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Hi Amy,

I'm doing a debate with my friend on women being held back in the workplace and need some information and points for it. I also need to have facts and good points. Can you help me out?

- Alice


Dear Alice,

Hmmm, where should I start? If you read through the Q & A's posted under "work" at Ask Amy, you will read many personal testimonies to how individual women are being held back in the work place.

In general, there are a few ways that women are held back. For instance--pay. On average, women make only 76 cents for every $1 earned by men. This is an average and goes down to 50 cents for Latinas. This means that women and men work the same, but don't get paid the same.

A further hindrance to women in the workforce is that they remain the primary care givers for children, yet the workplace isn't a child friendly place. Most workplaces are required to offer parental leave--which really means maternal leave, but they aren't required to pay for this leave. Therefore, women who have children have to take time away from their jobs--and they aren't paid for that time.

There are still few women who are allowed to "rise to the top" of certain businesses--and too many women who are burdened by long hours and low wage jobs. So in order to make the workplace equal you also have to equalize different jobs. For instance, jobs that are primarily female tend to be low wage jobs, while jobs that are male tend to be higher wage--even though each requires the same skills/trainings. For instance, nursing compared to physicians assistants; bookkeeping compared to accounting.

You can get specific stats at the Dept. of Labor Women's Bureau.

Good Luck,

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