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According to women make up 46% of the total U.S. labor force and last we checked we are still the only one of the two sexes that can grow an infant from a microscopic embryo into a 7-10 lb baby.  We can deliver it and feed it with career intact while our male counterparts are still wondering why we're taking over the world.  Duh!

Our own biology prepares us to multi-task with great efficiency, answer the demands when the questions aren't timely and the demands aren't reasonable, deliver on deadlines, arrange carpool and have dinner ready by six. 

Beyond this we have been the part of the workforce who had to outthink the professional society to discontinue the role as the dutiful housewife when the "dutiful housewife" was all that was expected of us.  We broke into the workforce and were treated as though it was a privilege to be there and we granted it the respect as such by working harder, longer and smarter.

Working for less is getting old

According to multiple sources such as and the current statistics based on the uncontrolled gender gap which takes into consideration median annual earnings of all workers, women earn approximately 79 to 81 cents on the dollar compared to men.  Sadly, the gap has changed very little since the U.S. Census figure in 2003 which was 77.5 cents on the dollar. 

Women put forth a stronger effort for acceptance in the workforce for which men generally still earn higher pay.  While it may seem that we accept this as a slow but progressive approach to equal means and opportunity, it's obviously unacceptable and we are doing something about it.

One of the most telling aspects of the statistical data indicates that the way out for women is to seek higher education, training and qualifications in order to achieve higher level, professional jobs and leadership roles.  In doing so, the earnings comparison gap closes drastically.  According to the controlled gender gap, which takes into consideration men and women with like jobs and qualifications, indicates women are paid 98 cents on the dollar compared to men.

This is a strong indicator that women are generally working in lower level, lower paying jobs and often with men as their managers.  More women with qualifications for management and professional positions is the key to equal, median pay in the entire workforce.  Women aren't making the same because we aren't assuming the same roles in the workplace as men.  

The thought that we are not as educated or qualified definitely comes to mind when considering this problem.  But, more obvious is the nature of the environment that still values men with the same education and qualifications as better candidates for these positions.  This insinuates the gap is a reflection of women's inadequacy compared to men. This is an incorrect assumption. 


While women are earning near the same amount as men in similar jobs, we've had the added burden of changing the overall stigma in the American workforce regarding women.  This means to earn that 98 cents on the dollar, women had to work harder, seek more than what was offered and "prove" our qualifications and worth more than the average male.  We continue to be challenged with on-going social stigmas that women are better suited for subordinate roles in the same workplace while primary roles are better designated for men.  This may promote the earnings gender gap we have today.

Some of the most common vocations with social gender bias are as follows:  Nurses (91% female) to doctors (64% male), secretaries/administrative assistants (94.2% women) to engineers (87% male), public school teachers (76% female) to school superintendents (87% male), dental hygienists (96% female) to dentists (63.8% male).

While the numbers in these careers are discouraging in some ways, the percentages of male dominance in these higher paying, professional jobs have been successfully chipped away by women's quest for more education in similar fields of study.

Here's proof.  According to an article on women outperformed men in achievements such as college education and advanced degrees as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau data from 2017 reports.  These reports go on to indicate women between the ages of 18 - 24 earned more than two-thirds of all master's degrees (167 women with master's degrees for every 100 men).  Women between the ages of 25 - 34 held the majority of doctorial degrees and women further demonstrated their on-going pursuit to higher education and better career opportunities in earning the majority of master's degrees in the U.S. since 1981.

We are qualified.

Why women make great leaders

Leadership roles are positions where women have the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to manage businesses, accounts and people.  Leaders in these positions are given the respect for their experience, education, qualifications and professionalism. 

Women aren't giving up when the doors are guarded by men.  When one door closes, women knock politely one more time before kicking it in and demanding the United States Labor Market value them based on facts and qualifications.

