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Author Topic: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?  (Read 966 times)

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Offline RemielTopic starter

Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« on: September 01, 2010, 12:31:14 PM »
From a Time magazine article:

Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women On Top

According to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the U.S., the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more.
The figures come from James Chung of Reach Advisors, who has spent more than a year analyzing data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. He attributes the earnings reversal overwhelmingly to one factor: education. For every two guys who graduate from college or get a higher degree, three women do.
The rise of female economic power is by no means limited to the U.S., nor necessarily to the young. Late last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that for the first time, women made up the majority of the workforce in highly paid managerial positions. The change in the status quo has been marked enough that several erstwhile women's advocates have started to voice concerns about how to get more men to go to college. Is there an equivalent to Title IX for men?

Is anybody surprised by this?  We've known for quite some time that women tend to enroll in greater numbers for colleges and universities than men do.  It was only a matter of time before salaries in the workplace started to reflect that.

Offline Lypiphera

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 12:50:51 PM »
What I can't understand is why people are still so concerned about the sexes earning more than one another.

In my opinion what should be important is equality and freedom. If a man is earning more than a women in the same job don't give her a raise, give him a salary cut. (Can you imagine the outcry that would cause!) Essentially its doing exactly the same as a pay rise would its just not as socially acceptable :P

With the case of this article - its great to hear that women aren't feeling like they have to be the homemakers so much anymore and that they are gaining equality but all this is still focusing on the differences between men and women. They are still focusing on the binary boxes of 'male' and 'female' when actually our gender is far from binary imo.

By saying that women are gaining all this prestige it only highlights that there was a difference in the first place. If we stopped seeing ourselves as these two separate beings and instead just saw each other as humans with a multitude of different ways of being (I mean really, describe to me one single trait that makes a female a woman that cannot be attributed to a man) I think we'd have much more interesting lives!

Offline Shoshana

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 01:08:44 PM »
I'd like to know more about the reasons for the change. Why are fewer men graduating college? Are we pushing our young men too hard into sports and such, while ignoring their academic records? Are more men going into decent jobs that don't require a college degree--specifically jobs that may still attract fewer women? (Liscened plumbers make very good money.) Are more men becoming homemakers?

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2010, 02:01:39 PM »
A lot of the reason for men not attending universities and not scoring as high on many exams has a lot to do with gender norms.  Women are pushed to excel academically in order to find better jobs and compete in the job market.  The feminist movement made the act of excelling in school a sort of “proof” of equality for many women and that competitive spirit persists.  Men were not quite given that competition with women or need to prove themselves academically, so they are still operating under principles of the 1950s.  While they are certainly expected to be more “logical,” their emphasis is placed more on useful skills and tasks along with physical dominance.  So where a woman will find more acceptance in scoring high on her math test, a man will find more social reward in fixing a car engine. 

There is also the often overlooked norm that men are supposed to work.  As much as we would like to say otherwise, women do expect men to work.  Having a job is very central to a man’s importance and status in society.  So men are more likely to work while in college, which limits the amount of hours they can take and are more prone to take more job focused courses.  Notice the article points that men still dominate in technical fields.  A man finds acceptance and validation in being able to market a skill over possessing what can be seen as “useless” knowledge.  The idea of having a job and providing is once more at the center of their identity.  Women do not have that central focus of attracting the opposite sex with their ability to provide.  An example I would give is of a woman in one of my courses spoke about how her husband worked while she went to school and “discovered” what she wanted to do.  While women might support a man going to school, the man is going to school for a very specific reason.

The answer to the title of the thread is no though because the article firmly establishes that the glass ceiling is still in place.  While young women are earning more at these positions, these positions are entry level for ambitious young people.  Top executive spots which would go to people that have worked in the company for sometime are given more to men as the article highlights.  Women who are married and/or have children are still not able to compete with their male counterparts in terms of pay.  So while women are winning the sprint, I’m fairly confident men are still winning the marathon.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2010, 02:03:53 PM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 03:06:30 PM »
I am exceptionally skeptical of this report because of the economic climate we're in. The economic sectors hit hardest by the recession are finance, real estate, construction, and automobiles - all of them heavily male-dominated industries. Women are earning more than men now because disproportionate numbers of men have been laid off in the last two years; that's why women make up the majority of the workforce now!

Further, women's earning 10% more in the single decade of employment before marriage does very little to offset the next four decades' financial penalty for childbearing, particularly since, last I checked, only 3% of men in the U.S. stayed home to take care of the kids.

Offline Jude

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 10:06:30 PM »
I doubt these results too.  They're only talking about young women and not generalizing to the whole of the American Experience where there is a very real income gap.  This might be an indication that we're moving in the right direction though.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Is the Glass Ceiling finally broken?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 02:55:51 AM »
Not entirely sure how that fits into this discussion.