Women Studies Paper on New Data on the Rise of Women

Video One: New Data on the Rise of Women

The old power dynamics between men and women are shifting quite rapidly. Women are beginning to take control of the sectors that they were reluctant to explore, not interested in or were not allowed to discover. For instance, the education system is recording a higher number of female graduates unlike before. The proportion of men to women who are currently earning a college degree is in the ratio of 2:3. In the year 2010, women became the majority of the workforce and hence dominated most professions. Out of the total number of managers, 50% are women and in 15 professions that are projected to grow the most in the next decade, thirteen are dominated by women.  The global economy is fast evolving as women are financially becoming more successful than men. Unlike the ancient times, whereby couples would prioritize giving birth to male firstborns, today most couples hope for female ones. In American fertility clinics, 70% of the couples are requesting girls instead of boys. The phenomenon has also been observed in South Korea, India, and China whose citizens were deeply ingrained with the mentality of having only male children. In fact, South Korea has witnessed a significant change as more and more women are now attending college while some are fast climbing the career ladder. In the years, from 1920s to 1960s, the feminist movement was actively involved in developing a culture of gender equality by projecting their desires. However, today’s equality is dictated by the current facts portrayed by the economy. Additionally, the weight of a recession has fallen heavily on the men. Since the beginning of the year 2008, approximately three-quarter of the 8 million men lost their jobs. This occurrence reflected a deeper underlying shift around the global economy. Furthermore, there are more financially stable young single women as opposed to young men. More women are there in high skilled job positions in comparison to men, who occupy the medium skilled ones. The economy has changed from being a manufacturing economy to a service, information, and creative economy, and this requires completely different skills which are possessed by a vast majority of women. Furthermore, they are better placed to gain high job positions as they are intelligent, focused and well-equipped with good communication skills. Moreover, unlike before, where an ideal leader possessed an authoritative and bossy character, today’s leaders are required to foster creativity and build teams having the same vision. The current generation is composed of women who enter the job market in top-level job positions. Concurrently, these women create job sets in which both men and women are employed to perform jobs that were once done free at home by the wives. Such jobs include providing child and elderly care and those that involve food preparation. The changes in the job types and in the economy are bringing about a change in our culture. More and more women are becoming the bread earners of the family. It is important for everyone to realize and acknowledge this fact. Women have always had the experience, intelligence and skill required to be on top. All she needs is the confidence to decide what she wants and then break the barriers to achieve it.



Video Two: Can We Have It All?

History verifies that women have always been conditioned to live as the society dictates. Even though the feminist narrative demands for equality between men and women, the quest is yet to be fully realized. According to social norms, men who hold top positions in different spheres of life are more respected and adored compared to the women who hold similar positions. Undoubtedly, people ought to change how they perceive men and women in order to reshape the old narrative of equality. For this to happen, individuals must adopt new cultures and workplace policies. Real equality needs to allow people to value family as much as they value work because both institutions reinforce each other and thus should be granted equal attention.  In essence, employees who cater for their families effectively are more productive in the workplace than those who do not or are not able to. A vast majority of employees who spend time with their family tend to be more focused, result-oriented, efficient, and productive. Additionally, breadwinners and workers have different experiences in equal context. For instance, a lawyer who would spend part of his time attending school meetings would be more likely to meet new clients for his firm during the meetings than one who sits in his office whole day. Also, caregivers are bound to develop stellar traits such as patience, creativity, empathy, resilience, and adaptability. These traits are equally needed in employees of any organization. There are some very successful corporations which provide a flexible and effective work environment for their employees. As a result, most of the employees are loyal, less stressed, more satisfied, more dedicated to their work and have high levels of mental health. Indeed, employers’ flexible practice lower operating costs and increase adaptability in a global service economy. However, people’s choice on work over family is a worldwide problem. Policy-wise, real equality demands people to recognize that the work done by women is as important as that done by men because both bread-winning and caregiving are equally necessary for human survival. Therefore, it is important for the society to break the old narrative whereby men are believed to be the sole breadwinners whereas women are limited to the role of caregivers. Furthermore, in this digital era, both men and women ought to be granted the freedom to decide if they want to play the role of caregivers, breadwinners or play both roles. The American society has begun to evolve since a significant number of college men are opting to be stay-at-home fathers. In essence, the revolution of human equality requires people to value family as much as they value work.

Video Three: Why are we still talking about Women in 2013?

Human characteristics are equally distributed between men and women. However, there still exists an unequal distribution of men and women in positions of power and workplaces. Even though women began to experience gender equality in the 1920’s, significant change began taking place around the 1960’s. A vast majority of women went to colleges with the hope of embracing change within the society. This hope was lit when ladies began taking different roles in workplaces and leadership positions. Even though the pay gap is 82 cents per dollar, there still exists the problem of gender inequality. Women are receiving less pay in comparison to men who hold similar positions. Additionally, they are less represented in senior positions of power than their male counterparts. The problem with women is that they are both less ambitious, less confident and they don’t negotiate. Additionally, many of them tend to believe in stereotypic opinions expressed in a toxic air by media and the general society. Women live in a convoluted world where they are expected to be demanding yet family oriented, directing yet submissive. The brain of a man and a woman is very different in that women tend to care about the opinions of other people. Undoubtedly, females ought to not care about the negative opinions that they face to fight gender discrimination. Also, they have to be good salary negotiators to reduce the discriminative wage gap.

