Diversity is one of the more important issues in modern business, and women have to fight harder for it now, more than ever. Increasing the share of the pie for a group that’s over half of the world population seems only logical in every respect.
But rather than a common gender bias, it’s a combination of many things that contribute to the parity in the workplace. You don’t have to look farther than the recent findings on pay parity and glass ceilings. Every woman faces unique biases and challenges in their fields that should be dealt with in order to achieve true gender parity.
The concept of so-called women's issues has been discussed for decades and at times even used to sideline their political contributions. Many women in the U.S Congress are experts in varied fields including health, education, family and housing - all traditionally deemed women's turf. More reason for them to be taken seriously and their proposals advanced through the lawmaking process.
A recent study states that women in Congress have sponsored women's issues at a significantly greater rate than men since the 1970s. But, such issues face more tough passage than other comparable issues. Compared to 4 percent of all bills introduced in Congress becoming law, only 2 percent of bills related to women's issues become law.
The other, more worrying fact is that only 1 percent of such bills sponsored by women themselves become law. So what it comes down to is that proposals in areas of women's issues are not even taken seriously, unless proposed by men. An institutional bias? Most would think so. And more worryingly, this pattern has been fairly strong across the past 40 years, regardless of who’s in charge.
Disturbing though this trend is, these patterns are likely to continue. So what would it take to change this? Would more women in the Congress lead to changing these biases? Heightened awareness of such bias and a pressure to change the status quo is what is required. And it should come from the Congress or a larger group.
As a sign of the changing times, for the first time, women now make up a majority of students in law school. They now hold over 50 percent of all the seats at accredited law schools in the United States. And enrollment is on the up after dropping dramatically, by as much as 30 percent since 2010. In the context of increased standards for student graduates including test scores and grade point averages, women appear to be the more qualified applicants.
So now that we have gained the edge in enrollment numbers, we now need to translate it into an advantage in the professional field.