Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace
Also, in the most developed and civilized Western countries, gender inequality in the workplace is widespread. The definition is used in a broad range of organizations. The list of issues is extensive despite the general perception that it only affects women, both male, and female, in equal numbers. This paper aims to investigate the underlying rationale for gender inequality of both sexes and how it occurs. A thorough examination of society’s social construction and how it affects discrimination is a critical component of this paper.
Gender Discrimination: Basic Theories and Rationale
The following is an excerpt from Wolfe’s article on gender discrimination in the workplace highlights the occurrence as prevalence to both men and women employees working for multiple corporations. Additionally, the article raises this claim by looking at some of the major companies in the U.S that have been sued for gender discrimination and the fact is that both men and women are victims.
Individual and Society: Culture and Society
Culture and societal constructions such as marriage play a significant role towards the development of gender discrimination in the workplace. In a research conducted jointly by the University of North Carolina, Utah and New York (Huppke), it was found that marriage has a lot to contribute on how men’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are structured towards women in the workplace. Men married to unemployed women tend to have varying viewpoints on female colleagues they work with hence, leading to a number of gender discrimination specifically aimed at the female sex. The presence of women in the workplace becomes unwanted with most men not valuing the importance or role that female workers fulfill. Subsequently, this at most times leads to most women being fired since they are seen as easily replaceable employees. Marriage also leads to denying qualified female employees promotion opportunities more frequently than males. Wolfe’s article identifies Computer Sciences Corporation in their research for this purpose. The institution was largely blamed by one of its employees a pattern of gender discrimination practice.
Structures of Power: Gender Inequality
Gender inequality is another complex phenomenon that is clearly visible Wolfe’s article. Some of the organization identified in the article have been blamed and prosecuted and even found guilty such as Walmart and they still continue the practice. Out of court settlements are numerous thus pointing out to weak HR practices. Enactment of policies and decision making in such institutions impact other hiring, pay and promotion of women hence, the continuation of gender inequality cycle. The organizations’ structures, processes, and practices have a lot of influence on HR practices. Leadership, culture, and HR policy are all linked and contribute to discrimination. Additionally, gender inequalities in each of the identified aspects of the organization affect the others thus creating a self-reinforcing system that leads to continual gender discrimination. For this reason, it becomes evident as to why most companies are unable to shake the concept out of their institution. The structure itself has been corrupted and all processes keep enacting a form of discrimination in all activities of the organization.
Social Institutions: Gender Stereotyping
In the face of modern legal, economic, and political processes, gender discrimination has continued to persist which begs the question why? Companies are faced with lawsuits after lawsuits regarding the matter thus a need to understand such happenings. Gender differences and hierarchies end up being recreated again and again due to a widely perceived gender stereotypes being the basis of almost every interaction. The concept has become a common knowledge whereby even key organization structure starts classifying potential employees by gender preferences. Gender is the initial framing device and has numerous consequences. Stereotyping is the reason as to why assumptions about men and women shape gender inequalities in job opportunities, promotions, wages and even executive positions. For example, an organization whose structures are based on such stereotypes only view men as authoritative, and women more communal. Social institutions such as marriage, beliefs, culture, and even parenting have only heightened this form of discriminatory thinking. In a work setting such a frame of understanding leads to a common representation of each gender with regards to their matching cultural traits. Traditional assumptions still dictate employment opportunities based on gender tendencies. This is the reason still now even as women get empowered. More organization still are yet to streamline their work policies to become more favorable to both genders. Furthermore, gender stereotyping affects men, as well as the article, seems to point out. Men are complaining due to the lack of being handed job opportunities in marketing sectors. Instead, ladies get more offers due to their beauty and looks which brand ambassadors view as more appealing to potential customers.
Change in Modern World: Segregation in Modern Labor Market
Gender pay gap is reinforced through labor market segregation. The construction of employment between men and women still tends to separate them and they often work in different occupations. One rationale to undermine segregation is the fact that both genders often predominate in the different sectors they are placed in. However, the fact of the matter is that within the same sector, women only prevail in low paying occupations and are less valued. According to the EU, women are often offered jobs in sectors such as education, public administration, and health, all of which their work is not valued hence a discriminatory lesser pay. The labor market itself has been structured in such a way that women occupy jobs that are traditional to their gender roles in society and emulate their domestic chores which are often less skilled. Their workforce ends up being assistants, care work in the health sector, and cleaning (Kaifi, Parcheta and Khanfar 242). Men, on the other hand, are handed flashy jobs and occupations that are dynamic and have greater impacts on the world today. These include working in the innovation sector, occupying executive roles in huge companies, management positions among others.
Women become underrepresented in such highly influential positions thus less empowered. In the EU for example, women represent only around 17% of board members in the biggest publicly listed companies. The number keeps dwindling when one considers that only 4% chair boards and a third of scientists and engineers across the European nations. Clearly, with such low figures in positions of affluence, it becomes even harder to advocate for fair representation and remuneration of women in any given sector. Additionally, this is the cause reason why women are less empowered in education, structures of power and even social systems to rise up to the challenge and overcome the traditional way their gender is perceived. As a consequence, more cases of gender discrimination are expected until all processes of the labor market are streamlined to be more gender sensitive.
Wolfe’s article tries to show the happenings of gender discrimination from the job market perspective. It offers no compelling reason as to why gender discrimination is taking place, however, it gives an insight on its prevalence in major companies which have a global reputation to uphold. Unlike most gender discrimination trends in the workplace where only women seem to be the victims, this article explores the concept happening to both men and women. And a critical analysis of the article depicts hat gender discrimination in the workplace is not only biased towards women only but is common to all genders.
Huppke, Rex. “The Roots of Workplace Gender Bias.” chicagotribune.com. N.p., 2014. Accessed 22 Oct. 2017.
Kaifi, Belal, Nicole Parcheta, and Nile Khanfar. “Gender Inequality in The Workforce: A Human Resource Management Quandary.” Journal of Business Studies Quarterly 4.3 (2013): 240-248. Accessed 22 Oct. 2017.
Wolfe, Lahle. “Gender Discrimination: It Happens to Men, Too.” The Balance. N.p., 2017. Accessed 22 Oct. 2017