Women are moms, daughters, wives, ex wives, domestic partners, lovers and fighters.  We support, lead, sell, create, care for, build and design. We understand the value of effective communication, dedication, empathy and strong work ethic. We understand the value in building relationships and tearing down the walls of gender inequality.  We do what we do because it's our passion.  We seek what we need because we are providers.  We don't work to prove a point.  The point is already proven in our quest to achieve a gender equality workforce.  It's proven by how far we've come over the past 50 years. 

Is the jar half-empty or half-full?

A look at what we've accomplished rather than what we haven't-

In an example, while the majority of doctors are still men, 36% are now women.  And while nursing is primarily dominated by women, it's still a high paying, in-demand occupation that accounts for over 3.2 million women earning a median annual wage of approximately $46,000 to $120,000 depending on their credentials (L.P.N. $46,240, R.N. $55,360, B.S.N. $75,484, M.S.N. $80,000 - $120,000). 

So, while this profession is subordinate in aspects of responsibility, pay and professional status as the physicians that nurses work along side, the average, annual median pay for the profession is significantly higher than the median annual earnings for women in the U.S. which was $41,912 based on weekly earnings published in the first quarter, 2019 report published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Are naturally subordinate careers helping more than they're hurting?

The confusion herein lies in the fact that while professions like these continue to provide women a strong opportunity to reduce the gender gap on annual, median earnings, it may negatively affect women's pursuit of higher paying, leadership roles in industries like healthcare, which could possibly be more efficient in establishing equal - annual, median salaries for men and women. 

Does focus on working in male dominated careers challenge our femininity rather than develop gender equality?

Some professions that continue to be dominated by one gender, may actually be naturally suited to that gender. We don't just need more women in male dominated professions.  Our nation needs more women to achieve success in the right professions for each of them.  Regardless if that is engineering, marketing, finance, health care or otherwise.

We should not just encourage women to seek high paying professions that have a high percentage of men.  We should continue to seek a higher value in positions that women naturally have strengths and interest. 

Teaching is a good example of a generally underpaid profession that with continued education and experience could provide a robust, successful career where leadership opportunities abound. 

The natural path for a teacher may include a currently male dominated profession, like that of a superintendent.  However, both men and women have potential for leadership qualities.  Our interest in such professions are appealing to both genders.   After all, teaching in and of itself requires leadership qualities. 

If women demanded higher pay to become what we naturally have interests and strengths, we would provide ourselves better overall opportunities for career development and advancement.

Teaching, one example of how women can make a difference for the future

The median pay for teachers in America is hardly enough for a mother of two to independently support herself and her children.  A heavily publicly funded vocation, we have the power to change that when we vote for needed increases in local education costs.  If all women voted accordingly, opportunities for our daughters to pursue such a career would be better secured. 

While a teachers pay may never reach the same of the often, privately funded profession like engineering, the goal should be to establish the rightful income for those that are responsible for educating our nations children, many who will become teachers or engineers.  

We should demand more 

We don't need to take interest in a career with a strong appeal to males in order to attain equal pay.  In doing so, we undervalue our natural qualities of our gender.  Who of us could say teaching America's children is not as important and challenging career as that of an engineer?  Both careers require education and skills that most people would value, yet the pay is drastically different.  Why?  Because we haven't yet demanded more!  

It does a great disservice to women to insinuate we must work in male dominated professions in order to achieve higher paying, successful careers.  Rather than pushing young women into roles that may actually be less desirable to the average woman, we should strive to establish a stronger hold on leadership, executive and S.T.E.M. careers suited to her interests but specific to her strengths.  We should also demand higher pay for positions for which women excel.  

It's misguided to tell a young woman that to equalize the workforce and prove her ability to achieve the status of men in a field of interest, she must pursue the same, male dominated professions to establish her greatest potential, ability and worth. 

Such encouragement is a striking resemblance to desegregation busing, where it has been argued in both heavily populated African American and white communities that the effort, meant to racially integrate our society and provide fair opportunity for educational success to all students, regardless of their residing school district or socioeconomic and racial status, failed because it took attention away from strengthening the school districts in primarily African American communities and put the burden of desegregation on children, something that the nation as a whole was unable to accomplish. 

