A Spanish PR firm rejected a woman for an accounting job, citing that the job profile is more suitable for a man. They said they, “needed a man who could handle the pace of working with big companies”. This particular PR agency isn’t the first or the last of the organisations in the world, who think that a certain job profile is suitable only for men.
The discrimination is not just based on physical strength
The rejection on the basis of gender has a little to do with physical strength. Weirdly, there is this notion that women are not capable of handling the pressure which comes with jobs from finance and accounting sector. Then, of course, is the much-publicised myth that women are bad with numbers.
According to the data provided by the Women’s Bureau of US Department of Labour, women hold nearly 60 percent of accounts and audit jobs in the US. Also, 57 percent of Market research analysts and marketing specialists are women.
Women also form 26 percent of the workforce in computer and mathematical occupations. This number is far from satisfactory, but it does prove that women can handle these jobs. Outside of career which requires professional education, women also form a substantial amount of the workforce in jobs like First-line supervisors of production and operating workers or Metal workers and plastic workers. (Respectively, 18.6 percent and 20.4 percent of the workforce in these industries are women.)
This shows that women are as capable as men when it comes to both unskilled and skilled jobs. Women are also better at multitasking and management, which makes them valuable assets for any employer.
The only thing suitable for men, is the attitude employers have
Despite showing potential and skill, women struggle with issues like gender pay gap and gender bias at the workplace. The chief reason here is the attitude of their co-workers and employers. Women are paid less than men and have to also face issues like workplace harassment and work-life balance. This leads to stress and health issues among working women.
This is the primary reason; many employers still assume that women are incapable of handling workplace pressure. But it’s not women who are incapable. It is the hierarchy and gender disparity which is at fault.
If the workplaces take active measures to counter workplace harassment and pay women as much they pay to men, women will not have to worry about issues which hinder them from their work.
A change in the attitude of their male colleagues will also help women feel more included.
The PR firm which denied employment to the women because of its machista attitude, paid the price, as Coca-Cola has now refused to work with the agency any more. With increasing awareness among big brands and corporations to the cause of gender equality, it will work in favour of employers to change their attitude. Because women are not going anywhere. They will keep tapping on the glass ceiling until it caves in.
(Pic by the way women work)
Also Read : Redesign Your Job Ads to Reduce Gender Bias
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own