Top 5 Issues [Still] Fuelling Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Women have shown time and time again that they are not only valuable members of society, they are the blood life of humanity. But despite giving birth to future generations and ensuring the needs of others are taken care of, they are often neglected in the workplace. More than that, they are taken advantage of and treated as ‘less than’. To prove it, here are the top 5 issues (still) fuelling gender inequality in the workplace.

1.      Sexual harassment

According to research by the Human Rights Commission, sexual harassment at work is on the rise in Australia. The Commission found that one in three people has been targeted in the past five years. It also found that women are 85% more likely to experience it than men at 56%. Yet the figures only show a fraction of the correct number. Since some victims don’t report it for fear that no one will believe them or they will face repercussions.

2.      Unequal pay

For the last 30 years, 58% of students at Australian universities have been female. Not only that, but women do better at school in most disciplines. There are more female undergraduates, more female postgraduates and more female staff and academics. Yet, women are still paid less than men in the workplace. As at May 2019, women’s average weekly ordinary full-time earnings (across all industries and occupations) was $1,484.80. That’s compared to men’s average weekly ordinary full-time earnings of $1,726.30.

3.      Racism

Women of colour are significantly underpaid and under-represented in the workplace. Moreover, they are far less likely to be promoted to a higher role. Are more likely to face everyday discrimination. And are less likely to receive support from their managers. One particular problem women of colour often face at work is of being the ‘other’. They often end up as the only woman in the room and the only woman of their race or culture. The impact is that they feel uniquely alone, experience more microaggressions and feel their decisions are questioned more often.

4.      Women are promoted less often than men

Although women are more educated than men, they are significantly less likely than men to be offered a promotion at work. The main reason seems to be the lack of female role models in the workplace. Typically, people are inspired to do something when they see others like them doing it. When women see other women in higher roles, they find it easier to imagine themselves in those positions and are more likely to put themselves forward. Not having a role model can make women feel as if moving into a higher role is unlikely.

5.      Fear of asking to be paid what you’re worth

Besides being underpaid by their bosses in the first instance, women are also too afraid to ask to be paid what they’re worth. The reality of feeling fear and anxiety when asking for a pay rise affects women more than men. There are many reasons why. Women often view negotiating pay as being greedy or desperate. Many women worry they are not good enough. Some women are waiting for recognition. Others are afraid of rejection. And many women just don’t know how to start the conversation.

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