Although gender equality appears to be equal from a legislative standpoint, equality is far from being reached in the workplace. Women in male dominated fields, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and even Business, befall obstacles not only systemically, but also directly related to their fields of work each day.
The systemic discrimination against women in the workplace begins as a child. Young girls are taught to play with dolls and dress up as princesses, whereas young boys are taught to build things with Legos and dress up like superheroes. This emphasizes of gender roles to girls at a young age to prioritize taking on the role a caretaker. Similarly, although dressing up as a princess makes little girls feel royal and pretty, the emphasis on princesses also has the potential to subliminally ingrain in the minds of young women that they should take on a damsel in distress role, thus needing a handsome prince to come and save them. All of this occurring while young boys are being taught how to build things, solve problems that arise, and are emphasized to become a superhero that saves the day. This eventually leads to a systemic oppression in the workforce where women who go against the status quo are often seen as abnormal and incompetent for trying to take a traditional man’s role.
The systemic discrimination between women in male dominated fields is especially hard to overcome due to the issues that arise when women decide to go against gender roles in the workforce. When women decide to go against gender roles and take on the job of traditionally a man’s work, most feel as though they lack emotional, social, financial, and work support in their fields. Although diversity in the workplace is now being emphasized more now than ever, if a woman receives a job that lacks work support for her while she is working at that particular company, the progress made for gender equality in the workplace is for nothing. Women in male dominated fields often have trouble finding a strong mentor that they can look up to and aspire to be like, since especially in some industries, women leaders are hardly ever found. Similarly, women in male dominated fields find that policies for pregnancy and maternity leave often hinder them in the workforce as well. As a woman, choosing to pursue a profession in a male dominated field is not for the weak of heart.
Although a woman choosing to pursue a male dominated profession is not for the weak of heart, it is most certainly possible for a woman to be successful in such a field. Despite there being many obstacles for women in male dominated fields, Michelle Seiler Tucker proves that not only can women meet the expectations of a traditional man’s role, but women can also exceed those expectations and take businesses to amazing places that the companies have never gone before. Through being your own leader, trusting yourself, not being afraid to make mistakes, as well as finding your voice, women can stand up and be the change that the workplace so desperately needs. I think it is about time that women defy traditional gender roles in the workforce and become their own superheroes. Don’t you?