Career Counselling For Women In The Workplace

Career Counselling Isn’t Just For New Graduates

Career counselling isn’t just for new graduates.  Any woman in the workplace may find it of enormous benefit.

Since the middle ages, the female role was significantly socialized within the compounds of the family home. Traditional female duties entailed tasks which were centered on homemaking while the males attended to the responsibilities involving strenuous labor and the provider role. The female identity has evolved throughout history in function with social triumphs acquired through the women’s movement. While women have been promoted to the executive corner offices and adopted roles within industrial sectors which were once predominantly male populated, a degree of covert ostracism persists. For example, the growth of paid employment fails to extend to the more traditional homemaker role in addition to the significant discrepancies between male and female salaries within similar vocational positions.

Overtime a number of systematic changes have been initiated through the establishment of such organizations that support the female vocational spirit and drive as well as those attempted at the governmental level through the implementation of various policies and procedures in hopes to re-establish a degree of equilibrium, however today’s society appears to be plagued by the ongoing disadvantages that operate at the more implicit level. Career counselling services are available to aid women in navigating the challenges they encounter in the workplace.

Resistance To Gender Equality In The Workplace

Despite the increased awareness regarding the discrimination of females within the workforce and ample research and examples that attest to the positive aspects of female productivity within the corporate world, there continues to be a degree of resistance to gender equality. The enlistment of males within the armed forces during World War I left the factories and labor positions vacant which soon led to its occupancy by women who were left behind. This historical event and the progression of the industrial revolution altered the traditional perceptions regarding female potential within the workforce and her traditional roles. In addition, various movements involving women’s issues, such as the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, further supported the emancipation of the female character.

What Does Motherhood Have To Do With It?

Women are often overlooked when applying for higher occupations within the corporate ladder due to the common misevaluations regarding their emotional reactivity, ability to handle stressful situations and managerial skills. Moreover, given the female’s mothering role corporations will often overlook women when considering placement for such positions that exige a considerable amount of time, effort and energy from fear of conflicting with her maternal duties. In addition to the corporate slight, society in general further heightens the challenges which women face by enforcing messages, both implicitly and explicitly, regarding maternal expectations which at times are unrealistic to attain. Thus, this leaves the average women in a double bind as she is torn between attempting to establish success within her career as well as her home life. In effect, the reverse appears to occur with women who are in fact occupants of higher executive type positions. These same women are often characterized as being overly masculine or demoralizing personality characteristics are attributed as being the secret to their success.

Aside from attempting to balance work life roles, women in the workforce encounter additional challenges from a financial perspective. Salaries afforded to women who occupy similar vocational positions within the professional sphere as their male contenders have proven to be significantly lower despite the uniformity of job-related tasks. A study conducted by Williams et. al. (2010) examined specifically why men earn higher salaries than women. Results of the study supported the idea that the economic differential between male and female earnings was highly associated with automatic stereotypes that link men, more than women, with wealth.

The suggested findings of the Williams et. al (2010) study resonate with the common trend within gender stereotypes that continue to inflict society today. Since the dawn of pre-historic man gender socializations have attributed the provision of goods / services primarily with the masculine gender. Evolutionary psychologists have postulated that pre-historic women sought men who showed favorable signs in their ability to assume the role of provider. This same stereotype is prevalent within modern day society as the masculine role continues to reflect that of the provider which parallels the results of the above study regarding pairing wealth to males. Thus this could potentially account for the prevalence of salary discrepancies amongst female and male occupied vocations, irrespective of whether the job demands are equivalent in nature.

Changes In Play

In addition to such organizations as the ABWA, workplace policies such as extending paternal leave of absence as a means to assist with newborn childcare within companies has also served as a helpful measure to alter previous more common trends involving women forgoing their careers for the pursuit of a family. Therefore, policies such as the one listed above attenuates male dominance within the workplace and the marginalization of female productivity. Moreover, the implementation of policies alike may be regarded as a small step towards creating systematic change on a larger scale in hopes that such practices become widespread throughout society and increase its normalization and acceptance by all community members.

Considering changes strictly from a legislative perspective, previous ruling in the Supreme Court’s 1989 decision involving J.A. Croson Vs. City of Richmond required state and local governments to show tangible evidence of racial discrimination before establishing race-conscious goals and implementing race-neutral remedies. While rulings such as those related to racial inequality have been established, gender based discrimination continues to be unaccounted for and are often not approached with the same strict standards of scrutiny as race-conscious programs. As such, this undermines the accuracy of representing the changing role of women in the workplace, thus accounting for the corporate world’s indifference towards the female’s struggle.

Career Counselling Services For Women In the Workplace

Despite the increased awareness regarding the discrimination of females within the workforce and ample research and examples that attest to the positive aspects of female productivity within the corporate world, there continues to be a degree of resistance to gender equality. The male’s fear of loss of authority and the belief in inherent male supremacy are both challenging attitudes to circumvent, thus supporting the fact that achieving change in gender relations is a complex process.

Until a time when these complex issues are resolved, In Counselling & Psychotherapy Services Inc. offers career counselling services. Raising such topics of discussion in the workplace or the home can cause feelings of anxiety, conflict and unease. Speaking with our knowledgeable and discreet associates allows an avenue for discussion and support. We welcome your call. Please do contact us.

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