Workplace roles have clearly changed over the course of the last several decades. This has been attributed to a sociological change in gender definitions transitioning from a time when women were stay-at-home mothers working in the kitchen and men were heads of the household. Today, society has broken down these sociological gender definitions and moved towards a more gender-equal society, especially in the workplace. “In the 21st century, women are starting small businesses at a faster rate than men and are finding that a home-based business can solve many of the challenges they face in balancing employment and a home life” (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). Furthermore, women are now being offered the opportunity to climb up the corporate ladder in larger organizations at a greater rate than ever seen previously. This trend defies the myth of the “glass ceiling” which is more of an excuse for women to use when not being promoted as opposed to an actual business practice. The trends within the modern day workplace are to warrant successful performance and skill sets as opposed to gender specific roles. With this change, the roles for men have also swayed. For instance, a male nurse or flight attendant used to be a laughing stock. Today, this is more the norm. Society has changed to provide nontraditional occupations to individuals based on feelings and desires as opposed to what society deems socially acceptable.
While modern trends have reduced gender discrimination in the work place, it is impossible to think that these kinds of practices have completely disappeared. Many companies are working to institute such business practices as pay equity to eliminate the appearance and belief that gender discrimination exists within the organization (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2010). However, even to this day, many organizations face the social battle of having few qualified women to serve on boards of directors, vice president, CEO or CFO roles within the company. This is not to say that such women do not exist; however, as the sociological trends have changed so too must the education and experiential requirements of women also change. Today, women are moving forward and taking steps to be more prepared to take on these roles with larger organizations than ever before. It is true that gender discrimination can still exist today; however, it is more the norm to look at an individual’s qualifications in the workplace today as opposed to his or her gender.
Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2010). Human development, a life-span view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.