Sexism Still Exists

Unfortunately, sexism still exists – and there are some examples of casual sexism you should make yourself aware of. We women have made some huge leaps in the last few decades – we’re on a ‘somewhat’ more equal footing to men although there’s a huge way to go yet. Some of us have been embarking on high-powered, high-flying careers, others find it harder to crack the ‘male dominated’ careers.  In sales and marketing in Australia I can tell you now, that there are some Sales Representative / Account Manager roles, that as a woman you’ll just never get. (I hesitate to ‘name company names’ lol) A few for example though… DO love to give their flashy company cars to men, with the striking green V.. or the world renowned ‘red n white’ swirl!! They’ll never let a female ‘at it’ ha!

Do most people recognize sexism in their daily lives? And what does it take to get them to shake their sexist beliefs?

In a study titled “Seeing the Unseen” psychologists Janet Swim of Pennsylvania State University and Julia Becker of Philipps University Marburg, Germany, set out to answer these questions.

Over the course of three separate, seven-day-long trials, Swim and Becker asked 120 college undergraduates (82 women and 38 men, ranging from 18 to 26 years old, some from the U.S., some from Germany) to record in a journal sexist comments they encountered on a daily basis. According to Swim, she and Becker hoped to determine whether forcing people to pay attention to less obvious forms of sexism could decrease their endorsement of sexist beliefs.

During the trials, subjects were instructed to note instances of sexist behavior toward women, ranging from unwanted sexual attention to blatantly sexist jokes and derogatory comments.

They were also asked to record subtler actions that many would consider harmless: men calling women “girls, ” complimenting them on stereotypically feminine behavior and sheltering them from more “masculine” tasks. Swim and Becker described this less obvious sexism to participants as “benevolent sexism,” a term coined by psychologists Peter Glick and Susan Fiske in a 1996 study to refer to “a paternalistic attitude towards women that idealizes them affectionately,” Glick told The Huffington Post.

On average, subjects recorded two derogatory terms, two sexist comments, 1.5 expressions of negative beliefs about women and 1.5 expressions of seemingly positive but in fact sexist thoughts about women each week. Swim recalled that one female participant reported a complete stranger had walked up to her in a laundromat and asked if she would fold his laundry because she’d be better at it.

This kind of sexism is “ambiguous,” Swim said, and “people don’t know if they’re kidding, so we discount them one after another.”

“If you document it and are confronted by a group of instances of sexism, then people start to see the unseen,” she added.

The prevalence of sexism — benevolent or hostile — was not the study’s primary focus, nor its major reveal. The more significant finding had to do with how men and women’s beliefs about sexism changed after they became aware of its prevalence. In addition to asking participants to record instances of sexism, researchers also evaluated the degree to which subjects tolerated sexist behavior.

Researchers found that after recording the sexist incidents they observed, women were more likely to deem the behavior less acceptable. Men, on the other hand, continued to endorse sexist behavior even after becoming more conscious of it.

But when asked to empathize with the female targets of specific sexist incidents, male participants were less likely to sanction blatant sexism.  Continue Reading at Huffington Post

Examples of Common Sexism You Should Know

Did You Know?

Four in ten businesses worldwide have no women in senior management. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the way many countries feel about women in the workplace. Here in the United States, however, women still feel the stress of trying to break into upper management, with 93% of the 439 senior women executives surveyed by Korn/Ferry International in 1992 feeling that a glass ceiling for women still existed. Yet new studies report that women outnumber men as managers in fields like human resources, health administration and education–perhaps stemming from reports that many businesses have seen a direct financial impact from hiring women. It hasn’t changed much, if you ask me even now in 2015.

Women earned less than men in 99% of all occupations. In virtually every field that women choose to enter, they can expect to earn less over their lifetime than their male counterparts. This means that over 47 years of full-time work, this gap amounts to an estimated loss in wages for women of $700,000 for high school graduates, $1.2 million for college grads, and $2 million for professional school grads–a staggering amount.  from the College Times

From the ABC ~ Sad, sad news indeed!

Earlier this week the Federal Government announced changes to gender reporting guidelines for businesses.

For businesses with 100 employees or more there will still be required gender and pay reporting, but the Government is planning to scrap more stringent workplace gender equality reporting introduced under the former Labor government, which would have included recording the gender of people applying for jobs and chief executive salaries.

The Government said it was a decision made in consultation with business and that some reporting requirements were too onerous and might not necessarily contribute to gender equality.

But Ms Kearney said employers must be required to keep the data in order to erode the pay disparity.

“To look at a culture in an organisation to tackle something like this, we need data and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency recommended some data collection processes that would help, but we have just seen this Government decide to water down those requirements,” she said.

“Watering down data collection requirements is going to be, I think, a major step backwards in closing the gender pay gap.

“We’ll lose a good opportunity to change the culture in corporations around this issue.”


The Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap has hit a record high of 18.8 per cent according to Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures, prompting calls for the Federal Government to reverse the upward trend.

Men now earn almost $300 more per week than women based on the average weekly earnings for full-time workers.

The latest figures represent the biggest gender pay gap since the ABS began collecting the data in 1994.

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) president Ged Kearney said while the data reflected pay across the board, women could be paid less in the same jobs as men.

Women also made up the majority of workers in some industries where earnings were low.

The latest figures compared the average weekly full-time earnings of men – $1,587.50 – and found women were about $298 worse off.

Via ABC Feb, 2015

The more education a woman has, the greater the disparity in her wages. This certainly doesn’t mean women should shy away from professional positions, but they should be aware that they may have to battle harder for equal pay. Women in professional specialty occupations were found to earn just 72.7% of what men in the same position earned, and women in upper-level executive, administrative and managerial occupations earned even less at 72.3%. Read more at College Times

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Australian Public Service Commission and Promoting Workforce Diversity

See more on this subject at my Important Links Page

Forty-six percent of women believe they’ve experienced sex discrimination in the workplace, according to a survey from 2013.

Via Catalyst >>