Most feminists believe that the position of women in the labour market is an important source of disadvantage

Workplace segregation remains prevalent as high concentrations of female employees are associated with relatively low rates of pay. And higher levels of part-time working are associated with lower rates of pay, even after other factors have been taken into account. Qualified women are characteristically denied top level jobs in corporate but instead of terming it what it is, sexism and discrimination, this form of unequal treatment is referred to as the ‘glass ceiling’ effect. ‘Most feminists believe that the position of women in the labour market is an important source of disadvantage.’ Women do indeed have to perform twice as well as a man to retain the same pay and position at similar occupational arenas. This discussion will examine barriers to equality in the workplace, the reasons for this cultural phenomenon, evidence to support this claim and some possible solutions.
Women must struggle to cope with discrimination in the workplace as is evidenced by occupational segregation. This terminology refers to the reality that women tend to work in different sectors of the economy and occupy different employment standings than men within the same occupational group. Government statistics reveal that women are highly concentrated in certain jobs and that 60 per cent of working women are employed in just 10 per cent of available occupations (“What is the Pay Gap?”, 2006). While about one-half of workers are in sex-dominated employment, women are engaged in a narrower scope of occupations than men. There are seven times more male-dominated non-agricultural jobs than female. ‘Sex-dominated’ occupations are defined as when workers of one sex constitute more than 80 per cent of the labour force (Anker, 1998). In the UK, women constitute just 30 per cent of managers, 25 per cent of executives and 10 per cent of company directors (EOC, 2002 cited in “What is the Pay Gap?”).