Males need to work on their listening skills with the objective of stopping the habit of only listening to the issues associated with a given subject. Men are also required to be less competitive and to reduce the “fix it” behavior. Women also need to break the perception of them not liking other women and instead embrace the habit of supporting each other. In essence, the world is yet to achieve gender equality and every person, media, and the general society needs to address gender inequality issues. Additionally, females need to decide to embrace leadership and fight for equality. The society also needs to break the binders on women to provide an equal playground for both genders to utilize their potential.

Video Four: A Talk with Sheryl; COO Facebook 

The majority of work cultures dictate that a woman in a male-dominated organization is required to be less vocal than a man. If a woman talks more than she is expected to, most male employees perceive her communication as that which warrants special treatment. Even though equality has been sought for decades, inequality reigns platforms such as workplaces, homes, and schools. Women seem to lose their jobs when they become too vocal in the workplace. It is with this profound reason that Sheryl opted not to be afraid to inform women about the aspects that hinder women from acquiring positions of leadership.

For starters, ladies are backing down from holding leadership positions due of certain stereotypes. Even though different countries have different cultures, countries are united by the same gender culture, which requires men to be assertive, strong, aggressive, and vocal. Conversely, society expects women to speak only when spoken to and offer help to others. Most women in workplaces are deemed to be bossy or aggressive when they make their opinions known. However, it is considered normal for men to be authoritative and aggressive. Women are more often than not judged through a different lens as the society assumes that it is only men who can do anything. In essence, it is essential for women to be confident to hold leadership positions so as solve the problem of gender inequality.

Video Five: Take the Lead

Some ladies are not taking leadership roles due to various reasons that continue to hold them back.  Such reasons include institution biases, sexism, discrimination, and bad public policies. Aside from these, the majority of women are suffering from low self-esteem, while many are not ambitious. These reasons were displayed when Sheryl asked her audience to stand up if they have ever been able to tell another person that they will be CEO’s, directors, and managers in the future. However, only a few were able to courageously say that statement, as most found it distasteful and unnecessary. Additionally, most women were wired to speak less and to be less aggressive and more submissive than their male counterparts. Men who held leadership positions were viewed as being more powerful and successful whereas the women in similar positions were regarded as being less influential and less successful. When men succeed, people attribute that success to his skills. However, when a woman succeeds, everyone, including the woman herself, attributes it to hard work, help from others and luck. According to the video, even though 40% of the women are the primary breadwinners in most families, 30% of them do more household chores than men with 40% of the women carrying out more childcare than their husbands. More than 70% of the women are currently employed and working with the key intent of providing for their families. Thus, even though women are not paid as much as men, an increase in the women’s salary wage would result in a faster economic growth, increase productivity, and happier families. Therefore, Sheryl took it upon herself to help other women by creating a project (LeanIn.org) through which women could form circles and meet up once in a month with the objective of helping each other to overcome the society’s unfair treatment. Thus, women are advised to believe in themselves and their potential to take the lead in the society.

Video Six: Advice from Powerful Women

Successful women gave out fundamental advice to other women to empower women, to take leadership positions in a society where gender equality has not been embraced. For starters, women need to stop trying to be perfect. Instead, they should try to be complete. They should acquire the traits of resilience and hard work to cater for their families fully. They need to be true to themselves and listen to the opinions of people who matter to them. Also, they are advised to have a vision and spread their vision to their employees who will embrace the same with a passion for achieving it. Furthermore, women in senior positions ought to remember that they are good as the people working for them. They therefore need to employ right people, at the right job position, at the right time with the right values and behaviors. Ladies also ought to learn how to balance everything while knowing that it is perfectly okay to say “no” sometimes. In order to build high self-esteem, women are advised to stop judging themselves. Women ought to be brave and make their opinions heard and acted upon to break the barrier of inequality. According to Sheryl, the network of friends is a very important determinant of a woman’s success. However, a network of friends and mentors needs to occur naturally and in an honest manner. Even though women are able to handle an array of responsibilities, they are advised to learn on how best to balance everything. In order to achieve success, it is important for women to adapt the habit of being honest and true to themselves. Women are advised to know on how to create a balance between work and their families. Women need to stop viewing themselves as superwomen; instead, they ought to give themselves a break. Most women are able to achieve excellence while at work if they put their entire focus on providing the best outcome.  Therefore, women who put effort at work are eventually able to provide good care and support to their families. Additionally, most women who have been able to attain senior job positions have done so after gaining support from their husbands, mothers and where the domestic support is relatively cheap. If women are able to conquer their internal limitations, they can achieve anything. Also, women need to be curious as curiosity results to the formulation of new ideas, invention of new products and creation of new industries. In order to be successful, women need to tackle their own internal limitations so as to embrace the inner drive of wanting to achieve more. This can become a reality if women face their fears and pursue their goals and dreams wholeheartedly without any fear whatsoever. They should never let fear hold them back from doing something they really want to.