It will also address disingenuous attempts to cover-up or explain away this double standard.
As an initial matter, “existing national statistics support a view that Corporate America is not a gender-balanced playing field” (Murphy, 2001). Women today constitute more than half of the workforce, but they don’t even account for five percent of all business executives. In terms of compensation, women managers, on average, earn only 68% of what similarly qualified and employed male managers earn. In addition to these huge disparities in terms of upward mobility and compensation, women are also quite commonly the victims of sexual harassment; in fact, statistics indicate that nearly 75% of women claim to have been sexually harassed at the workplace. There is also a qualitative double standard in operation. Women managers, for instance, are more often burdened with non-management administrative tasks than are their male counterparts. In short, there is plenty of statistical evidence to support the proposition that a double standard based on gender is real and substantial.
Some have argued, however, that these statistics are misleading. The National Organization for Men, to cite a well-known example, has argued that women have used this double standard notion as a political tool to gain the upper hand in workplace negotiations involving matters such as compensation and promotion (2005). They cite a recent censure of Harvard President, Larry Summers, who was justifiably attacked for suggesting that men are superior to women in science as his rationale for preferring men to women in the field of science. Strangely enough, the issue isn’t free speech. President Summers is free to offer his opinion.