The once male dominated, corporate, “white collar” America has seen a phenomenal influx of women within the last thirty years. Although a female lawyer, physician, or CEO is no longer considered a rarity in our times, women still face quite a deal of oppression in comparison to their male counterparts. In retrospect, some professions have always been controlled by women, and men have not made a noticeable advance in these fields.
In 1970, finding a female lawyer to represent you would be a difficult task, since less than five percent of the profession were women. Today, that number has risen to almost thirty percent. The percentage of female doctors has almost tripled in the course of thirty years. African Americans have not made such a conspicuous progression within the last fifty years, while women have made a tremendous impact on the corporate world. One may wonder, how did women make these extraordinary advances? For the most part, it is due to the education they receive. At the present time young girls are encouraged to enroll in classes dealing with math and science, rather than home economics and typing. As pointed out by Nanette Asimov, in her essay “Fewer Teen Girls Enrolling in Technology Classes”, school officials are advocating the necessity of advanced placement, and honor classes for teenage girls, in both the arts and sciences. This support and reassurance than carries over onto college, and finds a permanent fixture in a womans life.
While women are continuing their success in once exclusively male oriented professions, they are still lacking the respect and equality from their peers, coworkers, and society. The average male lawyer, and doctor make twenty-five percent more money than their female equivalent. Women have always lived with the reputation of being intellectually inferior to, and physically submissive to men. This medieval, ignorant notion is far fetched from the truth. In 1999, high school men and women posted similar SAT scores, being separated by a only a few points. In addition to posting similar scores on the SAT, the average males score was a mere two-tenths of a point higher than an average females score on the ACT. Even though a woman maybe as qualified as a male for a certain occupation , women receive unwanted harassment, and are under strict scrutiny. A good illustration of this would be the women represented in “Two Women Cadets Leave the Citadel.” These young women were just as qualified, and possessed, in my opinion, more desire than most men who joined the Citadel. The constant hazing and prejudiced treatment the women received from other male cadets, because of their sex, eventually took its toll, thus causing the women to abandon their ambitions. Not only do women receive biased treatment, they must take supplementary measures to regulate this treatment. In Linda Hasselstroms, “A Peaceful woman Explain Why She carries A Gun”, she portrays the extreme steps taken to protect herself from the injustices of men, and society. While women are advancing in some aspects of the corporate realm, socially they are lagging.
In some professions, the presence of women is resented, challenged, and treated unequally. In other fields, women have always dominated. These occupations are librarians, teachers, editors, reporters, dental assistants, and nurses. For the last thirty years, women have held seventy-five percent of teaching jobs, eighty-five percent of librarian positions, and an astonishing ninety-five percent of nursing and medical assistant openings. While women are making progress in traditionally male-dominated fields, they continue to hold down the majority of so-called “pink collar” jobs.
Within the last thirty years, women have made major advances in the corporate world. Finding a female lawyer, or doctor is not an uncommon commodity nowadays. This progression was done, and continues to precede without giving ground in traditional feminine professions, such as the teaching and nursing. In a matter of time, the playing field will be leveled for both sexes.