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Gender Discrimination at the Work Place (Essay Sample)


this paper looks at the various forms of Gender Discrimination that are present at the Work Place.


Gender Discrimination at the Work Place
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Table of ContentsIntroductionGender Discrimination at the Workplace Factors That Imped EqualityMeasures against Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination at the workplace
Gender is the socially created and learned distinction that specifies the ideal physical, behavioral and mental as well as emotional traits characteristic of males and females. Gender polarization on the other hand is the organizing of social life around male-female ideals, so that people’s sex influences every aspect of their life. Gender is a trait that has resulted to a variation in people’s judgment towards an individual, a situation referred to as gender bias. Gender bias is used to refer to people’s judging or behaving differently towards an individual because of his or her sex. The terms "gender bias”, "gender discrimination" and "sex discrimination" are often used interchangeably. Gender discrimination or sex discrimination, refers to actions or policies that deny opportunities, privileges or rewards to an individual because of his or her sex (Shaw, 2000, pg. 12).
Social inequality exists between men and women when one category relative to the other faces greater risks to physical and emotional well-being, possesses a disproportionate share of income and other valued resources and/or is accorded more opportunities to succeed (Ferrante and Ferrante-Wallace, 2008, pg. 296).
This paper will highlight the factors that have been identified to be the chief influences that impede gender equality and which have resulted to gender discrimination at work. Moreover, it will outline the various measures which can be employed in order to minimize or completely curb cases of gender discrimination at the workplace.
Gender Discrimination at the Workplace
Sex discrimination occurs when a person is or a people are treated unfairly in the work context because of gender. Unfair treatment can concern levels of compensation, as for example, when a woman receives less pay that an equivalent man. Sex discrimination can also occur in terms of non-monetary rewards, in terms of opportunities and in terms of on-the-job treatment. Sexual harassment is one particular form of on-the-job sex discrimination (Crosby, Stockdale and Ropp, 2007, pg. 4).
In america today, the issue of gender discrimination has predominantly affected the women. It has denied them numerous opportunities to contribute to the country both at the national and local level, especially so when it comes to prospects at the workplace. According to Crosby, Stockdale and Ropp (2007, pg. 4), cases of gender discrimination have more and more diminished over the years but still persists to a surprising degree in the American society today. In the United States, it is more difficult for women to obtain and retain employment than it is for men. It is still more difficult for women to be promoted than it is for similarly qualified men to be promoted. Gaining qualifications is also more arduous, even today, for women than for men. Women are still sexually harassed at work much too frequently and much more frequently than men (Crosby, Stockdale and Ropp, 2007, pg. 5).
The feminist perspective advocates for equality between men and women. Feminists advocate for women’s right to bodily integrity and autonomy, access to safe contraceptives, the right to choose the terms of pregnancy, access to quality prenatal care and protection from violence inside and outside the home as well as freedom from sexual harassment. Additionally, they advocate for equal pay for equal work, workplace rights to maternity and other caregiving leaves and inescapable interconnection between sex, gender, social class, race, culture and religion (Ferrante and Ferrante-Wallace, 2008, pg. 297).
Factors that impeded equality and have resulted to gender discrimination at the workplace
Equality is valued nearly everywhere but practiced almost nowhere. As an idea, it can be fiercely loved, passionately sought, widely vaunted, legally guaranteed, sentimentally assumed and complacently taken for granted. As a reality, in lives lived or institution run, it hardly exists anywhere (Bailey, Brennan and Kymlicka, 2008, pg. 242).
Most companies have official policies that forbid discrimination based on sex and other prominent social categories (e.g., ethnicity). Although such policies can act to suppress the expression of individual employees prejudice, there is considerable variation on how vigorous these policies are enforced or whether they are even well published within the organization (Crosby, Stockdale and Ropp, 2007, pg. 176).
A hyper-masculine culture at work is one of the factors that impede gender equality (Crosby, Stockdale and Ropp, 2007, pg. 198). This involves the christening of particular careers as male jobs and female jobs. This masculine relegated women to subordinate and mostly service-oriented roles which denies them the opportunity to exercise their abilities in any other context. This context easily primes stereotypic prejudice and behavior, encouraging sexual harassment and underrepresentation of women in significant roles.
Another factor that impedes gender equality is the ‘solo’ status, this refers to an individual coming from a numerically rare category. This result to the individual being relegated to gender-typed roles, suffering polarized judgments, self-consciousness, being distracted by other scrutiny. Tokens from an outside group, such as women seen as invading a previously male domain, provokes resistance and hostility because they are perceived as interfering with the groups previously comfortable, homogenous norms. The final factor that impedes gender equality is the lack of information.
Measures that can be taken against gender discrimination
Gender or sex discrimination can prove to be a costly affair to a firm. It can cost them lots of money in litigation, a damaged reputation, it can also cost a company very hardworking employees. Therefore, it is very imperative that any company undertake measures that will enable it shield itself against any damage that may harm its d...
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