LAURA FIRST, HUMAN RIGHTS WORKER
Definitely. I think a lot of men are hired for jobs that women could be qualified for, and I think that at certain jobs women are looked down upon. Also, women are not paid the same amount for the same duties, and I think that’s pretty prevalent. I think women are looked upon as not having the same intelligence level as men and therefore are not hired.
ANA MARIE COX, FREELANCE JOURNALIST
Yes. In a way, it is a more difficult problem today than it was 30 or 40 years ago. A lot of people can convince themselves they are not sexist because they don’t think of themselves as sexist, but today this problem manifests itself in more subtle ways. Women’s behavior is held to a different standard than men’s; in leadership circles men are expected to be forceful and outspoken; women are expected to be more congenial and polite.
RICHARD HARDY, HAIRSTYLIST
In some cases it is an issue, but I don’t think it is a widespread phenomenon. Culturally, men view women differently, but it is most obvious not so much when they hire people, but when people are not promoted, and I think you will see it in the pay scale also. This mostly concerns women, but there is also the same situation with some minorities, where you know that you will only get this far in your career.
AMELIE GRIER, GRADUATE STUDENT
I am in an organizational management program, and we study gender issues. The biggest problem for women is that when they get to the upper level in their organization, they have to fight people’s natural tendency to promote what is already in their current positions, so a white male executive tends to be the prototype of what a senior executive looks like. As a result, women have a tougher time obtaining these positions.
BONJI BEARD, UNEMPLOYED
Absolutely. It is a social issue. So to the degree that women are seen as second class, this issue has to affect hiring. It affects the women’s psyche as well as men’s. There are a lot of women who may be qualified for jobs and who couldn’t see themselves necessarily in those positions because they’ve never seen a woman in that position.
JOHN WACAM, WASHINGTON RESIDENT
This issue becomes less and less important. Well, I am a post-baby-boomer; I was born in the early ’60s, and the gender revolution was occurring in the late ’60s-early ’70s. So when I was younger, there were fewer women in the workforce. Now a lot more women are in the workforce, so in my lifetime there’s been a major change. I’m struck by the change, not by the current limitations, although I know there are limitations.