In order to create equality in all work forces, I think it is necessary to emphasize the sameness and ability in all people regardless of gender instead of emphasizing differences.”
TO TIE IT ALL TOGETHER… How to get involved? Take the survey. Visit my website and send the link to others. Learn about legislation and laws to create a more equal work force across genders. Wear red on Equal Pay Day, April 12. Join the National Organization for Women (NOW) or make a donation.
RESOURCES National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE)http://www.pay-equity.org/ Forbes.com – Top Paying Jobs for Womenhttp://www.forbes.com/2009/06/25/top-paying-jobs-forbes-woman-careers-salary-employment.html US Dept of Labor – Quick Stats on Women Workers, 2009http://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/main.htm National Organization for Women (NOW)http://www.now.org/issues/economic/factsheet.html Women, Science, and Technology(Wyer, M., et. al, 2nd Edition, 2009)
RESOURCES Bureau of Labor Statistics – Secretaries & Administrative Assistantshttp://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos151.htm#earnings Bureau of Labor Statistics – Registered Nurses http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291111.htm#nat US Department of Labor – OSHA: Women in the Construction Workplacehttp://www.osha.gov/doc/accsh/haswicformal.html US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Equal Pay Act of 1963http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm