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Women in Business: Global Issues

Updated on November 12, 2017

In the business world, there are many obstacles faced on a daily basis, but for women these obstacles are even more difficult. Women all over the world face tough criticism about being in the business profession and have to work much harder than men to grow and be taken seriously.

Even though the number of women I business increased globally during recent years, there are still problems that occur today. The first and foremost women in business are challenged with gender discrimination and stereotyping that men do not. Gender discrimination in business is when women are noticeably paid less than men for performing the same job. The main reason for this issue is because of the glass ceiling effect. The glass ceiling effect is where women are not offered senior positions mostly because critics believe that women have other responsibilities they prioritize other than work. This leads to the stereotype that a woman’s first and most important job is to be a mother and wife. Because of this old fashion belief, women around the world are taken out of the running to be promoted in business. Critics make this issue reasonable to others because they say historically women need more time off and are less available and flexible than men. There are also studies that show businesses will not hire women at all if they are at childbearing age because they do not want to be hassled with maternity leaves. These false and stereotypical beliefs lead to male driven business markets while the women are stuck at the bottom.

The fight for women equality started way before today, but there is certainly room for improvement. Research done by Forbes says that women only receive 80-90% of the salary men make for doing the same, equal jobs. The global issues of gender discrimination and stereotyping are the main reasons for this pay-gap, but there are studies that show some sociological factors. Women tend to be less self-promoting and less self-interested than men, which may be reasons why women miss out on promotions and other business opportunities. A reason why women do not self- promote themselves is probably based on the image of women that is taught to young girls. Today, social media part of daily life, so women are taught at a young age what they “should” look and act like. If women do not feel comfortable with themselves due to these “norms” of a woman’s appearance, then they do not have the confidence to stand up and state what they want or need from a given person. This is a social problem that is not just affecting women in business but also in all other aspects of life. A woman’s appearance should not dictate a job they receive, but what knowledge and skills they offer to a given company.

Globally, women are all at a lost for gender equality. For example, Japan is the third largest economy, but only eight percent of women make up the senior management positions. Even with the ninety-nine percent literacy rate and Japan’s competitive education system, Japan is still the farthest behind from any other country in gender equality. Indian women make up fifteen percent of senior managements but it is not predicted to increase due to the lack of literacy. Indian young girls are not given the same educational opportunities as young boys. Only about sixty percent of young girls are literate rather than eighty percent of literate boys in India. So, in the future more Indian males will make up the India business market rather than Indian females due to this early gender inequality in education. This issue of illiteracy is similar to all third- world countries which is the global base issue for inequality in the business world.

Critics only view women as mothers and wives, but they are much more than that. Women naturally possess certain characteristics that would help a business thrive. They are natural born negotiators and multitaskers. Women should be able to put these skills to use in whichever way they choose. If women want to be stay at home mothers and wives, so be it, but they should be able to have the same opportunities as men and should not be limited because of their sex.

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