Based on my experiences, if you walk into a communications class at the University of Michigan (or, I suspect, most universities) you are likely to see a room of mostly female students.
If you walk into an advertising agency (a likely career path for a communications major), you are likely to see a lot of women in the entry or mid-level positions.
If you walk into a boardroom of advertising executives, you’re going to find a lot of men.
This breakdown is mostly the case here at Dalton, as well. Most of the people I interact with on a day to day basis-account coordinators, social media managers-are women in their late 20s or early 30s. There are 19 employees in this office-13 of them are women. On the agency website, the top people from all branches (partners, executive officers, vice presidents, etc) are profiled. 16 people are shown. Only 5 of them are women.
Why does that disparity happen? It’s not that the women are less competent or qualified than the men. There are dozens of reasons for this lack of executive presence but, while I do consider myself an active feminist and have taken several classes related to the issue, I still do not have the adequate education-or space and time-to thoroughly get into them here. But, child-rearing and lack of encouragement are the first two possibilities that come to mind.
As a young woman starting out in advertising and one that eventually wants to be a mother, I am hyper aware of this issue when I move about my workplace. I must figure out how to make room for myself and advance in this industry, while still balancing my family goals. These two strings pull at women constantly, and though I knew about them before, I am even now beginning to feel the pressure of being a women trying to be a top advertising executive.