We Need to Fight Unfair Conditions for Women in Tech
There has been a lot of talk about “the glass ceiling” ever since it was coined in 1978 by Marilyn Loden. As we’ve all come to know through pop culture, metaphor refers to the invisible barrier that prevents women (and minorities) from being promoted to leadership positions within organizations. It is also used to describe the difficulties faced during their climb. Opinions on the source of the barriers themselves vary. Some claim it’s society at large, while others feel it is more of an individual barrier. In many cases, it is clearly an organizational barrier tied to corporate culture, which gets even more complicated when globalization is thrown into the mix.›
One of the most common grievances across all industries includes the gender pay gap. In the U.S., the national pay gap in 2021 stands at 18 percent on average for women, and that is after steady improvement since 1979. The smallest pay gap for women is in retail and fast food, which is just two percent. The gap becomes significantly larger for women in legal occupations (45 percent) and real estate and sales (69 percent). Many other alarming issues are faced by women across all industries, such as the lack of access to career-making roles, non-inclusive workplaces, and sexual harassment. The existence of such disparities, especially for skilled workers, continues to set back the feminist movement.
While the tech space may appear trendy and futuristic for what it is, the women that work behind the scenes still face their own unique challenges. Even the most recognized names aren’t exempt from injustices. For example, there was an intense backlash against Marissa Mayer when she was appointed to be the CEO of Yahoo in 2012 while pregnant. The backlash continued when she returned to work two weeks after giving birth to her first child. There was even more backlash when she got pregnant the second time around and returned to work. By comparison, Mark Zuckerberg decided to go on paid paternity leave for two months following the birth of his daughter, and his decision was applauded by the public and media outlets.
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