Op-ed: I never noticed a glass ceiling until I saw one broken

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 4, 2017 7:50 a.m.

    "It really is time to stop focusing on gender or race."

    I agree with this sentiment.... completely. But I totally disagree that people who do the same thing are paid the same. First, how someone contributes is never the exact same as another. It simply is a falsehood. Even on jobs where all you are doing is processing a certain number of widgets a day, I can tell you after 30 years of managing, no two employees contribute the same way and add value to the organization the same.

    I do love the intent of this piece. One of the things that I've seen hold people back the most is this internal "realm of possible", where people craft ideas of what they can and can't do. While we may see the occasional female pilot or co-pilot, they are still by far the minority. And there are a lot of reasons for that. But the point of this piece, not all young women, or blacks, or hispanics grew up knowing or believing they can do all they can do. Their worlds are shaped around their environments.... and it is only by seeing someone else achieve they we can too believe things are possible.

    Remember at one time a four minutes mile was deemed impossible... but is common now.

  • Copybook Headings Draper, UT
    Dec. 4, 2017 4:55 a.m.

    It's cruel but it's the nature of the beast. If I run a department with 12 managers and my job hangs on those managers making a profit for the company and I have a choice between a male and a female (both equally qualified) for an opening, I'm going with the one that on average works more days than the other.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2017 9:46 a.m.

    NoName..In my professional life, I've never seen anyone paid less for doing the same job"

    Your either lucky or not paying attention. By not paying attention I mean rarely (today) do you see, she's a women so let's give her less (BTW it was common in private industry early in my career). It's still common to see discrimination masked in circumstances that are predominantly female issues. Years of experience, breaks in experience, Personality, and sometime just plain exclusion to experience and networking.

    Just yesterday a relative recounted to me how he nor any of his male workers would ever work with, consult with, or even be in a room with a female alone for a supposed fear discrimination charges. Not surprising there were no female managers in at his work.

    Proudly I was able to recount how I had always worked with traveled with, and hung out with female co-workers who...surprise, surprise were at the top of their fields.

    We started from a place of acceptance and respect for one another.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 3, 2017 6:28 a.m.

    We all are special. It's nice to be recognized, but to me the people that get up in the morning an go to work everyday to support the family, that has to tolerate the intolerable. The ones that is taken for granted. Maybe there the rocks that make a great country, what ever it is that makes a Christian makes a good citizen.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 2, 2017 9:14 p.m.

    One grandmother or another worried that her grandsons might have a tougher problem getting ahead since employment diversity has become a dominant theme in the workplace lately.

    Well, for generations women have had to be twice as smart as any man to get and to keep their job. As it is said, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. Yet Ginger did not make the kind of money or have the same fame as Fred.

    Grandma, tell your grandsons to be better than good if they want to succeed.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Dec. 2, 2017 7:36 p.m.

    @NoNames wrote,

    "I hope my grand-daughters don't feel pressure to work outside the home if they prefer to be a full time mom and home maker."

    I hope that your granddaughters have a good enough education to support their families if their spouses want to stay home to be full time homemakers.

    I hope that you will also be supportive of these women if they choose to not have children at all.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Dec. 2, 2017 5:26 p.m.

    When there isn't a glass ceiling to bump against, it's easy not to notice. Most of the women I know are very aware of them because that barrier is something we often bump against.

    My mom taught me about them when she went back to school at the age of 38. She was a pioneer in our county and even in this state because "older" housewives stayed home. I'm grateful every day for her example. My nieces have far more choices than I did, as I had more than my mother. I'm grateful for those willing to be Firsts.

  • toosmartforyou Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 2, 2017 4:27 p.m.

    Not to minimize in any way gender discrimination, but the same holds true or has held true for those with physical limitations or who happen to be thought of as being "too old" for hiring. There just isn't room at the table any longer for the elderly since they are "has been's" that should be content to sit back into a rocking chair and dream what life was like in the good old days when they were younger.

    Whether or not a person is particularly good at a job or not has zero to do with their gender, yet how many voices are constantly raised about having X amount of any gender in any job (women in the Legislature, for example) that matches the population, just based upon that lone criteria. Many women would make excellent Legislators, yet few seem interested in it. Why is that a problem?

    I have been a passenger with women in the cockpit for years and the only time it startled me was the initial time one made an announcement as it was usually a flight attendant that would have a women's voice. After listening to the announcement, it was business as usual...a great flight and professional service by all...no big deal, one way or the other. Why make it into one?

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 2, 2017 3:02 p.m.

    I'm glad that women have every opportunity today. I hope my grand-daughters don't feel pressure to work outside the home if they prefer to be a full time mom and home maker.

    I worry about my grand sons actually being discriminated against as so much emphasis is placed on "diversity".

    Certainly it is time to finally take up Rev. Dr. MLK's charge to stop looking at external characteristics like race, color, or gender, and instead look to character and ability.

    In my professional life, I've never seen anyone paid less for doing the same job. I've seen women given every opportunity, sometimes to the exclusion if better qualified men. I've seen different lifestyle choices leading to differences in income (working part time vs working a lot of over time).

    It really is time to stop focusing on gender or race.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 2, 2017 2:51 p.m.

    I'm also a second-generation pioneer. The Elder's Quorum President in our Ward asked my husband how he could "let" me go to law school, and was shocked when my husband "tore him a new one" for even thinking about asking that question. If a good/qualified lawyer was a man, he was just considered to be a good/qualified lawyer; a woman (unless of course she practiced a "female" field of law, in other words family law representing women) was considered to be a bi--h. That was over 30 years ago; things are better now but there is still a remnant to be found in society . Example -- A course of study authored by Roy Moore entitled "Law and Government: An Introductory Study Course" (no longer available in Amazon; thankfully) in which his co-writer, William Einwechter writes that women are only fit to be homemakers and should dedicate their lives to their husbands and children, never to work or outside pursuits. That opinion is still taught in areas in the Southern parts of the US -- even today, it can be found in statements from some of Moore's supporters.

    Pioneers in all areas have made a good start, but there is still long way to go.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 2, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    Enjoyed the piece, thank you. I was a pioneer too and recall feeling pressure to change who I am in order to fit with the existing culture. I don't think that's terribly unusual in the realm of group dynamics, but it has been gratifying to watch this change as more and more women followed. Now the culture is a reflection of them, too.

    As for female pilots, to this day the best landing I've ever experienced has been at the hands of a female pilot. There was no bump. At all. I didn't even know that was possible!

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Dec. 2, 2017 12:00 p.m.

    I've seen women as airline pilots for years, and it the Captains seat to boot. No big deal.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 2, 2017 11:36 a.m.

    Great column.

    I know the loneliness of being a pioneer. Thirty years ago, I married my wife...who happened to be African American. I was warned, but still felt the chill of the stare of others, the awkwardness of listening to racial jokes. Today, being in a mixed race marriage is not so rare or controversial, here in Utah. That's a good thing.

    Another type of loneliness / anxiety is having the comfort and confidence of wanting to do as your parents did, only to find those jobs were moved offshore, or replaced by technology, or impacted by regulation, as some want clean air, etc. Today, Amazon strikes fear in the hearts of many good employees. This anxiety is a big part of how our nation got to this point.

    Some may see a female IT engineer as having displaced a man who is trying to provide for his family. We heard that viewpoint (briefly), this year, in Utah, from a political leader.

    We need to recognize and help mitigate each other's fears and anxieties, while supporting each other's dreams and potentials.