What biased and backward conception of our male-dominated society does it keep work in general and that of women in particular, in a world where employment is undergoing major transformations? Work relies less and less on physical strength or actual time at the office; Unmarried or homosexual fathers have obligations equivalent to those of working mothers; Of women choose not to breed. So, what can still justify that in the twenty-first century women have wages 14% lower than those of men?
This question deserves today not only to be asked but, above all, to be finally solved: the newsletter of the Glorieuses proposed a collective awareness around the inequality of wages, November 7 at 16:34: at this minute There, in fact, with equal pay with that of men, women cease to be remunerated for their work. The remaining 38.2 working days embody this difference in treatment.
However, in this world of work, women are far from being left behind and many of them are at the origin of major inventions that have engendered real revolutions: Marie Curie of course for her discoveries on radioactivity. But Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr, who has filed a patent for coding transmissions still useful today for radio-guidance, satellite positioning systems and 3G and Wi-Fi. Grace Hopper, creator of the first computer language.
Alice Guy, first filmmaker who invented in 1902 the “chronoscènes” (ancestors of the video clip). Lisa Meitner, who discovered nuclear fission. Henrietta Swan Leavitt who found how to measure the distances in the universe. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin who discovered the structure of penicillin. Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar, one of the most widely used materials in the world. Heather Kane who co-discovered DNA. All these women and many others have been erased from history textbooks, while the world in which we live today relies heavily on their contributions.
The history of the world of work is constantly changing. Whenever humanity has undergone a significant evolution, it has invented new ways of working together, new organizational models, from which women have been excluded or not, according to the needs of the moment. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, technology in general and the Web in particular have again revolutionized the organization of work and the role of women. Jobs require less and less physical force, one moves away from the pyramidal model where the orders fall from above while at the bottom one executes and the trades rest less and less on a number of hours pointed at one workplace.
The Internet has brought down barriers between the sphere of work and the private sphere (the Internet allows leisure breaks from the workplace and conversely, many people remain connected to their work 24/24). Technology is increasingly reducing the size of the agricultural world (from which women were generally excluded by a supposed lack of physical strength), and that of the industrial world (where women were underpaid even when they were more skilled That men), for the world of service, where intelligence is the raw material and where women are as qualified as men … but always less well paid.
Is this to say while employers have remained frozen in a retrograde standard of ideal work, which defines the worker engaged as someone who works forty years in a row full-time? Can the time of presence in the workplace still be the referent today and the calculation of productivity is still on the same basis as in the twentieth century, when we are witnessing the emergence of a New organizational model that breaks down top management hierarchies to the base to propose a horizontal distribution of intelligence? Would decision-makers need an update?
Businesses and the business community in general have for some time turned to the world’s largest market, which is twice that of China and India combined: the women’s market. Their strategies were based on the observation that women made 70% of household spending in the 1990s. This rate has now risen to about 85%. With cynicism, one could confine oneself to strictly economic data: indeed, could not this search for growth so coveted rest on the famous 14% of wages missing women, which would significantly increase their purchasing power?
Or would it be preferable for women to organize among themselves, out of spite, like black Americans – also excluded from the system – who in the 1970s and 1980s set up businesses and media that catered to their needs Expectations and valued them? This option, greatly simplified today thanks to the web, will not fail to attract many women, if the world of employment remains so retrograde and continues to operate at two speeds.
It would, of course, be preferable for society’s view of women to move away from stereotypes.