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Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

Gender Equality in the Workforce


Amy Montalvo
The University of Texas at El Paso
Mr. Paul Vierra
English 1302: Rhetoric and Cmposition

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

Gender Equality in the Workforce


In the early nineteenth century, women were granted the right to vote. It gave a sense of
pride and accomplishment to women on this century. It was believed that throughout the years
women would be seen equal to men on every aspect, but the destination has not yet been
reached. This issue is addressed within two genres that support the belief that women are still not
being treated or seeing equal as men. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, gave
a powerful speech on TED Talk, which is a nonprofit organization that its duty is to spread
compelling ideas through a talk. Sandbergs speech, Why we have too few women leaders, brings
out why women are discouraged to exceed on their jobs. Her claim is that women are seeing
themselves less than a man, but it can be fixed within three steps: 1.Sit at the table 2.Make your
partner a real partner and 3. Dont leave before you leave (Sandberg, 2010, min. 4:05). Lisa
Belkin published a piece in the newspaper The New York Times, The Feminine Critique, which
compares and contrasts how a woman and a man are seen at work. She claims that when a
woman is seeking or has a position higher than a man at work then she will be judged
stereotypically. The two genres give sufficient examples to sway their audience that women are
treated in an unjust way in the workforce.
Audience and Purpose
The purpose of each genre addresses the issue of gender inequality in the workforce.
Sheryl Sandbergs speech, Why we have too few women leaders, was heard live and recorded on
December of 2010. The purpose of her speech was to get the public questioned of why women
are not getting at the top of their professions and also to give advice on how to raise the numbers
of women becoming leaders. The purpose of the second genre, The Feminine Critique, is to
inform the readers that there are still gender stereotypes in the workforce thats making men

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

superior to women. The following quote by Belkin is an agreeable example, if they act in ways
that are seen as more male like act assertively, focus on work task, display ambition
they are seen as too tough and unfeminine (2007, p.1). Sandbergs speech was made mostly
to give advice on an issue while Belkins article was written to inform how a woman can be
unjustly treated at work.
When it comes to audience, a genre can have a specific or a variety of different groups of
people that will attract. The intended audience on Sandbergs speech would be mostly
workingwomen and possibly some males. Sandberg stated, Today I want to focus on what we
can do as individuals, what are the messages we need to tell ourselves, what are the messages we
tell the women that work with and for us, what are the messages we tell our daughters (2010,
min. 3:10-3:10). She makes it clear that she wants her message to be directed to women that are
working. Her intended audience can also be anyone that wants to improve their business since
the speechs main points are about the environment in any job. Feminists are also a big part of
the group because the speech is to advocate equality to women. Sandberg uses past experiences
to tie in with her points in result to get her audience to agree with her ideas. The audience is
mostly likely to know a little about Sandbergs background and her accomplishments because
that would be the way to attract a big audience. On Belkins published piece, the targeted
audience would be women. It would mostly be to older women since the newspaper is not very
popular with the younger generations. The title itself, The Feminine Critique, is a wise way to
captivate a womans attention. Besides the title being appealing, the text informs in an
entertaining way for the reader to keep on reading and to agree with her beliefs. Although the
audiences for both genres are slightly the same, it also differs because they are two different
types of monographs that appeal to different people.

