Updated: Nov 22, 2020
As women, we could walk backwards in high heels on a tightrope and it still wouldn’t be enough. Although this example may seem ridiculous, it’s what women frequently go through. Women have to work twice as hard to achieve a spot in the workplace. Women’s efforts, more often than not, are overshadowed by men. A woman could do something unimaginable, but sometimes it is not enough. This is a problem that we are all aware of and can easily fix. We all know our worth, so why are we still sitting silently?
You could be the most qualified person for a role, but if you aren’t a part of the “good ole boys club” it may not help you. Although women often get the title of being “cliquey,” men are too. Of course, when it comes to professions, it is about who you know and what your connections are. However, this shouldn’t replace talent and experience. Taking personal preference over qualifying material is a major reason why women aren’t being welcomed to the table. Even if women do make it to the table, sometimes we still don’t get credit for the work we do. Many women spend countless hours outside of the workplace trying to make sure that they are doing the best they can in their chosen profession. They do this on top of raising families, dealing with life stresses and continuing their education. We have to expect nothing in return, but it would be nice to have some recognition. When you are constantly looked over or beaten down, it makes it harder to believe that you actually belong in your field.
The pattern of disrespect takes a toll on women and their confidence. Being qualified for a position and being treated like you aren’t doesn’t make you feel worthy. It makes you feel hopeless or can lead to imposter syndrome — the feeling of being unworthy or displaced from an achievement or position. How can you be certain you can grow and achieve your goals if no one will give you the opportunity to? This also has a negative impact on younger women. If they see that their mothers are being disregarded, even though they know she is a perfect employee, why would they want to be a part of that? It creates a cycle of women feeling that they won’t be enough. Alternatively, it also motivates many women. It creates a revolutionary feeling of breaking the cycle, making women want to work harder so future women can thrive and feel they belong.
Women recognize that this discrimination is happening. A great example of what women go through is Taylor Swift’s song “The Man.” The song discusses the struggles that women go through just to get a taste of success. Even when successful, though, women are still disrespected and disregarded. Although Swift’s song mentions all the negatives, it is also a great source of empowerment. Knowing that women are all going through the same struggles and that we are rewriting the rules as time goes on shows strength. It unites us by knowing that we aren’t alone and that we can make a change, and that it won’t be like this forever.
We will break the cycle and teach and inspire those around us, letting them know that they do have a place in the workplace and in higher positions in society. Our unity can only make us stronger. Women deserve to feel as if they belong and are worthy of the benefits of the work we put in. If we are qualified for something, we should be able to achieve it; that goes for men too. Gender should not be the deciding factor of success and a job well done. Talent, strength, and work should be the measurement of these aspects.
By Kaylee Haas, Staff Writer