There’s a long standing assumption that careers must follow a linear, full-time pattern. This is based on the work-pattern of the 1950s male, and it assumes that the male worker has a stay-at-home woman to do all the domestic work. Which frees him of domestic responsibility, so that he is able to focus solely on career. This hasn’t be true for ~50 years, but because of the media exposure of this lifestyle, the idea became rooted in American culture.
Many Baby Boomers have this idea that Millennials are lazy, because they believe that any job will be good enough to support a family. This is also an outdated concept. Most families need 2 incomes to cover the basics. Times have changed, and the slow-to-retire Boomers (who have seniority in their upper management positions) refuse to retire and let the necessary changes happen.
These old-timers are from a historical time period where workplace gender discrimination was common. And they’re still trying to uphold these old-fashioned ideas. ‘Glass walls’ refers to the sex segregation in the workplace, when certain genders are placed in positions based on stereotypes of that group. ‘Glass ceiling’ refers to the barrier, made up of subtle, often unconscious prejudices and stereotypes, that limits the opportunities and advancement of women and minorities. And ‘glass escalator’ is the invisible advantage that accelerates men’s success in a female dominated sphere of work; aka how a man seems to get promoted further and faster.
There are currently more women in college than men. Meaning that there are fewer career-focused men in existence, so a convergence of domestic responsibility will become a reality for the newer generation. Men and women will soon equally share the income and household responsibilities. But women are still not treated as equals in the workplace. Affirmative action laws attempt to redress past discrimination for members of historically marginalized groups. Which should favor women, and require companies to hire more women. But their quotas can be misinterpreted as minimum-requirements, with no penalties for failing to meet the goals. The minimum-requirement suddenly becomes the maximum that the company plans for, and the companies won’t ever plan to go beyond it.
Women who are independent, ambitions, direct, competitive, and tough are seen in the workplace as ‘iron maidens’, and are thought of as unlikable because of the masculine nature of this behavior. Whereas other women are frequently treated like sexual objects, or as feeble children in the workplace. Even when women hold the same titles and positions as men, the women continue to be paid less. Women’s careers are punished for leaving work to care for their families, which leads to employers considering them less desirable, and limits the career options available to moms. Mothers are less likely to be hired or promoted, because they were perceived as less professional [compared to how the father-bonus, where fathers tend to make 6% more $ than childless men].