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Women entering the career pipeline in fields dominated by males have lower pay and promotion expectations than their male counterparts. This puts women at a compromising situation when negotiating for their initial salaries and their expected promotion rates.
Mentoring can be highly effective in empowering women in their current career progress in breaking into the male-dominated fields and progressing up to the highest possible levels.
Pre-career salary expectations for students graduating from the university shows a significant gender gap in traditionally male-dominated fields with a low representation of women in these fields.
Women sometimes opt for low-salaried careers in order to balance with other interests. This includes their contribution to the society while their male counterparts focuse on career advancement as their top priority.
The government, policy makers and concerned organizations need to ensure equal treatment of both sexes in salary negotiations, especially for their first jobs.
Critique of the article
The authors are in emphasis of how women get into the career pipeline with low salary and promotions expectations. I totally agree with this point as a good percentage of women are still lagging behind on the real value of the jobs they are targeting or when in an interview. They then end up negotiating for low rates for their initial salaries. This ultimately has a long-term effect on how they will rise because of the value set by the initial salary. The author goes on to advise on the importance of availing such information on the actual salaries and expected promotion rates in all the relevant fields, a point that I second. This will also assist women to change their mind set on how they value themselves compared to their male colleagues.
The authors have established the importance of gender specific mentoring towards attaining realistic career progress for women in the same way as the men. In my opinion, this can serve as a base in helping women to advance in the career pipeline with less prejudice from the society. They can be trained on how to negotiate for salaries and build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as be given advice on how to advance up the ladder and make the right career choices among others. However, I would like to disagree with the authors’ assertion about the encouragement of young women to take up women in senior positions as their role models. Men in high positions can as well make excellent mentors in current times. Nowadays, men appreciate women’s effort to advance career-wise, unlike past years. Some women may also feel a threat to empower young women whom they work with in the same organizations (Bell & Villarosa, 2010).
However, the authors need to appreciate the rising number of women in traditionally male-dominated fields in recent years. Learning institutions and several organizations are working exceptionally hard to incorporate women in all the fields previously dominated by men. However, it is important that the authors acknowledge the use of secondary data for the study with a limit to the set variables from the primary source.
The authors have also emphasized the issue of women’s preference of lower paying jobs, as reflected in the research findings of the study. I am in full agreement with this, as many women go for jobs with flexible working hours, less demanding and often paying less money. The effort to curb this trend is not best-placed at the moment. The responsibilities facing women in the society do not favor them to concentrate on their careers. Such responsibilities as the family and contribution to the society put women at a disadvantage and make them seek balance with their working life. The authors advise that employers should provide a conducive environment for women, in order to balance their careers with other family and societal responsibilities but without being opting for low salaries.