“You can be anything you want to be when you’re a woman in the working world.”
That’s what Comedy Central’s video called “The Glass Ceiling: A Game for Girls” starts out by saying, at least. The video, posted on March 30, shows three girls excitedly choosing their game pieces for a girly pink board game.
“I’m going to be an engineer,” Jen says.
“I’m going to be a lawyer!” Tara says.
“I’m going to be the nation’s No. 1 investment banker,” Stacy says.
“Aw, Stacy, sure you can be an investment banker, but do you really think you can be No. 1?” a narrator asks.
Comedy Central’s video mocks real-world situations that women go through in the workplace, such as being promoted less often than men and being afraid to report sexual harassment. Situations such as having an Ivy League degree put players back one space and lose a potential promotion, as it “makes your boss feel emasculated,” one card reads.
“But none of this is fair,” Stacy says.
It may not be fair, but gender inequity in the workforce is a reality everywhere, most glaringly in the pay difference between men and women. The pay gap between men and women has lessened slightly; median women were paid 59 percent of what the median man made in 1974. In 2014, median women made 79 percent of the median man’s salary.
The wage gap has recently garnered national attention after five members of the U.S. women’s soccer team sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for wage discrimination. Players on the women’s team can earn $99,000 if they win all 20 of the exhibitions they are obligated to play every year, while the men’s team would earn a minimum of $100,000 for playing 20 games, and if they win any games, they could earn more.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” Hope Solo said in a statement announcing the lawsuit on Thursday. “We are the best in the world, have three World Cup Championships, four Olympic Championships, and the USMNT get paid more just to show up than we get paid to win major championships.”
The city of Austin does better than the national gender pay gap average, with women making 96 cents to every dollar than men make working for the city. But because of the significant gender imbalance in the city government’s workforce, the median actually woman earns 86 cents to the median man. As the Statesman noted last November, there are less women in upper-level positions in the city. Though they are paid as much as their male counterparts, fewer women in leadership roles translates to a bigger pay gap overall.
Comedy Central ends the video with a board game targeted at boys. Called “Privilege,” the game box contains rolls of hundred dollar bills, gold cars and cards that say “Opportunity.” It’s an overblown illustration of gender inequity, but it gets the point across.