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INEQUALITY AT WORK

In the past, women have been denied the right to vote, to go to school, to borrow money, and to enter certain occupations. Women have, however, fought for their rights over the years and now gender equality[14] is protected by a number of laws and rulings in many countries of the world. Nevertheless, inequalities still remain. Underlying these inequalities is prejudice against women that is based on sexism[15].

One of the areas where women fight for equality is the workplace. Since laws were passed to prohibit sex discrimination in employment more than thirty years ago, women have made some gains in the workplace. More women are employed than ever before and their pay is higher. Still, women are far from being equal to men economically. Women typically hold lower-status, lower-paying jobs. In many traditional female occupations - such as nursing, public school teaching, and secretarial work - women work in positions that are subordinate to those usually held by men. Thus, nurses are subordinate to doctors, teachers to principals, and secretaries to executives.

Positions Percent held by women
Secretaries
Dental hygienists
Receptionists
Childcare workers
Cleaners and servants
Registered nurses
Bank tellers
Librarians
Billing clerks
Elementary school teachers
Waiters
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States
Table 1Percent of lower-status, lower-paying positions held by women.

One of the reasons that women work in a narrower range of occupations than men is their commitment to the family. Schwartz (1989) has identified two types of women in the workforce - "career-primary" and "career and family" women:

The majority of women . . . are what I call career-and-family women, women who want to pursue serious careers while participating actively in the rearing of children . . . most of them are willing to trade some career growth and compensation for freedom from the constant pressure to work long hours and weekends.

Many of these women, as a result, take jobs that are primarily clerical (for example, secretaries), operative (for example, machine operator), and service (for example, sales clerk). The pay is low and the opportunity for advancement is limited. The benefit, however, is that they can quit at any time, take care of their families as long as necessary, and then get another job when family demands decrease.

In recent years the participation of women in jobs traditionally held by males has increased. However, the number of women making their way up to higher management positions is still relatively small. A 1994 study, for example, found that women make up about 24 percent of officials and managers in industry. At the higher, vice-presidential level, women make up an even smaller proportion - less than 5 percent.

Even when women hold the same jobs as men, or have equal skills, training, and education, they tend to earn less. The state of Washington has tried to solve this problem by introducing a policy of comparable worth. This means that women are paid the same as men for doing different but equally demanding work. For example office cleaning may be paid the same as truck driving. Some other states have followed Washington's lead with similar programs. Even so, among industrial nations, the United States has nearly the worst record in women's earnings.


Task 3.The SQR3 approach to reading also includes two strategies to use after reading: Recite and Review.

1. ReciteWhen you recite, you say aloud from memory what you have read about. You can do this while reading, stopping after each paragraph and asking yourself: Now what did I just read? Do I understand the main ideas? Did the text answer my questions?

· Choose a paragraph from the text. Re-read it and then tell a partner what your paragraph was about. Listen to your partner tell you about a different paragraph.

2. ReviewReviewing means going back over the text and thinking about how much you understand. You can put a check next to the parts you understand and a question mark next to the parts that are still unclear.

· Review the text now and put checks and question marks where appropriate. Discuss with a small group the parts you did not understand.

Task 4.Scan the text and find the nouns that occur with these verbs. Make up a sentence with each word combination.

to deny   to pass   to take  
to enter   to hold   to solve  
to fight for   to pursue   to follow  

Task 5. Among vocabulary units from the text, find the ones with opposite meanings to the expressions below:

1. to hold high-status, well-paid jobs;

2. gender equality;

3. women who don't hold their job as being important;

4. to lend money;

5. Women earn as much as men do;

6. disregard for the family;

7. to take no part in bringing up children;

8. One can be easily promoted;

9. to allow sex discrimination at work;

10. to be employed in a diverse range of jobs;

11. Women are employed less and less in jobs typically held by men.

Task 6. Paraphrase the underlined vocabulary units in the text in the written form. Make up 5 fresh-context sentences with the word combinations you like most.

Task 7.Write a one-paragraph summary of the text. Include only the main ideas and omit very specific details or supporting evidence. Include these words in your summary:

sexism inequality workplace
lower status lower pay "career and family"

 



INEQUALITY AT WORK | LISTENING

D. During your working life | C. During the day (different work-patterns) | D. Types of work | REVISION | RECENT CHANGES IN THE WORLD OF WORK | HELP WANTED | THE CHANGING WORKPLACE | The Changing Workplace | MEN VS WOMEN | GENDER STEREOTYPES AT WORK |

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