Gender discrimination stifles the potential of women at their jobs

Maya Brunell | Opinions Editor

Throughout American history, one can see blatant gender discrimination. Women have been seen as nothing more than babymakers and home-builders in the past. Today, women enjoy the right to vote, use family planning services, and thrive in American society. But, there’s one tainted right that women struggle with on a daily basis: gender discrimination in the workplace.

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Women have been able to hold a job for many decades, but have struggled to strive and make bounds. Too many women have seen the salary difference between themselves and their male colleagues. Their ideas and opinions aren’t taken seriously, and leadership roles haven’t even been close to theirs if a man looked better for it.

In some part of our minds, women are seen as weak and incapable of being someone in a position of power. Their feminine image doesn’t help. Makeup, high heels, and a skirt instantly turns a woman into an inferior in the eyes of those around her.

My personal experience with women not being taken seriously while at work was in my seventh grade science class. I had a substitute that day, but she was also a science teacher and knew what she was doing. She was in her twenties, wore feminine clothes and makeup. Her hair was curled.

No one in the class took her seriously. She couldn’t assert her authority because no one would listen. To my classmates, she was just a young woman making sure we didn’t burn the school down.

When I got a little older and I pondered this memory, I realized that if a male science teacher had substituted my class that day, the level of respect would have greatly increased. He wouldn’t be seen as incapable. He would have a hold on the class, something a young woman couldn’t do.

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Being female, I worry about this. When I enter the workforce, will I be seen as weak? I unfortunately know the answer to that question.

Yes, I will be seen as weak because of my gender. This fact is ingrained into the minds of everyone around the world. But, I ask for you to imagine if a woman were stripped of her femininity, and a man stripped of his masculinity. They would have equal minds and equal ideas.

Even though women have been seen as beneath men for centuries, the society of today needs to look past that. We are not who the people of the past were. We can change our views to see that the mind of a woman is equal in value to a man’s.

The workplace doesn’t have to be where women are suppressed–it can be where women prosper and grow.

If only the world could see the power of a woman at her best.  

Header Credit: Sungyoon Choi

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