Gender inequality still a barrier for women in workforce
Although it became illegal to discriminate against women in the workplace with the passage of the Civil Right Act of 1964, women are still attempting to break through the glass ceiling.
Female students can expect to average 82 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn once they graduate from college, according to a study by the American Association of University Women.
The discussion was brought up Wednesday at the Women’s Resource Center’ weekly “Gender Talk” meeting.
Students discussed how women are encouraged to pursue careers like teaching and how men are more apt to get degrees in the sciences, which may be one of the factors that lead to increases in salary differences between the two genders.
“I found the report very interesting,” said Women’s Resource Center Director Beverly McPhail. “College educated women are making 82 percent of what men make. This reflects a gender disparity in salary that needs to be addressed.”
The pressure of marriage forced on women and the affects that is has on their career choices also became a topic at the meeting.
Public relations senior Arelis Bravo shared that many of her female friends say getting married is their biggest priority instead of getting their education and being successful working women.
“It seems that marriage is still the standard by which women’s success is measured and that needs to change,” Bravo said.
The Women’s Resource Center sees a grim picture in statistics that show most marriages in America end in divorce and most of those in pursuit of divorce are women.
“I think that most women, even those that are married, want to pursue careers and be financially independent just in case they become the breadwinners in their families or get divorced,” McPhail said. “Women are also putting up with less in marriage because they are not as dependent as they used to be on men to be the provider in the household.”
Although there are more women pursuing careers in the sciences now, they are still making less than men and face discrimination, according to a recent Yale University study.
The meeting concluded on a note that women have the freedom to pursue any career choice they want, but the pressures of marriage and relationships often intervenes with achieving professional success.
“Women get told that the day they get married will be the happiest day of their life, but the message needs to be that the day they get their diploma is just as good too,” McPhail said.