Women's role in the workplace has greatly improved over the past couple decades. Women now run companies as CEOs and in effect have broken the glass ceiling that many women faced not long ago. While it seems like women have may achieved an equality to men in the workplace, there are still many obstacles that women must still hurdle to prove that they are just as effective in power positions as their male counterpoints.
Being a Mother
While there have been successful working mothers for generations, being a mother and working can still cause some hindrances that men don't often face. The first of these is maternity leave. Many corporations look at women in their childbearing years and assume there might be a possibility of a maternity leave in the future. This possibility can hinder women moving up the ranks in positions where an extended leave may hinder a job function.
Mothers are often the caregivers of the children. While many men have stepped up and take on the same amount of childcare as the mother, society still views the mother as the immediate caregiver. Oftentimes schools will call the mother's work number first even if the father's number is the first on the call list. This can give the impression to employers that they may be additional time taken off to take care of the children. Because of this, many women feel they need to prove their commitment to their company over their family to get promotions.
As we move farther into the new century hopefully we will see less and less of the "good old boys" mentality that still pervades many large corporations. Older generations were raised to see females as the weaker sex, and while many were brought up to have respect for women, they also were brought up thinking of them as more delicate or emotional creatures. In the work place some managers will still treat women more gently than their male components for fear that they might upset them. Not that anyone wants to be yelled out, but this difference in treatment can affect women who are trying to climb up the ranks in the company as those giving the promotions may be afraid that a woman would not be able to handle an aggressive client.
Climbing up the corporate ladder may be easier for women than it was more than 20 years ago, but there are still obstacles women must face. Unfortunately to achieve corporate goals many women feel they have to strip themselves of their femininity and down play their role of motherhood to get the promotion that they deserve.