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

The amount that a person will spend on each genre differs. For the first genre, the
audience will spend about fifteen minutes to hear all of Sandbergs speech while in the second
genre it would take the reader approximately ten minutes depending on how fast the person
reads. For the second genre the reader might have to go back to re-read some segments since its
not formatted in a neatly way.
Each genre informs the same subject, but they are introduced in a different way.
Sandbergs speech was put in a formal way being that her intended audience is adults and as an
adult they are expected to hear something formal. She is also being recorded live, therefore it is
crucial that she looks and sounds professional at all times. Additionally making an
unprofessional speech can affect her persona considering she is a very important person in the
business field. At some points she might have to say something clever or funny, but that would
be just to keep the audiences attention. Her use of language is powerful and enlightening making
it credible to the audience. Belkins article was not written to be formal. It starts with a couple of
short sentences to give the reader some time to think about what is being written. Then it goes to
an irrelevant comment that can make the reader laugh and make them keep on reading. For the
rest of the article it starts going on the same way. It gives a couple of segments of pure
information then some improper judgments for example, Never, ever dress sexy. Make sure to
inspire your colleagues unless you work in Norway, in which case, focus on delegating
instead (Belkin, 2007, p. 1). The use of language is appropriate to the audience since it is
targeted to adults and would find it appealing to laugh a little to the text, but also be informed.
Ethos
For the first genre, Sandbergs speech establishes credibility through herself. She is the
COO of Facebook, considered number eight on the list of most powerful women, and also has a

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

Bachelor of Arts / Science and a Masters in Business Administration. According to Forbes, she is
also considered in the list of the most powerful woman in the world as #8. In the second genre,
the credibility is shown through the newspaper itself, The New York Times. Furthermore, the
credibility is as well seen in the publishers professional experience and education. Belkin also
uses several professors who are experts on their field fro example, Economics Professor Linda C.
Babcock and Psychology Professor Peter Glick. She used their expertise and studies to back up
her statement well.
Pathos
On the first genre, Sandberg utilizes analytical sentences to make the audience feel
considerably sorry for women. An example would be when she mentioned that men are getting
more opportunities than woman are (Sandberg, 2010). At the end of her speech she uses her
daughter to convey an emotional appeal when she says, I want my daughter to not just exceed,
but to be liked for her accomplishments (Sandberg, 2010). She wants her audience to think
about the children and how much better it would be for them if they would agree with her ideas
and apply them in the future. For the second genre, the same strategy is used. Belkin uses some
words to make the reader feel bad or just angry because of how she is portraying women. In the
article Belkin stated Women cant win (2007, p.1). The audience on this genre is mostly
women; therefore if a woman were to read this it would automatically make her feel angry or
offended.
Logos
The first genre used logos through numbers. Sandberg mentioned, 190 heads of states
only 9 were women, 15-16% of corporate sectors are women, and only 20% of women are at the
top (2010). These numbers were used efficiently to support her claim that women are

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

outnumbered with leader positions as compared to males. For the second genre Belkin used Ilene
H. Langs, president of Catalyst, data to demonstrate her point of women being treated
differently at work. On one of Catalysts research, which is an organization that studies
workingwomen, surveyed 1,231 senior executives from the United States and Europe. It found
that women who act in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes defined as focusing
on work relationships and expressing concern for other peoples perspectives are
considered less competent (Belkin, 2007, p.1).

Structure and Delivery


For each genre the way the idea was delivered differed from each other. On the first
genre, Sandberg starts out with interesting statistics to get the audience attention and then states
the reason why shes giving her speech and then her key points. It gives the audience an idea of
what the speaker is going to talk about and also interested as to what she will going to say about
her key points. She keeps it professional in a way that she can be admired. The second genre
starts out with short sentences, which is a form of persuasion. It makes the reader keep on
reading. The article is somewhat lengthy and contains unnecessary information such as men
asked for more money at eight times the rate of women (Belkin, 2007, p.2), but the author does
an exceptional strategy to keep the reader entertained.
Conclusion
In conclusion both genres delivered the message pleasantly, but the first genre was more
effective on conveying its message. Sandberg raised awareness to women equality in the
workforce by putting her personal life as an example. Even though her argument is based on

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE


common opinion her use of rhetoric in her speech made her words powerful and convincing to
why the issue needs to be taken into consideration.

GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKFORCE

References
Belkin, L. (2007, November 1). The feminine critique. The New York Times
Forbes. (2015). Sheryl sandberg. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/profile/sheryl-sandberg/
Sandberg, S. (2010, December). Why we have too few women leaders. Retrieved from
http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders