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Tables starting to turn in gender discrepancy

By Greta Hallberg, Columnist

Studying both journalism and economics at Miami is an interesting dichotomy - in The Department Media, Journalism and Film, I take most of my classes with girls. In my 15-person capstone class, there are only three dudes. Meanwhile, the Department of Economics is a total sausage fest. Of my roughly 40-person economics class this semester, only 20 percent are women, the same ratio as journalism, only flipped.

Politics is historically, and is still, a white, male dominated field. Congress is both 80 percent white and 80 percent male. White men dominate the media. They're lawyers, CEOs, engineers. At the top of the ladder, it's been a boy's club.

That's why women and minorities are upset about the so-called wage gap, the pay discrepancies between the genders. In 2013, women's unadjusted salaries were roughly 78 percent of men's salaries. For minorities, especially women of color, the statistics are even worse.

Don't get me wrong--these statistics are very real. Sexism in the workplace exists. Men dominate the top positions in every field.

But think about it: The average CEO is 56. The average House member is 57, Senators are 63. It takes time to earn these top positions, to work your way up. They're typically older, graduating from college in the 70s. Back then, it still wasn't as widely accepted for women to study engineering or business, instead opting to become teachers or nurses with their degree.

Today, there are more women enrolled in college than men. Women are increasingly seeking higher education - which often results in higher pay. The tables seem to be turning.

Of course, there is a gender gap in college majors. Boys still have the majority in STEM fields and introductory engineering classes. Like I said before, I'm one of very few girls in my math-based economics class.

However, this weekend, I received an award through the Department of Economics. Again, this is the XY-dominated department. And yet, at the awards dinner, the gender gap didn't exist. Men and women received awards equally. And ironically, few of the men were white. The fratty, Vineyard-Vines clad men that make up most of my econ classes had very little representation among the top economics students at Miami.


I don't think so. The scales are finally balancing out.

Sure, the gender gap still exists in terms of female representation in the department. But the female students who do brave the manly halls of FSB for economics classes are the best and brightest students, the students getting awards, excelling in their classes and making top grades.

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Nobody can deny that, historically, men have been at the top. We have yet to have a female president, behind Germany, Great Britain and even India. Of the top 500 companies, only 5 percent have female CEOs. These statistics don't lie.

But if that economics award dinner was any indication, the future isn't as bleak for the economic and social status of women.