April 7, 2015
Battle of the Sexes Gender inequality is about equal opportunity for men and women to identify their individual potential. One must be able to benefit from their participation in society and contribute to the economic and social development of their country (Australian Government. 2009). Through multiple reviewed literatures on gender inequality, the overall concept within many readings is the way gender inequality socially relates to employment and careers. There are three factors. First, gender differences in historical social roles have created stereotypes on the contemporary outlooks of the social attitude. Secondly, through beliefs and values, career pathways and choices have become gendered from factors of culture and society. Lastly, occupational segregation within the workforce is still dominant, but more equality is breaking through for the future.
With many different occupational opportunities, the disagreement in preferences regarding genders will continue because of many separate socially contributing factors. Social stereotypes of male and female roles in society are a predominant aspect of modern day culture. The male-female distinction is one of society’s primary cultural categories. Through these stereotypes, people categorize males and females instantly on first interaction. Any subsequent interaction is slightly swayed as it depends on prior understanding of the other person as male or female (Ridgeway 2009). There is growing evidence in research that gender differences rely greatly on the cultural system of interaction. Some of the prominent social roles of males and females in historical years are contributing to the contemporary roles that are acceptable in society. Women have continued to have hours of unpaid work while taking care of their children and domestic work, while males are still considered as the providers for their family and solely contributing to their household. The male and female socioeconomic ideologies of masculinity and femininity influence our perceptions of social roles. As men and women continue to value separate factors of their lives differently, there will always be gender division in career preference. The roles from society are translated to gender beliefs and values, as people would like to attain role related careers.
Biological acceptance contributes to the stereotypes genders have on careers. Many people believe that due to biological factors of being male or female, limitations would be created for them in society, and consequently in their respective occupation. Men get involved with careers related to science, engineering, and business, where-as women relate more to humanities, education, and the arts. Women prefer traditional working hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which offers a greater flexibility for their family life. Men have more interest in business or occupations that involve logistic and numerical skills. These aspects have been reported from women and men as being a very important feature in their career choice (Gadassi and Gati 2009).
The wage division in the 20th century is a strong argument of the segregation of females and the historical views on gender roles. In the 20th century women were paid a wage enabling family subsidy (not self-sufficiency) independent of what the job was worth. While women desires center around starting a family, men desires center around their income (Gadassi and Gati 2009). This shows that males and females consider their future goals differently and this is associated with how they have chosen their careers around their genders (Best 2009). Additionally, women have been found to move up the ladder of success slower when compared to men. Stereotypes affect both sexes, but influence women more as they limit them to lower paid, less prestige and status occupations. We marginalize men and women around the career paths that they choose.
Segregation within the workforce