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What types of gender inequality still exist?

Sixty years after the Women’s Movement played a huge part in getting U.S. women out of the “housewife” stereotype and into the workplace, gender inequality still exists there. If you are a woman attempting to climb the corporate ladder, you know how difficult that can be, especially if the company for which you work fails to see gender inequality as an issue.

While Title VII of the Equal Rights Act of 1964 and subsequent laws prohibit your employer from outright discriminating against you based on your gender, gender inequality is far more insidious. For instance, LeanIn.org has been conducting a five-year study of nearly 600 companies to ferret out the real position of women in the corporate world. Entitled “Women in the Workplace,” this massive study reveals the following statistics regarding the 2019 American workplace:

  • Overall makeup: 52% men, 48% women
  • Managers: 62% men, 38% women
  • Directors/senior managers: 63% men, 34% women
  • Vice presidents: 70% men, 30% women
  • Senior vice presidents: 74% men, 26% women
  • ”Corporate suite”: 79% men, 21% women

“Broken rung”

According to conventional wisdom, you hit a “glass ceiling” that stops your climb up the corporate ladder before you reach a senior leadership position. The Women in the Workplace study reveals that you face your greatest challenge well below the glass ceiling level. Actually, your greatest obstacle is the first one; i.e., moving up from entry level to manager level. LeanIn calls this the “broken rung” of the corporate ladder.

Additional revealing statistics

Further study data reveal the following:

  • One in four women believe they have missed out on a promotion, raise and/or opportunity to get ahead based on their gender.
  • One in three women report that they have witnessed biased behavior toward women in the workplace; only one in 11 men report this observation.
  • Seven in 10 women report personally experiencing microaggressions, i.e., “everyday discrimination,” in the workplace.
  • Only three in 10 women believe their company quickly addresses reports of disrespectful behavior toward women; five in 10 men believe their company does.

Finally, if you are a woman of color, a woman with a disability, a lesbian or a bisexual women, you unfortunately face even greater gender inequality in the workplace.

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