The new-age problem with Occupational Gender Segregation has transformed the Glass Ceiling into a Glass Room.
Over the past decade we have seen more women not only running companies, but companies vowing to commit to gender diversity in the workplace as well as enforcing sexual harassment videos amongst employees, and although these thoughts and actions have become purposeful towards paving a pathway of inclusivity, the progression in recent years has paved new problems in the sexist workplace environment.
It may seem like we have taken five steps backward.
So, What Is Occupational Gender Segregation And Why Does It Matter?
Occupational Segregation is the distribution of workers across and within occupations, based upon demographic characteristics, in this case, gender.
This is where the Glass Ceiling phenomenon becomes outdated. Since the 1900s the phenomenon has found its way into feminist movements and soon became the villain in every heroine student’s career story. Nowadays, when we look at the number of women occupying managerial positions, we are enthralled to hear that 87% of global businesses have at least one woman in a senior management role in 2019, according to Catalyst.com.
Once we keep looking, however, more journalists are finding common denominators in which managerial positions these women are holding. For instance, when it comes to occupations such as medical/ health services, human resources, and education administration, women hold over 50% of the management positions in 2010, according to Harvard Business Review.
Meanwhile, marketing and advertising and architecture and engineering managerial roles held by women fall underneath 40%. The segregation of occupations by gender is what can cause under qualified men securing job titles over overqualified women.
Taking A Look At Women Currently In The Field
I reached out to over a hundred Female Digital Marketers who are all alumni at California State University, Long Beach, through LinkedIn. Through my research I discovered 50% of women directly out of college had taken over a year to secure a job at a digital marketing agency. Through these same female graduates, the medium of the rate between applications and interviews lies between 10-20%. .
These real life scenarios demonstrate the lengths and rates in which women have endured through searching for a career in Digital Marketing.
Take Emily, for example, she is a recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach. She majored in Business/Marketing with a minor in English and wishes to pursue a job in Digital Marketing in Los Angeles County. Now take Derek, graduate from California State University, Fullerton. He majored in Business/Marketing and is also looking for a job in LA county for a Digital Marketing agency. According to research done by the McKinsey Report, Emily’s odds for beating out Derek in a job are estimated at 8% less. The odds of Emily being promoted to a manager position versus Derek fall to 30% less.
Despite both Emily and Derek being so similarly qualified, Emily a bit more, the two are still held to gender stereotypes that enhance one and prohibit the other. This is most commonly taking place in workplaces that seem to decide women are not specialized in.
They are cliched notions of employers believing men are a better fit and they are contributing to the occupation segregation. For Emily, losing to three Dereks in a row then lowers her job search to something more “fitting” for women. This segregation is the reason, despite having the same major women are falling under lower wages than their male peers. This is why we have not shattered the glass ceiling.
How Does This Effect My Digital Marketing Agency?
The need for women reaching higher up positions in your company, not only positively affects the workplace environment, but even more so the diversity rate for your team. When a company focuses on high diverse standards, improvements range from simply bettering your company’s reputation to the outside world to increased creativity, higher innovation, and faster problem solving.
The entire problem of occupational gender stereotypes is a train stuck moving in a circle. Unconscious biases on what women are specialized in despite their studies creates a harsher and more competitive hiring process on women, which will lessen their odds in securing the position, which will then allow for lack of diversity in the workplace and continue the cycle.
Until more and more women are being considered and looked at just the same, the train will continue running the same passengers to and from the same stops, but once Emily finally out beats Derek in the race to becoming a digital marketer, the train tracks are opened up to where Emily needs to get off. Allowing for Emily’s peers to also get on board.