Gender inequality in the workplace
Discrimination based on gender has become rampant in the world with the most incidences being experienced at the workplaces. In the workplace, the human resource practices do enact harmful gender inequalities through policies, and decision-making processes. Such practices affect hiring, pay, promotion and training of men and women in the labor market. They promote the notion that women and men are not equal. The unequal treatment of persons due to the socially constructed norms and myths has affected workplace operations.
In terms of pay, gender inequality or sex discrimination arises where every dollar earned by a man, a woman earns less by 33 cents on the same job. Gender discriminatory pay sprouts from structural imbalances aligned to gender segregation by departments, networks, and job ladders. Overrepresentation of the female gender on some sections makes that sector a lower status area. In spite of several advancements by international bodies to eliminate gender segregation in the labor sector, such efforts have borne little fruits. However, the low educational status of the female gender plays a major role in forming the basis for discrimination by employers. Society has framed women as the weaker gender. As a child is born, his/her life is directed from the colors to ascribe to, how to behave as one belonging to a certain gender and the roles to play. The traditional mentalities still evolve within modern workplaces despite women making strides in attaining equal qualifications.
Gender roles played by women such as child and family care forces women to take long leaves from work or leave work at the official working time. However, many businesses prefer their employees to undertake overtime to complete and meet targets. This calls for workers to put in long working hours which on the men’s side would be welcomed contrary to the females. The excessive commitment required by employers is the key cause of the unending gender inequality in employment. Many women become disadvantaged to work under such conditions.
Majority of workplace structures and patterns of interactions inadvertently favor men. The psychologically and socially inbuilt strength that men are to possess presents them as the leading gender. Society perceives women as the feeble gender thus, subordinate to men even in the workplace. Females are considered to lack in leadership skills making them have a low bargain while rendering their labor. On the other hand, a large population of women has a low educational qualification which allows them to access low-paying jobs in the service industry. Moreover, the dire need to provide for their children places them at the disadvantaged end of the employers who utilize the cheap labor to maximize their profits.
In addition, an organization’s corporate culture does affect the equity and equality of employees. Some places create a hostile culture that only the males can survive intimidating the women. The non-linear career paths identical to women due to maternity leaves and other non-payable house chores requires flexibility in hiring agencies. Such attributes identical to women have been used to deny the female gender authority, managerial or supervisory positions.
Gender inequality has detrimental effects on society, the economy and human development. A favorable climate for diversity sets in with fair treatment of every person regardless of the socially ascribed roles based on one’s sex. Equality in the workplace is essential to prevent the occurrence of abuse like sexual harassment, underpayment, and bribery. Strict setting and enforcement of rules that uphold gender equality in an organization especially the human resource section should be mandatory.
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