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Teaching has always been considered as a gender-neutral position. However, in the past women were not given the same consideration in education. Men were more common in the teaching profession since they had fewer barriers to hold them back than women. As mentioned in the article McCrmick (2006) women’s lives were more restricted in terms of personal experience as well as who they associated with. Women were seen more as moral mothers than as teachers because of the traditions in a culture of the function of the male and female parental roles in the family unit (McCormick 2006).
Although teaching is a gender-neutral profession woman had a harder time getting into the position in the United States because of the stigma that came with being a woman, low pay rate, characteristics, and promotion in job settings.
Women were restricted for job opportunities more often than men were. According to O’Kelly and Carney (1986), teaching was one of the top three ways of employment for women, which came along with a little pay rate that even the most educated men rejected the teaching positions.
As for the women who did get the opportunity to be employed as teachers were only offered the job of elementary or secondary school teachers with a low pay rate. Meanwhile, the head directors of the school, the principals, the superintendents, and school board members were all men. Men who received the position of teachers received a much higher pay rate and were promoted to an influential administrative position much faster than women did.
(O’Kelly and Carney, 1986). It was believed that women should only be allowed to pursue certain occupations or that there were restricted roles to one specific gender. Women were facing that because of gender discrimination that restricted them from moving forward in their career and education (McFadden 2005).
Women needed to have specific characteristics to be considered for a teaching position. According to O’Kelly and Carney (1986), women who were found for the teaching positions were chosen more feminine features and moral behavior. Even though their peers did not only went based on their characteristics but rather their skills (O’Kelly and Carney, 1986). Furthermore, in the research done by April (1998), the results of the study done to 12 female teachers to compare and contrast, showed that they not only demonstrated physical characteristics but rather “demonstrated resiliency and reflectiveness, the need for a creative outlet, a need for collaboration and community, and the desire to effect change” (April 1998, p. 117). The study showed that female teachers not only used those characteristics in the classroom setting but also were able to pass down their learnings to other teachers and how do those characteristics develop while being in their teaching career. (April 1998).
Even when women got promoted to being a teacher there was still a pay gap between the two genders. For instance, Weisshaar (2017), mention that in academia the difference between the two genders persisted since it was more possible for men to receive tenure than women. A test in the gender gap was conducted to find out the differences in work etiquette between men and women in the departments of Sociology, English and Computer Science. No matter the changes that were made at the workplace to not focus on gender but actually in the work contribution and because of the assumption about women in the workplace they were improbable in receiving a promotion than men were. As a result of women being discriminated against men, it led women to stay away from other job opportunities that offered a high level of different positions that required more commitment and responsibilities. (Weisshaar 2017). In addition to what Weisshaar mentioned, O’Kelly and Carney (1986) also indicated that the gender gap in different job settings was taking apart in the economy based on the gender that was dominated. The economist maintained the possibility into what extent did education and years of work experience mattered based on gender. There were job opportunities in the job market for women, but they were of less pay, fewer possibilities of receiving a promotion, less security and fewer opportunities, and benefits than the jobs that were offered for men. Having women in positions that were less beneficial gave men a less competitive work environment (O’Kelly and Carney 1986). In addition, McCormick (2006) mentions that women teachers were given less importance and were seen as careless. Women teachers were in job positions that were not given the opportunity for promotion (McCormick 2006).
The teaching profession for women in the United States was not always easy even though teaching was a gender-neutral position for both men and women, people had no consideration over women, they were always discriminated. The women had to face challenges along with discrimination when they were trying to become a teacher, either applying for the position or when being educated for it. Men had more opportunities than women did, not only in the area of teaching but any other place. Even though teaching was on the top three areas of employment for women, it was offering a low pay rate and with a few to none benefits compare to men. The expectations for women in the workplace were very straight forward. When women wanted to apply for a teaching job position the employers had expectations, from what skills they needed to have, to their physical characteristics. In the same way, women kept facing more and more obstacles when competing with men. They have not given the equal opportunities as men to promotion in any circumstances no matter the level of education men would always get promoted and receive a higher payment rate along with better benefits. Women had to face many challenges to be able to get a decent job even though that didn’t mean that it would stop competing with men. Women and men seemed always to fight to try and get the best job.
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