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Breaking Glass

Painting the picture of gender inequality

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This infographic takes a look at how things were for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and now Millennials.
This infographic takes a look at how things were for Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and now Millennials. - (Screenshot / The Cultureist)

I’m not sure that I’d say I’m either a visual or an auditory learner — I’d like to think I’m both — but I will say that this infographic really hit the nail on the head after having attended all the women’s events to hear about struggles and victories women have seen in the workplace.

The Cultureist put together a visual snapshot of how female members of the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials have fared in the workplace since the 1950s.

Here are some interesting findings:

53 percent of entry-level positions are filled by a woman.

With that understanding, the rumor that Millennial women will create the path to the C- Suite level could indeed be true.

Or, do the numbers only increase because the job levels are low? As we climb the ladder, fewer women make it to the top: 40 percent are managers; 27 percent are vice presidents; and only 19 percent are C-Suite executives.

Whatever the case may be, Millennial women are undeterred — 60 percent aspire to management in their career. While this exceeds the expectations of both Generation X and the Boomers, 10 percent more men than woman believe they’ll actually achieve their goals.

That means we need 10 percent or more of women to dream bigger. And we’re getting there.

38 percent of women currently have a 4-year college degree while only 21 percent of men do — in 1980, only 15 percent of women finished college while 21 men percent of did.

That’s interesting.

So since 1980, men have not increased their chance of graduating with a four-year degree — but women have more than doubled theirs.

So if women are working harder for their education than men, why is it that we’re still only earning 93 percent of what men the same age make? Yes, okay, in 1980 we were making 55 cents for every dollar…but still.

That has never made any sense.

What does make sense — I admit — is that women work less when becoming parents and men work more. At the risk of being criticized here, I believe that women are far more likely to feel guilty about leaving their child at home or with a babysitter than men.

So while 27 percent of women are inclined to quit their job and 13 percent often turn down promotions, only 10 percent of men do.

And for those women that remain in the workforce, 48 percent of mothers actively reduce their work hours compared to just 28 percent of men.

This may give a slight advantage to men in achieving those executive level positions since they don’t necessarily take paternal leave or work less hours — as much as they should. Instead, as the number of kids increase, men work more and women work less.

But I urge all men to consider this — 66 percent of women stated that having a high-paying career is important to them.

That means between your mom, your sister and your wife, two of them actively desire to get out of the house and into the office.

Don’t you want to do everything in your power to help them achieve their goals, too?

It all comes down to including men in on the conversation — and yes, I’ve invited my male colleagues to contribute to this blog for exactly that reason — because this infographic proves that traditional home and work environments are simply not working for us anymore.  

Women want and deserve to earn respectable salaries for the hard work that they put in. They want a legitimate work-life balance. And they need husbands and fathers and brothers to contribute just a little more in order to do so.

Now, the traditional home life of the 1950s is thankfully a thing of the distant past — women have stopped taking no for an answer and most men aren’t messing around with that.

And we certainly wouldn’t want the balance of power to shift entirely, either.

But while it’s fantastic to see that according to the U.S. Census the number of stay-at-home fathers nationwide have increased from 154,000 in 2010 to 214,000 in 2013, it’s a bit disheartening to see that only 32 percent of married fathers — approximately 7 million men — regularly provide childcare for their children at least one day per week.

That’s okay. It’s not great. But let’s make it a goal of ours to get that number to 50 percent. And keep it that way.

My suggestion therefore continues to be that we keep working together to achieve the right work-life-home balance for both of our genders and battle these final frontiers as a cohesive unit rather than a segmented one.

ALSO ON NJBIZ's BREAKING GLASS BLOG:

Noteworthy event for newbie women business owners

Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder."

Meet our new 'Women in Business' blogger: Meg Fry

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Meg Fry

Meg Fry

Meg Fry covers manufacturing and retail. Meg joins NJBIZ with past production experience in the arts, film and television. She continues to write and market her own spec scripts and screenplays. You can contact her at megf@njbiz.com or @MegFry3 on Twitter.

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