Furthering the role of women in the workplace

We — as a human race — may never be 100 percent equal. A small percentage of small-minded people will still hold predisposed prejudices, but that should never be a reason for individuals to feel like they can’t be or do anything that they set their minds to. When you want something enough you will move mountains.

In 2012, 57.7 percent of women participate in the workforce while 70 percent of men do the same. From 43.9 percent of working women in 1972, it would seem that we have come along way in closing the gender gap has come a long way. The significant increase of women in the workforce over the past twenty years demonstrates that we have come a long way in closing the gender gap. Yet, we still hear about inequality being an issue.

There will be closed-minded people. There will be racists. There will be chauvinists. Their existence cannot be a reason to reverse or stagnate progress. Say a woman is up against a man to become a manager at a chain retail store and the man gets the job. If the woman feels she has enough evidence to argue that she was more qualified to get the job, she should argue for it. The same could be said if the roles were reversed. The point is, the more qualified person should get the job and if favoritism of any kind is used in the decision making process, then make some noise about it because workers have the right to make noise at injustice.

According to catalyst.org, only 4.8 percent of CEOs listed for S&P-500 companies are women. What is stopping that 4.8 from becoming 50 percent? For some women, the problem often lies in their playing the victim. It’s easier to blame circumstances on outside sources when usually we are the only ones holding ourselves back. Today, women have all of the opportunities to learn and get ahead that men do and it’s time to really use that as an advantage.

People like Gloria Steinem started the feminist revolution and it’s our job, men and women alike, to make sure history doesn’t repeat it. Things like the #askhermore campaign, which urges journalists to ask females more substantial questions than just about their fashion choices to a red carpet event, show just how far this movement has come. Taylor Swift and Beyonce, both known for being independent women, are dominating the music charts. Women outside of the spotlight make differences in their communities everyday as well. Gender alone should no long bare opportunity.

Finances might be an issue for some, but if that means staying in college for six or seven years while working full-time to pay for school. If anything, that probably makes earning a degree even more meaningful. Lucky are those who can rely on their parents to get them through college, but wiser are those who work their way through.

Get an education, work hard and don’t let anyone dictate who you can and cannot be.