During the presentation yesterday, we had a short class discussion about whether or not we felt that there was still a "glass ceiling" in our society. Basically, the glass ceiling refers to a situation in which a qualified individual is essentially stopped from advancing further in their career due to some form of discrimination. In the context we were focusing on, we were discussing sexism. We were asked if we thought there was still this invisible barrier for women in the work place.
I have discussed this concept very briefly in other courses and it's interesting because I have always sort of felt that it was an outdated term. However, after reading some blogs and listening to class discussions, it seems as though that may not be the case. A classmate made the comment that men were getting paid significantly more money for doing the same job as some women. This doesn't make any sense and I was a little skeptical about this statement. I just can't see how employers would get away with that. I would agree that it is often easier for men to advance in certain careers but if a man and a woman are at the same level, they should be getting paid the same. I would say that presently, this is not as prominent as it once was although it seems that discrimination of some form in the workplace will always exists.
It still seems that there are certain jobs that are considered to be a man's job or a woman's job. I remember my first days of university at the U of A. We were placed in groups based on our faculty for orientation. I remember everyone recognizing who the engineers were because 98% of them were male. We could also easily recognize where the nursing faculty was as their group was 98% female. This is changing slightly but looking around the classroom, there are way more women than men in all of my education classes. That field is still dominated by women. However, it was brought up that although there are a lot of female teachers, most administrators were men. This is definitely not the case anymore. Both of the schools that I did my practicums in had female principals. I definitely think that is changing a bit and women are able to advance a lot more.
But is it going too far? Sometimes I feel as though certain sexes are more suited for a job BUT on the other hand, I also think that sex should NOT be looked at when being considered for a job. Employers should be looking for skills, experience, qualifications, etc. In some cases, a position is given to a woman just because she is a woman. I have a relative who is a firefighter. He says that their company is required to have a certain number of women, and also that he feels as though some of those woman would not be able to pull him out of a burning building should the situation arise. That is a little bit scary. Don't get me wrong, I am not discouraging women from becoming firefighters. I just feel as though everyone should be looked at based on their qualifications not on gender... Or race for that matter. Many companies are required to hire so many minorities and schools also need to admit so many. How is that fair? Why can't people just be looked at based on their qualifications? It seems as though everyone is trying not to discriminate but doesn't know exactly how to approach it fairly.
Things have definitely changed with respect to women and minority groups in the workplace. However, there are always still problems with the system. As you can see, I feel as though it can go both ways or be pushed too far. I like to think that we are moving in the right direction but I also know that my knowledge is limited on the subject as I have not experienced much of this first hand. Any thoughts??