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Gender Inequality in Ohio’s Education and Labor Market

Gender equality has become a global area of concern that has created gaps both in education and the labor market. Many employers in the twenty-first century consider a person’s level of learning as a determining factor for job placement. However, both men and women have various advantages and disadvantages that may allow them to seize or miss particular career opportunities. Gender-based discrimination in the course of one’s education is one of the critical issues that have resulted in restrictions to the acquisition of skills, occupational stature, and employment. In the United States, there have been many cases of gender bias in learning institutions denying opportunities to students. This paper provides an insight into the problems, solutions, and barriers to gender equality in education and labor market in Ohio state.

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Problem

As discussed earlier in the problem analysis paper, gender equality is an issue that permeates all tiers and levels of learning and living. Main factors that lead to unequal education opportunities among male and female students in the United States include minority status, poverty, disability, distance from learning institutions, marriage, pregnancy, and gender-based violence. Although women are known for abandoning schools due to primary elements such as stereotyping, sexual abuse, early marriage, and gender discrimination, there are emerging cases where men are excluded from certain learning courses (Cimpian, 2018). Indeed, some US states such as Ohio have recorded cased of excluding male students from various engineering and scholarship programs. Perry (2020) reveals that Ohio State University was sued for offering, financing, and operating nine female-only courses, an act of gender-based discrimination pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (Perry, 2020). Cimpian (2018) also reveals that the measurement of academic proficiency by gender has created enormous problems in creating equal opportunities for male and female students.

Most schools in Ohio are perceived to underestimate the intellectual abilities of young women, which devalues their contributions to the labor market and society. A more systemic problem that is observed in most learning institutions is the measurement of equity using math or STEM parity. The roles of women in society, which accentuate their real-life differences with men, are severe societal issues that need enduring solutions if nations have to achieve the finest economic development and productivity.

Gender disproportion in education, partly due to socio-cultural origins, is a serious problem that may have adverse effects on the choice of career opportunities. The most recent evidence from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences show that the education of women precedes men in some areas. Overall, profound problems exist in Ohio State’s education system and researchers and policymakers to devise ways of ensuring equal access to learning opportunities for both male and female students.

Solution

Education is a fundamental right that should not be restricted to gender-based standards. Even though governments, authorities, and organizations have attempted to come up with solutions, assuaging gender disparity has proved to be a challenging task. Regardless of this standing, finding a solution to this social flaw will play a critical role in shaping the financial status and overall economic growth of Ohio state (Begum, 2015). Gender equality should spearhead efforts to promote the right to education and the attainment of sustainable economic development.

The creation of a balanced learning system, which offers impartial opportunities, is a first step towards the empowerment of both male and female students in Ohio. A few issues need to be addressed. First, gender specifications should be adjusted for all programs and scholarships to ensure equal educational opportunities for both genders. In a case involving Ohio State University, some courses have been discriminately selected for female students, a move that defies the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. Gender disparity in education has a direct effect on the labor market. In this case, it implies that certain jobs should be preserved for women. The university should allow full participation of male students in such courses to fill gaps where men are needed in the workforce. There have been a plethora of theoretical and empirical surveys asserting that gender imbalance in education and the labor market slows down economic development. Restricting learners to specific courses based on gender has a direct effect on the amount of human capital in society (Stier & Herzberg-Druker, 2017). In the case of Ohio State University, excluding men from engineering and scholarship programs may restrict a pool of talent from entering the related labor market. This scenario implies that the marginal return to educating boys is lower than that of girls and may result in reduced economic performance.

Enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is paramount to reminding educators that federal law bans gender-based discrimination in schools. Recently, Ohio State University established a new centralized office to deal with grievances of sexual pestering and misconduct. However, the institution should also address restrictions that prevent male students from pursuing some courses (Howie & Tauchert, 2019). Social questioning and assessment of bias from the entry point at the kindergarten level to the labor market will play a central role in narrowing the educational gaps that result in gender-based discrimination in educational facilities.

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Barriers

Despite efforts to discredit gender inequality, numerous barriers have inhibited the process of empowering and ensuring complete education cycles among men and women in Ohio. Large gender gaps determine access, the accomplishment of learning goals, and the pursuit of higher-level education, especially among girls (Howie & Tauchert, 2019). The United States regards science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) as the primary drivers of innovation and growth. As a result, these disciplines demand the full involvement of men and women to fulfill Ohio’s pledge to economic progress. Although women account for approximately 50% of the state’s workforce, they make up 25% of the STEMM jobs (Chen & Crown, 2019). Wyn, Cuervo, Crofts, and Woodman (2017) note that women are underrepresented in these faculties with 13.7% pursuing physical sciences, 20.6% IT-related courses, and 7.2% engineering. Further surveys also indicate most women suffer from systemic educational barriers such as typecasting, implicit bias, cultural issues, and lack of access to informal networks and mentoring.

It is important to understand that the development of future engineers and scientists will depend on whether colleges and universities will solve social and environmental hindrances to the success of underrepresented groups in STEMM (Stier & Herzberg-Druker, 2017). Some institutions of higher learning in the US, including Ohio State University, lack proper policies to address gender bias at the point of enrolment (Wyn et al., 2017). Creating opportunities for female participants in STEM programs does not warrant the University to restrict the male students from pursuing such courses as this approach will only result in the loss of significant talents necessary for the labor market.

Besides, male leaders have consistently shown an unwillingness to promote women to leadership roles, especially in positions that are stereotypically deemed suitable for men. This traditionalist behavior has denied about 57% of female workers opportunities to ascend to powerful positions both in the private and public sectors. 54% of male employees have also shown reluctance in the performance of duty and adherence to instructions under the leadership of lady bosses (Stier & Herzberg-Druker, 2017). Chauvinist believes that ladies have to work harder to prove their importance and contributions to the workplace have undesirable effects on a women’s career. This standing also affects decisions on careers among female students due to the fear of gender discrimination in the labor market.

Conclusion

Education is essential in building up human capital and it has become one of the most treasured assets in the twenty-first century owing to intensifying globalization and international competition. Any development approach that does not consider the need for embracing gender equality cannot attain comprehensive socio-economic growth. A balanced education system that caters to the future employment requirements for both women and men is vital for boosting economic development. However, many institutions across many states in America, including Ohio, suffer from gender inequality and typecasting. The choice of study programs based on gender poses a great risk to the economy due to the development of talent gaps in the labor market. Governments, authorities, and organizations need to understand the building blocks for ensuring gender equality in education and the labor market by advocating for equal opportunities for men and women at all levels.

References

Begum, A. (2015). Gender in education: policy discourse and challenges. Development in Practice, 25(5), 754–768.

Chen, J. J., & Crown, D. (2019). The gender pay gap in academia: Evidence from the Ohio State University. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 101(5), 1337-1352.

Cimpian, J. (2018). How our education system undermines gender equity: And why culture change – not policy – may be the solution. Brookings. Web.

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Howie, G., & Tauchert, A. (2019). Gender, teaching, and research in higher education: Challenges for the 21st century. Routledge.

Perry, M. (2020). Ohio State University busted for multiple violations of Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination. Web.

Stier, H., & Herzberg-Druker, E. (2017). Running ahead or running in place? Educational expansion and gender inequality in the labor market. Social Indicators Research, 130(3), 1187-1206.

Wyn, J., Cuervo, H., Crofts, J., & Woodman, D. (2017). Gendered transitions from education to work: The mysterious relationship between the fields of education and work. Journal of Sociology, 53(2), 492-506.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Gender Inequality in Ohio’s Education and Labor Market." August 11, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/gender-inequality-in-ohios-education-and-labor-market/.

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