“Being a woman in the entertainment industry is hard.” “Women have to work harder to get anywhere in their careers.” “No one will take you seriously because you’re a woman.” I have been hearing things like this my whole life. In fact, just last week, a fellow Full Sail student said something similar to me. I usually shrug it off, because people really won’t take me seriously if I just try to play the “I’m a woman and I’m oppressed” card. Unfortunately, in many cases, the things people tell me are true.According to Forbes, in 2011, there were only 12 female CEOs running Fortune 500 companies. That number increased to a whopping 15 in 2013 catalyst.org Forbes author Gene Marks lists several reasons for the low number of women in high positions. He sites the double standards in society as the main factor. Women generally cannot make jokes or talk about an attractive co-worker the same way men can. Women are also the parent responsible for taking care of a sick child and making sure the home and family are stable.
I have witnessed the double standard in my own work experience. During my undergraduate studies, I worked as a pharmacy technician for a corporate retail chain. The store was located in a small town with a primarily elderly population. Almost daily, I would have a customer ask to speak with the pharmacist and point to my co-worker Josh, the only male technician at the store. The technicians and pharmacists could be distinguished by the color of our coats, yet almost every customer automatically assumed Josh was a pharmacist. People also assumed our female pharmacists were technicians, and would even sometimes go as far as refusing help from them because they were not men.
As much as I want to deny the double standard and struggle we have to endure, it is obvious that it still exists. Women have come a long way in gaining equality in the workplace, but we still have a long way to go. Even though we haven’t completely broken through the glass ceiling, we should not act like we are inferior to our male co-workers, because that will just prove the critics’ points. People still seem to have a perception that a woman can either have an amazing career OR a great family life, but very few seem to have both. For me, career has always been my main focus, but there is no reason why I cannot pursue both and be successful.