Nonfiction in response to Gender Equality
By Karen Wu
Graphic Credit: Christina Zhao
Did you know that only 6.4% of the Fortune 500 companies in 2017 had female CEOs? Did you also know most women make only 79% of what their male colleagues do? This is what a report by the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee found. According to their report, this can lead to a disparity of almost half a million US dollars in an entire career.
Evidently, women are lagging behind men in the workforce. Is it because women less capable than men? The answer is no. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, women made up over half of the college graduates in 2013. Evidently, women are just as capable as men education-wise. Out of 908 managers surveyed by the CEB in 2014, 98% reported no significant difference between the leadership skills of men and women. Janet Hyde, a developmental psychologist, found there were few differences between the cognitive abilities of men and women. Women are obviously just as capable as men, but they are not being treated equally. For example, the report mentioned earlier by the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee found that women are commonly paid less than men with less education.
This unfairness in the workplace is costing society. Women are a vital addition to the workforce. Female participation in the workforce has already added $2.0 trillion to the US economy since 1970 (The Council of Economic Advisers). The US can add about another $4.3 in annual GDP to the economy by 2025 if the workforce was to become even (The McKinsey Global Institute). A study by Georgetown University found the US would be short 5 million workers with post-secondary education and training by 2020. More women in the workforce would help fill up this shortage. In an interview for The Plainsman, the student newspaper at his alma mater, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "Women are such an important part of the workforce. If STEM-related fields continue to have this low representation of women, then there just will not be enough innovation in the United States. That's just the simple fact of it."
Evidently, change is necessary, if not for the moral good then for the economic good. Gender does not make someone any less of a person. If women in the workforce are given fair and equal treatment, society will benefit greatly.