The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Women struggling despite long history

By John Harden/reporter

Women have been a part of the business world since biblical times although they have not had easy progress, the John Peter Smith Hospital comptroller said last week on South Campus.

In honor of Women’s History Month on March 25, Jeanne Jones presented Women in Business, a perspective on women and the influence they had on business.

“The earliest reference of women in business was in the Bible,” she said. “One woman mentioned in the Bible was a seamstress. She recognized a need and began seaming clothes for people who didn’t know how to sew.”

Though women today have shown that gender does not play a factor in workplace performance, Jones said many years ago discrimination was a big problem for women trying to enter the work force as they were not seen as equal to men.

“In the early 1800s, women were seen as a subset of their husbands,” she said. “They weren’t allowed to own property or vote.”

In later years, women had a tougher time trying to gain the same equal rights as men.

“Fast forward 20 years and we see that in 1868, the 14th Amendment was passed and defines voters and citizens as males,” she said.

The progress of women’s rights was slow and took several years before women were given some of the same rights as men.

“In 1920 the federal government passed the 19th Amendment. Up until that point, women were not allowed to vote nationally,” she said. “Four years later the first female governor was elected here in Texas.”

By the 1940s through the ’60s, gender discrimination in the work place started to become a problem.

“I can remember looking in the newspaper seeing two job listings for the same job, one for a man and one for a woman, and the only difference was the pay scale,” she said. “The man would typically have a higher pay scale than the woman.”

Jones also recalled a time where a close friend experienced discrimination in her area of work.

“She loved her office and her salary, but she disliked the way her company treated her,” she said. “Her company didn’t want to use her very much, only as a display to other companies.”

One accomplishment for women’s rights was the passing in 1964 of the Equal Pay Act, which stated that gender and race cannot play a factor in the rate of pay for an individual.

“The differences in the pay rate between men and women continues to be a problem,” she said. “After the Equal Pay Act was passed till now, women are still only earning 75 cents per dollar compared to men.”

One theory behind the differences in pay is that women can reach only a certain level. Then after they reach that level, the chances of promotion are very slim, Jones said.

“There’s a theory of some companies having a glass ceiling,” she said. “They just don’t get it, and they don’t understand that women can achieve at incredible levels. And after they reach a certain point in their career, they just will not be eligible to be promoted beyond that.”

As shown in history, Jones said, the future of women in business is determined by what happens in the present.

“It depends. It depends on you,” she said. “I have two little granddaughters who won’t be in the workplace for a long time. It’s what you do that will make a difference for them.”

The seminar was sponsored by the South Campus business division and career center.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian