Women are yet to be accepted as significant forces in today’s workforce. They are considered minorities because a more extensive part of the society believes that women are not to share the same privileges, power, and opportunities as men.
Women have been limited for years. We have been placed in a position where our initiatives, and ideas are in total obscurity—overshadowed by that of our counterpart. In a world of 193 UN leaders, only fifteen of are women. Of the people in parliament in the world, just 13% of the representatives are women.
These poor statistics have not changed since 2002, and it has continued to head in the wrong direction. Many women are also battling with being female and a minority at the same time. That equals double discrimination.
Female and a Minority
We hear it all the time, and it can be exhausting. We need a lasting solution to this plague, because there are women of unparalleled will that can take the world to the next level.
So, the question is, can we truly have a workplace in today’s reality where females are not considered minorities? Can we change the number of women’s participation at the top level of business?
It is time to shift from the world of our mother or grandmother—a world where career choices for women were so limited. I believe there is a solution, but first: let’s discuss how being a female and a minority simply holds in the world we live in today.
Not a Minority
It is unrealistic to classify the most populated gender as a minority. Women are not a statistical minority, they are roughly equal in number to men. However, they qualify as a minority group because they tend to have less power and fewer privileges than men.
Sexism, which is gender-based discrimination, underlies this unfair treatment of women, and discrimination against women is immense in setting the patriarchal society we have today in our workforce. In this variety of different spheres of society, whether political, legal, economic, or family, sexism against women is evident.
Not Just About Gender
However, it must be remembered that the dilemma is rarely as simple as that of men versus women. Today, communities are home to several different classes, ethnicities, races, and nationalities, and some groups of women may well have a higher status and greater power compared to selected groups of men, depending on factors such as what racial and ethnic groups they are affiliated with. However, this figure is minimal compared to the percentage of females experiencing this unequal treatment with men at the top companies.
Studies have shown, that as a result of sexism, the people who fall at the bottom of the social hierarchy in terms of race or gender are women. They are more likely to earn lower salaries, be subjected to stereotypes and be discriminated against, or be hired for exploitive domestic jobs. Thus, unintentionally making women an endangered species in today’s workforce.
Perhaps you do not know the word sexism; sexism may refer to two subtly different views of attitudes:
- The belief that one sex is superior to the other
- The belief that men and women are vastly different and that this should be strongly reflected in society, language, the right to have sex, and the law
You can, of course, tell which gender faces the threat of sexism by now.
Women have made tremendous strides in gaining access to education and employment. Nevertheless, they continue to face major barriers that men normally do not face. They are faced with the term “glass ceiling,” commonly used in economics. It refers to social obstacles that prevent minorities and women from progressing beyond a certain point in the corporate world, despite their status quo and qualifications. The existence of a glass ceiling indicates that women, even today, do not enjoy the same opportunities as men.
Division of Labor
The roots of patriarchy are closely linked to the idea of gender roles, or the set of social and behavioral standards that are considered socially acceptable for individuals of a specific sex.
A great deal of study has been dedicated to understanding why women are traditionally considered to occupy a domestic position while men are supposed to achieve professional fulfillment outside the home. This division of labor is also mapped into a social hierarchy where men have the freedom to venture outside the home, and to assumed power over women. We are made to adopt a social structure in which the role of the male gender functions as the central figure of authority for social organization. A structure where fathers have authority over women, children, and property.
How do we go from talking about female minorities to actually prevent further damage caused to women around the world? The bad news is that there is no quick solution; it takes time and effort.
However, the good news is that even though women as a minority is a grave issue, we don’t need to take it so seriously. We can all take part in creating change by doing small things that will make big waves. By “all of us,” I mean all of you. The female minority in a workplace isn’t something that HR will fix. It’s something that everyone is responsible for, and everybody should be doing something about it—simply by speaking up against injustice.
So, what can you do? To be continued ….
- Walaa holds a doctorate, is a pharmacist and social activist.