The Challenges Faced By Women In The Workplace

3 min readApr 2, 2023
Gender equality in the workplace

Women have long sought to break away from the norms and standards set by society. Women have been marching for equal rights and fighting for their rightful place in the world. The #MeToo movement has begun to shatter centuries of patriarchy, but it still has a long way to go, especially in organizations or companies, where the adage of the glass ceiling is still quite prevalent.

Women are frequently underrepresented at every level, from entry-level jobs to C-suite roles.
This underrepresentation is even worse in senior management positions. Only 22% of C-suite executives are female. Compared to 62% of men in managerial positions, only 38% of women were promoted to become managers.
Interestingly, almost the same number of women and men left the company. Hence, friction cannot be blamed for this inequality.

Sexual Harassment
The #MeToo movement has led to many cases of women facing sexual and non-sexual harassment in the workplace. These cases ranged from unwanted verbal, visual, non-verbal, or physical harassment.

Research finds that 35% of women who work full time in the corporate sector have experienced sexual harassment. Another study by the EEOC estimated that 75% of women who experience such hostile situations will not report harassment, especially when the perpetrator is someone in a senior position.

Why didn’t the victim report? The main reason for this is the fear of being fired. The same research by the EEOC found that “75% of abuse victims experience retaliation when they report it.”

“Sanction” of Pregnancy
During the child-rearing years, the unemployment penalty for women is longer. This means that when women take longer time off, they will find it more difficult to rehire.
A report by Payscale says that “women who are unemployed for less than three months face only a 3.4% penalty while women who have not worked for more than a year face a 7% penalty.”

The report also shows that the percentage of men who are unemployed for more than 12 months between the ages of 20–29 is 4% while that for women is 11%.
In the 30–44 year age group, the number of unemployed men and women is 10% and 20% respectively. This is ultimately reflected in the gender pay gap which makes it harder for women to hold senior level positions.

The Guardian reports that more than 50,000 women have lost their jobs due to childbirth discrimination.
One type of employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, refers to when a woman in the workplace is fired, not employed, or discriminated against because of pregnancy.

Discrimination can occur in the form of offensive comments about their physical and medical condition. Some other ways are employers reduce the working hours of female employees, pay, change her benefits, refuse to promote her, or force her to take time off (paid or unpaid).

It’s 2023. The world speaks of progress and creating an environment where everyone is treated equally. But it stops when it comes to women.
Why are women expected to balance life between their career and home? While a man should be the breadwinner of the family? There are men who have stepped forward to support women in all their endeavors, but why is the word “feminism” branded with so much hate and contempt?
It is time that we destroy toxic masculinity and make people understand that the goal of feminism is to reduce the gender gap and achieve political, economic, personal and social gender equality.

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