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Psychological Affects of Inequality

By HERWriter
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Have you ever wondered why there has never been a woman president? Have you noticed how many corporations are male-dominated? Isn't it obvious that many occupations cater only to men?

Of course, there are several exceptions, but in everyday life, common observations can lead us to conclude that men dominate certain areas of the workforce. A survey from the Committee of 200 and the Simmons College School of Management stated that in 2000, “women held only 6 percent of the highest-ranking corporate leadership positions and 12 percent of corporate officer positions.”

These observations and the explanations behind them can have an psychological effect on women.
However, the psychological effect may not be noticeable, and not all women suffer deeply from the effects of inequality although the inequality is still there.

The reason some women may not be clearly affected is because they were raised to believe that men and women are not equal. They may have been told that women have a specific role in life and in the work place and are content with this, or they don’t question this prescribed role.

Mary Fraser, Ph.D., and a part-time psychology and women’s studies instructor at De Anza College, said that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries.

“Women are 70 percent less likely to negotiate a better salary than men are,” Fraser said. “This has to do with the belief system that they don’t deserve as much.”

Fraser brought up the fact of the differing statistics relating to the wage differences between men and women. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that women who were full-time wage and salary workers earned about 80 percent of what men earned (compared to 62 percent in 1979), there are other factors to consider.

“Given that rate of expansion, how long is it going to take us to reach a dollar for a dollar?” Fraser said. “It’s going to take us another 40 years.” She said single mothers who work more than one part-time job should be considered, as well as women who work one part-time job and manage a household.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.