In the past, mostly men were known as the breadwinners of a family but what exactly does it mean? A breadwinner is a conversational word for the sole income earner in a household. By contributing the largest portion of household income, they mostly cover the family expenses and financially assist all their needs. Nowadays a male or a female can be the breadwinner or both together. The male-breadwinner ideology portrays that the husband should be the primary income provider and the wife should be the primary caretaker or homemaker of the family and household. This ideology is one of the reasons behind the fact that an enormous number of careers are male oriented and it has always been this way.
Ever since the industrial revolution, we have seen women take part in the workforce outside their houses. Their participation has increased in industrialized nations, with a specific growth seen in the 20th century. Back then, women’s lack of higher education had efficiently excluded them from approaching well-paid and eminent occupations. The access of women into the better professions, like law and medicine, was almost impossible in most countries due to tradition of being denied their right even to basic education. For example, Cambridge University only fully validated degrees for women late in 1947 and even then only after much opposition and debate.
|A senior editor at LinkedIn, Laura Lorenzetti says in a report that Education could be a major factor in why more women are getting hired. And she continues to add, “Women are gaining the skills and education needed to get in the door within specialized careers and in many cases, they are gaining those skills at a greater rate than men.”
According to an article, we see an increase in women employment rate through LinkedIn, from retail operation manager to environmental consultant. There is evidence of active participation of women in high status fields like law, engineers etc. But due to a series of traditional and conservative ideologies, women aren’t valued the same way men are. The scenario is seen in a way that if women take over a certain work, the pay decreases and it loses its worth. Totally unfair but still the reality of women in the workforce in some cases, women are paid less while men are paid more even if they both are attempting the same thing.
|Before the start of the pandemic, there appeared to be a huge amount of signs of women entering various industries. In January 2020, for the second time in history, women had outnumbered men in the U.S. workforce. Then the pandemic took over the world as we knew it and the entirety of the workforce was affected including women. One year later, reports showcase that almost 300,000 working women left jobs in January 2021.
Today, for every 100 men promoted and hired to a manager position, only 72 women are promoted and hired for the same role, reported Lean In and McKinsey & Company in a 2019 “Women in the Workplace” study. There are a lot of factors affecting the growth of women in many areas of work and not just male dominated careers.
We must play our part and encourage our whole workforce to look for signs of gender discrimination in their daily life and eliminate sexism. Additionally, make sure all your staff reports all forms of discriminatory behaviors and take appropriate actions when necessary. Keeping women in the workforce requires everyone to tackle gender inequality at its roots.