Women Surviving in the Modern World


Devaluing Women’s Work

Before World War II, most offices used men as secretaries and clerks. These jobs required a man to read as well as write, and they had to excel in problem solving. Many men worked hard for these job opportunities so they could work in a clean environment and have enough money to marry and raise a family comfortably. Fast forward to modern times and women have replaced men as secretaries and clerks in the office. Most women would agree it is very difficult to support a single person on the pay of a clerk. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants earn more, but still not enough to comfortably support a good sized family and stay at home spouse.

Once women infiltrated the office, managerial work was reserved for men rather than secretarial or clerk jobs. The men made more as managers, and companies had no issue with paying women less money for work men had previously done. Laws have changed to promote equal pay for women, but this cannot be remedied when the job itself is devalued.

There are many fields that have been taken over by women. Psychologists and psychiatrists used to be fields dominated by men, and the average person could not afford their services. These services are now more widespread and affordable. They are also fields that are now dominated by women because they offer flexible hours. Computer programming is another field where women tend to outnumber the men in modern times. The price of programming services has dropped over the years, and men now work as systems analysts rather than doing programming.

Many modern companies believe they pay their clerks and secretaries a living wage, yet that is not necessarily true. Comparing the salary of the average clerk against the man mowing the office lawn shows the clerk makes less. This is a reality in the world today, and it keeps women from realizing their full potential in the workplace.