Several years ago, a very famous magazine cover asked readers whether or not feminism is dead. Given the complexities of feminism as a concept as well as feminism as a movement, the magazine cover ultimately served as little more than provocative advertising. Thankfully, questions surrounding the state of feminism have been posed far more successfully and meaningfully throughout American culture since that cover hit newsstands.
For example, the Pew Research Center released a report last month that directly ties into broad inquires about the perceptions women have about their positions in American culture and which gender-based inequalities remain ripe for reform. The Pew report focuses on the perceptions of working women aged 18 to 32 with regards to sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination in the workplace. The study's conclusions are illuminating.
According to the report, six out of every 10 female workers within the targeted age group believe that income inequality continues to plague American women, who generally make less than men for completing the same work. In addition, more than half of women surveyed believe that it continues to be harder for women to be promoted to the top levels of business and government. However, nearly 80 percent of respondents believe that their chances of advancement at their own workplaces are just as favorable as their male co-workers' chances.
There seems to be a strong perception among young, female workers that gender discrimination remains live and well in the workplace. This is unfortunately a reality, at least in many workplaces. However, many women do not believe that this reality has pervaded their own workplaces. Hopefully, our female readers have never experienced gender discrimination in the workplace and never will. But if any of you do, please understand that you are not alone and that laws remain in place to protect your rights.
Source: CNBC, "Young women say sexism happens, but not to them," Allison Linn, Dec. 11, 2013