Zoe B. Michigan

Stand Up For Women

I hope as future president, you will stand up for our women and create equality for all.

Dear Future President,

In today’s world of labor, men hold the reins and rule the world of work. There are countless news scandals about sexual harassment, the wage gap, and the glass ceiling. While some may argue that workplace equality has been achieved, this is not true, and the way the workplace is structured ultimately hurts women. I believe that it is your duty to change this along with many other injustices Americans and people around the world face.

One way that workplace standards hurt women is the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling is essentially an unofficial barrier for advancement in a profession, preventing women from climbing up the work ladder. Some may argue that we have plenty of women in the workforce with high ranking jobs, but Claire Miller and Liz Alderman, writers for the New York Times state that only twenty four out of five hundred, fortune five hundred companies have women as their chief executive officer Miller and Altermans findings help showcase how relevant the glass ceiling still is in a woman's life. If the glass ceiling is eliminated, hopefully it will be in November, the workplace will be a much better place for women, allowing them to advance in their jobs and overall better the company with other opinions and ideas some men may not have.

Another predicament for women posed by the workplace is the wage gap. The wage gap is a difference in pay for the same job. The wage gap is justified only by a difference in gender. Some might say that a woman's work is inferior to a man’s, but women are generally more often perfectionists than men, making their work have a higher quality. Even though this isn’t always the case, women are still paid 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, and that is only if the woman is white. African-American women make 63 cents for each dollar a man makes and Hispanic women earn 54 cents for each dollar a man makes. If one does the math, it takes a white woman a month and a half to earn what a male colleague makes in one month, this time continues increase with different races. However, the pay gap has come a long way from where it used to be in the nineteen sixties, where women made only forty cents for each dollar men made. Not only has the amount women make gone up, but women have also become more educated, opening up more jobs to them. The question of why the wage gap is around still remains in place, but in the near future, it will hopefully no longer be a question. When the wage gap is finally abolished, optimistically during your first term, it will be a moment in history that shows how far Americans have come in the fight for equality.

Finally, another way that the workplace hurts women is by treating them as sexual objects. It is unacceptable for a male coworker to make any type of sexual pass at a female colleague. This form of sexism started back in the nineteen sixties, when women more commonly started having jobs. Men made a big deal about how important it was to have an attractive secretary to work for them. Women often found themselves helpless when their superiors made erotic comments at them, and still do today. Laws have been passed making what men call, simple teasing, illegal. One law, known as The Declaration On The Elimination Of Violence Against Women, states “It is unlawful to sexually harass a person (an applicant or employee) when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).” While this progress is good, more can be done to protect workers.

As one can see, the way the workplace is structured, hurts women on many levels. Not only by sexual harassment, the glass ceiling, and the wage gap, but by how it affects them emotionally. After going through each of these things on a day-to-day basis, it can really take a toll on one’s emotions. It is 2016, and workplace equality (along with other forms of equality) is long overdue. I hope you use your power as commander in chief for good and create progress for the people of the United States of America.


Zoe Lynn Blake 

Oakland Writing Project (Michigan) - CASA

CASA - AP Lang

9th-12th grade students who come from 3 different schools.

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