I was just on Obama’s campaign site and watched this video. It’s about Lily Ledbetter’s taking a stand when she found out that for 17 years she was paid less than men who did not have her qualifications, and who did the same job…
What that says to me is that women are mistakenly seen as inherently less qualified. How can anyone turn such a blind eye to skills and qualifications, to experience and wisdom? Prejudice seems to be the reason. What is the solution?
Personally, if I am in a managerial position, I will hire more women. I’ll look at the qualifications each candidate has and assess accordingly. Confidence during interview is not a fair way to assess… given the history of inequality which does not sway in women’s favor.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve heard from friends (and experienced first-hand) that some women already employed by an organization tend to behave in a cruel and undermining way toward new female employees. It seems all too obvious that fear drives this behavior. Older employees are fearful of losing their jobs to someone younger, so they try assert their dominance and control. There is nothing to be gained from this. It’s not the way to keep a job, and I think young women will start standing up to this sort of pressure.
However, we’re still at a disadvantage; having less experience and less credibility due to being newly employed makes young women vulnerable to age discrimination, from old to young. Please look at your own behavior; rise above this fear and support young women, understanding or remembering how difficult it is to make a start in a new job even without pressure and ‘backstabbing’ to contend with.
Feel free to post your own solutions here. How can the job market and playing field for women be evened-out? What can You do?
I’m feeling good about speaking up.