11 Ways The American Workplace Is Still Really, Really Sexist

11 Ways The American Workplace Is Still Really, Really Sexist
portrait of beautiful executive ...
portrait of beautiful executive ...

We no longer live in the 'Mad Men' era, but the modern workplace is certainly still responsible for some Mad Men-style sexism.

That's true in a variety of ways: Women often earn less, have more trouble obtaining high-level positions and face greater harassment threats in the office. That's not all:

  • Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is an exception to the rule. Women make up only 21 of the S&P 500’s CEOs -- that’s just 4 percent.
  • Women get paid 77 cents on the dollar for every dollar a man makes, according to a recent study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. That's a difference of more than $10,000 per year on average.
  • That wage gap starts early in a woman's career. Among recent college graduates, women make 82 percent of what men make, according to a report from the IWPR. In their first year of work after graduating college, men make $7,600 more than women on average, according to a fact sheet from Congress' joint economic committee.
  • The trend continues even as women rise up the corporate ladder. Female workers made up just 6.2 percent of the top earning positions in 2010, according to a report from Catalyst.
  • Making matters worse, almost half of all workers are prohibited or strongly discouraged from discussing pay information, according to an IWPR report. That means women workers can't find out if their male colleagues are earning more than they are.
  • If women want to make more money, they generally have to try harder than their comparable male colleagues. Women workers have to pay closer attention to their strategy than men when asking for a raise, according to a recent study in the Psychology of Women Quarterly.
  • The gender pay gap also hurts women outside of the workplace. Student loans are a higher percentage of women workers' earnings, according to the joint economic committee report.
  • In addition to making less money than men in comparable jobs, women are also more likely to end up doing low-paying work. Sixty percent of minimum wage workers are women. And nearly two-thirds of part-time workers are women, according to the joint economic committee report, and part-time workers earn less per hour than their full-time counterparts.
  • Women face a variety of unconscious stereotypes in the workplace that hold them back, like: They don't need more money because they're not the primary breadwinners, they can't do certain jobs that are considered "men's work," their supposed to act a certain type of feminine in the workplace, they're not committed to their jobs because their the primary caregivers to their kids. In addition, office cultures are often dominated by norms better suited to men.
  • Women also face more safety risks at work than men. Of the 11,717 sexual harassment charges brought in 2010, 83 percent came from women, according to AOL Jobs.
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