History of Sexism in the Workplace

Published on by Sexism in the Workplace

Sexism in the workplace has been around for as long as women have been in the work force.  The two main inequalities are “occupational segregation and wage disparity”(Gazso, 2004).  Occupational segregation is how men and women are separated into certain jobs.  For example, men would be categorized as police officers, firemen and doctors while women would be teachers, nurses and stay at home mothers.  Wage disparity is simply the difference in wages that men and women receive.  In 1950, women made 59 cents for every dollar that a man would make (Cotter et al, 2000).  Sexism in the workplace can either be reported by the victim, reported by other co-workers or can even be shown by statistics.  Back in the day, many women did not even hold jobs.  In 1961, only 30% of women were in the workforce while 75% of men were.  Not only were men in the workforce more, they also made higher wages; and they still do (Gazso, 2004).  Men in Canada on average make more money and also obtain higher status than women do.  Men often have jobs that are full-time and executive.  Women are usually involved in jobs that are service work and have low skill requirements.  Amber Gazso states, “Even in professional positions, women continue to be disproportionately represented in “feminine” nursing, teaching and social science professions” (2004).  In 2001, the average income for a man was $49,250 and $35,258 for women.  This wage gap is still apparent today.  There are many different explanations as to why this is a occurring.  Some theorists say it is because of “globalization and economic restricting that favour low-waged and unskilled workers (predominantly women) to ensure globally competitive workplaces” (Gazso, 2004).  Others think it has to do with women’s involvement in their obligation to put their family’s needs first.  Some other theories are that sexism in the workplace simply comes from inequalities in society altogether (Gazso, 2004).  Sexism is also apparent in the work place itself.  This involves the social aspects between men and women.  Women are usually held responsible for chores and nurturing and are expected to take those roles.  Since men and women have always had certain “roles” to follow, often there are comments made to the opposite sex about how they should act (Gazso, 2004).  History has impacted sexism a great deal in the work place.





Gazso, Amber. (2004). Women's inequality in the workplace as framed in news         discourse: refracting from gender ideology." The Canadian Review of Sociology      and Anthropology 41.4: 449+. Academic OneFile. Web. 12 Nov. 2011.


Cotter, D. (2011). Gender Inequality at Work.  The American People: Census 2000.  107-440. http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nNH76pipyAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA107&dq=gender+inequalities+in+the+workplace&ots=cLQSl89SpZ&sig=WfqfCegluNTFnj9zkW7C7rIjmM&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

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