Gender Socialization Is The Process Of Learning Gender Roles And Expectations

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Why is it that despite making up 55.5 % of the United States population women hold only 19.6 % of seats on the U.S Congress, 4.6% of CEO positions (S&P 500 companies), and 13.2% of school superintendent positions? Many people believe that women are intellectually inferior, and/or lack the desire to reach the top. However, these individuals are misguided in their belief about the professional and interpersonal strengths that most women possess. The disproportionate number of women in prominent positions is a result of a historical tradition of gender socialization that facilitates prejudicial practices within the work environment. Gender socialization is the process of learning gender roles and expectations. It is what determines which…show more content…
As a result, women speak more tentatively, apologize more, and interrupt less than men. Ultimately, this leaves the impression that men are more confident and capable, and therefore, better leaders (Lakoff, 1975). This impression, coupled with the perception of aggression as a predominantly masculine trait, can lead to unwelcoming work environments in which women may experience double standards, bias in assessments, as well as harassment. For instance, many women experience co-workers telling inappropriate jokes and making sexually oriented remarks toward them. One woman recounts, “it happened so often that I stopped telling [my boss] about it” (Angyal, 2015). In this way gender socialization may prevent women from obtaining high level positions or cause them to miss out on opportunities to advance in their careers.

Women have to maneuver through many obstacles -- some more apparent than others -- in order to climb up the corporate ladder. Every day women fall prey to vertical segregation (also known as “the glass ceiling”), which refers to a barrier that keeps women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder. Eventually, these obstacles create a reality in which it is rare to see a woman ascend to upper level positions. For example, women become teachers and principles, while men are superintendents. This creates a
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