Gender inequalities and perceived inequalities often lead to bigotry and discrimination in the workplace. Women, for instance, generally earn less than men in the same roles. Part of the reason for this has to do with biology. Because only women can give birth, women often need to take time off for maternity leave. Sometimes, their careers are put on hold, while men are free to pursue promotions and to earn raises. Yet men are now entitled to paternity leave in many areas. They can also take time off to help take care of newborn children. In order to help combat the problems with gender inequality, I will help support both maternity and paternity leave. I will also encourage the men I know to make sure that they take their paternity leave. If enough men begin exercising their rights to paternity leave, they will be able to enjoy more time with their children, can provide women an opportunity to return to work early, and can help make sure that men and women are on more equal tracks towards promotion and raises in salary.
Another problem women often face that men do not, when it comes to the workplace, is trouble with pumping to provide their children with milk, instead of formula. Women often feel that they ought to provide their children with breast milk instead of formula, because formula has sometimes been linked to greater chances of developing allergies and diseases. But women who try to pump milk while on break, often run into negative attitudes in the workplace. Even other women often make them feel uncomfortable for storing breast milk near their work areas, or in community refrigerators. Opposition from co-workers can be just as damaging to a woman’s confidence as an employer’s comments. Therefore, I will make it a point to voice support for women who choose to breastfeed in the workplace .
Also, because there is such a gap between men and women in terms of salary, Americans can put pressure on employers to adjust salaries proactively. I will begin writing to companies that pay women proportionally lower wages than men, to encourage them to take women’s’ roles as mothers into account when determining when to give raises and promotions.