Needless to say, this election has already brought about historical achievements regarding the role of women in positions of power. Never before in the history of the United States has a woman won the presidential nomination from a major party. That being said, what does this mean for the current workplace environment and the women that work there?
While both candidates have strong positions on gender equality and the role women play in both business and government, Hillary Clinton has dedicated much of her political career to women’s rights. During President Obama’s time in office he has introduced executive orders that are already in place or set to begin as soon as January 2017. These orders include sick leave to be offered to employees of companies that do business with the federal government as well as expanded measures allowing employees to bring gender based discrimination claims. With the election of Secretary Clinton these orders would remain and are likely to be expanded upon. In addition, a Clinton administration would focus on pay equality for women and a higher minimum wage.
Despite some of his questionable comments, Donald Trump has been widely praised for his placement of women in prominent positions within his companies calling them smart and trusted advisors. Trump has made his position on keeping businesses in the U.S. clear as well. Trump’s platform states that no business of any size will pay more than 15% in taxes. This initiative is in response to keeping businesses on U.S. soil and encouraging growth and job creation. A Trump administration would likely work hard to overturn many of the orders put into place during the Obama administration including the legal guidelines overseeing gender bias complaints in the workplace.
Social and Historical Implications
The enduring limitations plaguing women are lessening as seen by the rise of Secretary Clinton. Regardless of your political beliefs, there is no question that she has reached higher than any other woman in U.S. history. If Hillary Clinton does become president, for the first time in history three of the world’s major powers (the U.S., Germany and the U.K.) will have women at the helm. That being said, societies views will begin to change (albeit slowly) as the sight of women in leadership positions become more familiar. With that social shift it’s likely that more and more women will put themselves in the running for positions of prominence and predominately male industries will begin to soften towards women owned businesses.
While the political pundits would have you believe differently, the idea that the election of one candidate over the other will cause an apocalypse is unlikely, but there will be an impact to your day to day business. Depending upon the outcome of the election, the Affordable Healthcare Act will be a focus of continued controversy as well as pay equality and the minimum wage.
Be Confident, Be Bold, Be You!
Dr. Christi Monk is the founder of the Workplace Leadership Institute which helps organizations build a culture of “connectedness”. She is also the founder of The Confidence Suite which teaches women how to tap into their core value system so they are more effective, confident and productive contributors in the workplace and their communities. She received her doctoral degree in Management of Organizational Leadership Studies and is certified in Conflict Resolution and Workplace Mediation. Her published work is entitled Workplace Bullying – In Search of a Clearer Definition. Dr. Monk is a certified trainer from the Workplace Bullying Institute.