The disparity between men and women in the workforce still remains, albeit not as stark as previous centuries thanks to the emergence of more feminists and modern thinkers. Paula Brand previously noted that the salary margin between men and women is noticeable, but there are now more actionable ways to close this gap. The rise of women empowerment greatly contributes to this cause.
A slow, but sure change
It wasn’t until the industrial revolution that women gradually entered the workforce, though greatly underpaid and only had access to very limited job categories. Be Businessed recounts that a lot of political parties regarded women as weak and only had a place for the home, which is why the list for available positions was short. Women mainly held nursing, teaching, or secretarial roles. This didn’t change until the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended the segregation and discrimination in the workforce based on race, color, and sex.
Women in leadership roles
Although some people still question a woman’s capabilities in high management roles in big companies, there has been a growth in terms of women taking leadership roles. Statista reveals that 3% of women worldwide are CEOs as of March 2018. Though it’s not much and there’s still overestimation in most countries, it’s still a step in the right direction, especially considering that female CEOs were virtually non-existent decades ago. In the US in fact, only 0.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs in 2000 were women, but by 2014, that proportion grew to 4.8%.
What’s important for women is to empower themselves by staying true and continuously looking for ways to use their skills to the very best of their abilities. Menlo Coaching explains that being genuine allows you to influence others, because you are essentially setting a trend and not simply joining one. Smarts, empathy, and creative thinking are some of the strengths that women possess naturally. Using these to your advantage helps you become an effective leader in work, as well as in life.
Of course, self-motivation is best combined with external sources that increase the impact of female empowerment. Countless ads and brands show how powerful women can be, including #LikeAGirl campaign from Always and the Imagine the Possibilities campaign of Barbie. The media has done a good job in breaking barriers and creating a conversation among young women in unlocking their potential with what they can be when they grow up.
The present and future of women in the workforce
The aforementioned notion has helped shape the thinking of millennial women in the workforce today. Brands now target their ads to females as entrepreneurs, with the rise of #GirlBoss ideals and women being in control. Forbes detailed a recent study involving 400 million millennial women, and 83% expressed keen interest in starting their own company. This data is a great jump from even just five years ago, and destroys the stay-at-home female figure many generations have painted.
While it’s not quite there yet, females have come a long way in terms of proving how perfectly capable they are in all business fields. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal of women empowerment is not world domination by females, but rather, a world where equal pay, benefits, and opportunities are offered to both men and women.
This article was written by SheBoss_RJ as a guest blog post for PaulaBrand.Com