Society places men above women in the workplace. They receive higher pay, obtain promotions earlier, and make it to the top of their field faster. To this day, it is rare to find women at the top of multiple career fields. While some may argue that we have reached gender equality in the workplace; I would have to disagree. Along with unequal pay, there are many other struggles that women, unfortunately, have to go through. These are just some of the struggles of becoming a female entrepreneur.
We want to be and feel safe in our work environments
These female creative entrepreneurs are some of the only women in these positions. Each of them has a story of how they got there. For most, it is a trying one, involving much perseverance. For example, female entrepreneur and COO of Atlantic Records, Julie Greenwald, has spoken in-depth about the male-dominated music industry and her hopes of more women being involved in this particular career path. She has said she hopes to provide young women with “a safer environment free from harassment and discrimination.”
Julie pointed out her struggles of running a large company in conjunction with raising children. Women feel that even if they do make it to the top, their full value won’t be appreciated. On top of that, a minute 2.1 percent of producers in the American entertainment industry are females, according to the study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith. This goes to show just how difficult it is for women to make it into this industry.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
Many women and entrepreneurs in the performing arts have been subject to sexual harassment. For example, singer, Kesha was allegedly abused, both physically and emotionally, by her previous songwriter and producer, Lukasz Gottwald. However, this is not a stand-alone issue. In fact, many women have experienced similar treatment from their colleagues in multiple industries. Sexual harassment in the workplace is a long-standing issue that continues to discourage women from living their dream careers.
We have to change who we are
According to actress Kristen Stewart, the only way women can be accepted in a male-dominated business is to “make something undeniably good”. Also commenting on the topic, Beyoncé says that “equality is a myth” and that she cannot understand why women are forced to take a back seat. The music industry is not the only industry this is happening in. JK Rowling specifically used the initials “JK” rather than her full name (Joanne Rowling) in an attempt to keep her gender identity hidden from her readers. This is because it was understood by authors at the time, that many male readers refused to read books that had been written by women. This, in turn, discouraged women from going into the writing or publishing business and is perhaps the reason for only 27.38 percent of authors being women according to the 2013 study.
Furthermore, even filmmakers like Kathryn Bigelow of “Smugglers” was the very first female director to be awarded an Oscar in 2010. Kathryn says she believes that “every director should be judges solely by their work” rather than it being judged “based on their gender” she goes on to say that “Change is essential” for the “horrific situation for women directors”. With so few women being taken seriously in the creative and female entrepreneur world, it is no wonder that it is now dominated by men. However, these incredible women have proven that it is, indeed, possible to be successful in this business as a female; so long as you work hard and dedicate yourself to what you are doing.
When will the change actually happen?
Aspiring female entrepreneurs may also feel inclined to make a change of their own to better the field for all women. Having experienced male-domination and problematic behavior from men in several other aspects of their lives, women have grown tired of ill-treatment from men. Women desire equality amongst all genders. Be it in the workplace, in the home, in schools, or any other place. Women fight for their voices to be heard every day.
Despite the difficulties that a female entrepreneur could face daily, these problems must be addressed. Actress, Viola Davis, has also commented on the matter. She says, “if a woman does the same job as a man, she should be paid the same amount of money”. She went on to ask a very pressing question, “what are you telling your daughter when she grows up? ‘You’ve just got to understand that you’re a girl. You have a vagina, so that’s not as valuable.’”
This comment is a very important one. It points out the fact that generations after generations of women are being lead to believe that, due to something as uncontrollable as their genitalia, their lower salaries are justified. We cannot allow our society to continue this way. We need to stand up and make our voices heard so the next female entrepreneur will not have to suffer.
A submission written by Sarah Marsden