Furthermore, it implied that these children should abandon their schools and communities and need primarily white schools in order to achieve success.   

The argument is that one does not need to abandon her individuality (gender, race, religion, etc.) in order to find equality.  e.g. A student with strengths in science and mathematics is encouraged to pursue electrical engineering, when in fact, her personal strengths would be better suited to her becoming a pediatrician or surgeon.  All are high-paying careers and utilize her strengths.  The student should choose the one that fits her, not the one that satisfies society's need to achieve gender-equality at the expense of her individual pursuits to achieve success.  Such individual pursuits are truly the means to change.

Choosing a potentially successful career for the wrong reasons, makes it the wrong career

The reason statistics indicate S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers still remain dominated by men may be that women are incorrectly encouraged to equalize male dominated S.T.E.M. careers like engineering in an effort to provide proof women are capable of achieving the same successes in technical fields of study that are still primarily made up of a male workforce.  

Engineering is still one of the highest, male dominated S.T.E.M. professions with nearly 90% of the industry made-up of men.   With less than 30% of women with engineering degrees still working as engineers after 20 years, it indicates that men in that field continue to erode a gender-balanced climate in the workplace and that women may be able to use their skills in S.T.E.M. in other ways that may actually provide them a better opportunity for long-term success in an equally rewarding career path. 

It also furthers the suggestion that women have a lesser interest in these male-dominated careers and in failing to demand equivalent pay for careers that appeal to women, women are forced to remain in a lower earnings position to men.  

Women who excel in male dominated industries

If some women are strong in male dominated fields of study, and still have serious, individual interest, then their choice to pursue it still provides a positive push for women everywhere.  We should be both proud and supportive of their pursuits. 

However, much like the African American children part of desegregation bussing, much of the burden falls on these women who will be part of the redevelopment of an industry.  

To just enter male dominated careers like engineering is to think like a man or likely fail.  To take part in the evolution of such an industry is to lead like a woman while understanding how a man thinks, or certainly fail.

Metaphorically such an industry transformation could be described as the female ego within the mind of a man.   In doing so, the brain of an industry is unlocked and the power to reinvent a nation with greater potential for advancements in essential S.T.E.M. careers more probable.    

Proud to be female and successful

Regardless if you work in fields like engineering or more gender-equal careers, a balanced workplace environment includes the value of female leadership, creativity, professionalism and unapologetic charisma.   It takes great ingenuity, effort and foresight to recognize and establish our value as females isn't just that we can do the same job as men, but that we choose to maintain our femininity with the same opportunities for high paying, high ranking jobs.  

We demand the opportunity to lead

If the majority of professional jobs are male oriented, it's possible that it's because men have always been in control.  The entire infrastructure of the U.S. labor market is designed around men.  To achieve real change, we must redevelop this infrastructure within each organization, university and education program.  This starts with more women pursuing high-level positions where they can initiate change in the corporate value system and roles of leadership in order to progressively change the landscape of our nation's, currently male influenced, labor force.

In summary

We expect the most of what we manage because we would fail it and ourselves if we didn't.  We respect the most qualified candidate and work tirelessly to remove our own stereotypes in an effort to start with a better "self" instead of expectations based on what we have been denied.  

We are natural managers of our family, home, career and destiny.  We know our strengths and value the importance of celebrating what it means to be a woman.  We do not have an interest in becoming more like men.  Instead, we suggest men take a more active interest in all that women have the potential to change for the greater good of our society.  In the workplace, we choose to act as individuals with the freedom to be the best person for the job regardless of gender, age, race or otherwise.  But, we strive to regard our femininity as much as men, their masculinity.  In doing so, we disallow our gender to remain subordinate in the pursuit to greatness. 

We are women.  We can lead this dance.  So let's lead.


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