Gender roles in the workplace


Throughout history, there have always been jobs that are supposed to correspond with the commonly known gender roles within every society
From the beginning, women who desired to work in an office were usually stuck behind a desk as a secretary, typically a secretary for a man. This job was assigned to women because me were thought to be better at real jobs and this was just busywork.


Going along with that thought, the afformetioned women were secretaries for men who were CEO’s or very important to large corporations. What I want to know is why don’t you ever see men working as secretaries for women?


Now a days, there have been drastic changes in gender roles playing out in the workplace. Instead of only having women stuck behind desks answering phones all day, women are able to hold high status occupations such as lawyers, doctors, and whatever they want to be

yound doctor

On the flip side, men have started branching out from the typical CEO, lawyer, and etc positions to start doing what they want, regardless of what others think. For example, in the movie Meet the Parents, Ben Stiller’s character, Gaylord (Greg) Focker, is a male nurse who loves what he does. When that movie came out, people thought it was so funny because of the fact that he was a nurse because they thought in reality, there was no way that a man would be a nurse; instead he would shoot to be a real doctor.


Why do you think these gender roles are the way they are?
Are they ever going to change?



3 Responses to “Gender roles in the workplace”

  1. I believe that things will change as time moves on. These are signs of change today but it’ll take more time before they are fully accepted… if ever. Today when we see a male secretary or a female construction worker we don’t think much of it… but it is interesting what we think about. When we think of the male secretary what do we think of? GAY right? And when we think of the female construction worker what do we think of? Overweight woman with mullet, right? I believe that there are some areas that will take longer for the whole gender roll to change, but it’s happening.
    When you meet a guy and find out he teaches young kids instead of thinking that he’s doing a girls job a lot of women will think, awww how sweet! On the other hand, if a guy finds out a girl he’s into works on cars in a garage, they may think ether “Cool,” or “Hot” Then again, these are all new stereotypes, which could be a whole other problem.

  2. I agree with the comment above in how we see the world. It’s no longer that we reserve certain positions for certain genders. It’s surely the way we see people in jobs that don’t seem suiting for a specific gender. For instance, my friend’s dad is a male nurse. When I was first exposed to this, I was a naive little kid who though, “Oh my god, a male nurse? How gay!” As I grew older and more mature the fact that he was this profession didn’t bother me at all. I came to realize that his job is just as important as a doctors. And to be honest when I watched Meet the Parents for the first time, the joke of Gaylord (Greg) Focker being a male nurse seemed to pass right over my head. I guess for people who grew up in certain situations will become more desensitized by these things. I do have to say though, if I were to envision a female construction worker, I would think of an overweight girl with a mullet. I guess this is just the beginning of a more acceptable, and less sexist society.

  3. I also believe things will change as time progresses. However, i think it will take A LOT of time. People’s perceptions about ideas need to change and that is a hard thing to do. Gender roles have been engrained in our minds since childhood. From the toys we play with as children, to the way we are brought up by from our parents, all keep on renforcing the notion of gender roles. Little girls are supposed to be quiet and obedient while it’s ok for little boys to be loud and free. Little girls play with dolls and plastic food while boys play with action figures. All of these childhood experiences shape our perception of gender roles for the future.
    My older brother is a teacher and i believe he was able to get a job very easily right after he finished college because he is a male. Schools are looking for men to teach teens and he broke down a stereotype and was able to be succesful in his profession.
    Another male friend of mine got in to the school of nursing here at Manoa very easily just because he is a male and they are in need of male nurses.
    Gender roles are changing slowly but surely:)

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