International Women’s Day 2020 on March 8, gave us a great jumping-off point to highlight a few of the issues facing women in the workplace.
Women presently hold 50.4% of all American jobs. The two industries that have pushed women to their current slim majority are health care and retail. There are high-flying positions and salaries within those sectors, but in the main, the lower-paid jobs are occupied by women, with care-oriented work, in particular, tending to be underpaid and undervalued.
So women hold more of the jobs, but a relative fraction of leadership positions. Despite more firms striving to become ‘family friendly,’ women are still far more likely than men to work part-time or flexibly in order to meet childcare and other family obligations.
But as different sectors contract and expand, trends change and women are now more likely than ever before to occupy jobs that once might have been considered traditionally male, such as manufacturing, engineering and mining.
And what about money? There is more equality now than in previous decades, but gender pay gaps still exist.
In other words, parity in the workplace is a work in progress. Sometimes, when there is a broad agreement on something – the fact that inequality exists – it takes the fire out of the fight. Each of us has to walk the walk, and keep on walking.
We must keep doing more about equality, diversity and empowerment. We need to face up to, and run towards the nuanced, knotty issues. We need to keep a light trained on all the uneven playing fields, glass ceilings and obstacles that women have to navigate in their places of work. If we don’t, inequality will persist.
As sponsors of International Women’s Day, Bighorn Law recognizes and celebrates all women. In particular, we commend the amazing, strong women that represent Bighorn Law and lead us into the future.