Women and Men at Work" by Deborah Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1395 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Women and Men at Work" by Deborah Tannen and "Workforce 2020" by Richard W. Judy and Carol D'Amico. Specifically, it will discuss several aspects of women in the workforce, including the existence of a glass ceiling in women's careers. Women in the workforce have gained numbers and ground since the 1970s, but most women are still at a distinct disadvantage in the workplace, because of prejudice, misunderstanding, and a lack of opportunities.

Women, unlike men, are consistently "marked" in the workplace, and even outside the workplace. They are marked by the way they dress, how they style their hair, the type of makeup they wear, and even the shoes they choose. Thus, women, unlike most men, are marked as "sexy," "plain," or "sultry" by their appearances, before they even have a chance to prove themselves. This might seem to indicate that women should dress austerely in the workplace, playing down their sexuality and gender, but even this can backfire. Women who dress too severely or wear no makeup are often seen as not caring about the way they look, which sends a clear message to their employers or potential employers (Tannen 110). Thus, women arrive in the workplace at a disadvantage. While men rarely show any style or distinction in the workplace, especially professional men, who all seem to wear the same shades of suit and shirt, women are marked by everything they wear and how they appear from the moment they first set foot at work (or just about anywhere, for that matter)Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Women and Men at Work" by Deborah Assignment

Women are marked by their names and titles as well. Men use Mr. Or perhaps Dr. Or some other title throughout their entire lives, while married women take their husband's name, keep their own name, or choose to use a combination of both. This immediately marks women and their position in society. A "Mrs." may be more stable than a "Ms." Or a "Miss," but a Mrs. May have family troubles, more absences, and be less flexible than a Miss might. Thus, employers make judgments about women (or mark them), before they even know them, by the many ways society compartmentalizes women. As Tannen notes, "Whatever she wears, whatever she calls herself, however she talks, will be fodder for interpretation about her character and competence. In a setting where most of the players are men, there are no unmarked women" (Tannen 112). This often marks women for support roles in organizations rather than leadership roles, and certain markings can hamper their climb to professionalism. There is still a subtle but very common belief that women cannot handle or do not belong in professional roles, which adds to the marking that keeps them in support roles.

The text "Workforce 2020" notes, "Now that the nature of work has changed, almost all jobs today can be done as easily by women as by men. This gender shift may be the most significant change in the history of the American workplace" (Judy and D'Aminco 52). However, while women may accomplish all jobs, they are still underemployed in most areas of the workplace, and are still seen, like it or not, as mainly support personnel. There may be light at the end of the tunnel for women workers, because the authors of "Workforce 2020" predict women will make great strides until 2020, and men will lose their workplace advantage. They also predict that flexible types of work arrangements, such as telecommuting, flex hours, and shared responsibilities will become even more popular in the next decades (Judy and D'Aminco 53). This would be good news for a majority of women in the workforce, but the reader must wonder if these flexible arrangements take hold, will they further erode the standing of women as professionals? Men have consistently commanded the workplace, and a majority of them have not demanded flexible options such as these. Women are a vital part of the workplace, but marking robs man of opportunity and professionalism.

The existence of a "glass ceiling" that women in the workforce cannot surmount has been a topic of discussion for decades. In fact, it was seen as such a compelling issue that the Civil Rights Act of 1991 included… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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