All employers now have to adhere to rules about equal opportunities, but in reality there are still ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ jobs. The glass ceiling still exists in the eyes of many, and incidents of men earning more than women, whilst performing the same role, have not yet been entirely banished to the history books.
However, change is afoot. Women are beginning to be accepted into roles that were previously only performed by men. The aggressive world of corporate business has, until now, been male dominated, but occurrences of female directors in SMEs have risen from 16% to 24%, a percentage which is predicted to rise over the next five years.
It has now been announced that the army are considering allowing women to fight on the front line. The change in gender equality won’t come quickly – the army review of female combat roles will not take place until 2018, so female soldiers have a four year wait until they are allowed to shoot to kill. Currently, women are allowed on the front line, but are not put in high risk situations. The Ministry of Defence has stated that there will not be any allowances made regarding performance, and that female soldiers will have to carry as much, and run as far, as their male counterparts.
It’s not just business and the armed forces that women are succeeding in, the world of gaming is also seeing increased female participation. The stereotype for video-gamers may be teenage boys sitting in darkened rooms, but 48% of all video gamers are now female.
In fact, women are making waves across the board, especially in previously male dominated sports such as poker as reported by Ladbrokes Poker. Vanessa Selbst is doing incredibly well, winning $25,000 in the PCA High Roller tournament last year, and Annie Duke has been named the Duchess of Poker, having won two World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournaments.
It’s not all sunshine, roses and equality though – only 0.5% of truck drivers are women, and there are three female butchers in the UK. Three.
While it may seem like common sense that gender should not be a barrier to employment, it clearly still is in many cases but, shouldn’t the focus of employment be based on merit and not gender? Gender equality should be promoted but not at the expensive of the person (male or female) who is right for the job.