Gender Discrimination In The Workplace

GenderDiscrimination In The Workplace

GenderDiscrimination In The Workplace

Genderdiscrimination also known as sex discrimination in the workplaceentail treating someone unfavorably due to the person’s sex be itthat they are asking for a job or are currently on the job. Despitewomen having clearly stated that they are equally capable ofdelivering as their counterpart male in terms of skills and success,the issue of gender discrimination continues to hold the potential ofmost women (Bruckmüller, Ryan, Haslam &amp Peters, 2013). Genderdiscrimination in the workplace can involve both men and women.However, gender discrimination is an issue that affects women morethan men. This report will look at the issue of gender discriminationof women in the workplace.

Womenface different unlawful discrimination because of their gender. Awoman may face discrimination in terms of firing, hiring andpromotion. A woman may be discriminated because the company’sclients are thought to prefer working with men. The employer may notstate this directly and may lay off such a woman on other groundslike company cutbacks and reorganization. At the same time, male inthe same job or with even less seniority than the woman continueworking. A glass ceiling for women still exists in the 21stcentury. Four out of ten businesses in the world in the late 20thcentury did not have a woman in senior position. This is largely dueto the general perception that women are not able to lead as well astheir counterpart male. When it comes to promotions, despite a womanworking for more years and having received exemplary reviews andawards a man is promoted instead even with lower qualifications.According to National Center for Statistics, women usually have towork at least three years longer in a teaching post to rise to theposition of a principal than their male colleagues. In fact, themore educated a woman is, the higher the disparity in her earnings(COLLEGETIMES, 2015). Women are usually forced to work harder forequal pay with men even in the same profession and position. Women inprofessional specialty earned about 72.7 percent of what men in thesame specialty earn while women in higher level management, executiveand administrative areas earned even less at 72.3 percent(COLLEGETIMES, 2015).

Anotherarea of gender discrimination is pay. Women tend to be discriminatedwhen it comes to pay. Even after working hard to move from oneposition to another in the workplace, a newly employed male is paidbetter than them. Women in the U.S make just $77.5 cents for eachdollar earned by men according to statistics on 2003 census(COLLEGETIMES, 2015). Regardless of this notable gap, most economistsperceive that the difference between pay for men and women is as aresult of different personal choices women and men make regardingindividual fulfillment, raising children and hours at work.Regardless of one’s perception, the gap is gradually narrowing aswomen take up more active roles in the workplace.

Benefitsare also a controversial area when it comes to women. Employers tendto deny women’s spouse cover in assumption that the spouse being aman has his own job and cover. Since her husband is between jobs, awoman is forced to pay higher for health benefits on his behalf andyour colleagues do not pay for their wives.

Genderdiscrimination is a legal issue which is stipulated in the CivilRights Act 1964, a federal law protecting individuals fromdiscrimination on gender or sex. The law makes it unlawful for anemployer to discriminate against people based on their sex in hiring,promotion, firing, salary increment, benefits or other jobopportunities (Heilman, 2012). This law not only applies to thepublic or state employers, but also private employers includingeducation institutions which employ more than 15 individuals.

Genderdiscrimination is a damaging practice and brings about differentsetbacks to employees. Women who are victims of gender discriminationlose productivity as they lack motivation and morale required tocarry out their jobs effectively. In a report by WorldWatchInstitute, gender discrimination contributes to reduced productivity.Aspects attributed to the loss of motivation and morale among womenvictims of gender bias include jokes about the female gender whichimply inadequacy, offensive comments of a suggestive or sexual kindand comments implying that a woman’s work is below par due to hergender. This kind of prejudice is against the law.

Anothereffect of gender bias in the work place is in promotions.Stereotypical beliefs regarding gender can lead managers to engage inpreferring promotion of male workers at the expense of their femalecounterparts (Bruckmüller, Ryan, Haslam &amp Peters, 2013). Eventhough this may happen to both genders, women are the most affectedby this belief and are passed over in favor of men counterparts. Forexample, a manager at a construction site may pass over a woman forpromotion as a project manager due to the perception that mennaturally deliver better in these positions.

Womenalso get discriminated due to family responsibilities. Women withlittle kids at home may experience when interviewing as a result offamily responsibilities. Even though the law forbids prospectiveemployers from asking candidates about their family responsibilitiestotally, the question comes out anyway (Heilman, 2012). This mayforce a manager to pass over a competent female candidate if he orshe perceives her as being torn in between work and her familyresponsibilities. Even if the woman makes it to the job, sometimesthe employer may go through her files to establish whether she haslittle children enlisted in her health insurance benefits. If so, shemay be assigned less duties which do not fit her qualifications orjob description which is in itself unlawful. Regardless, this is acommon occurrence in most workplaces and women are at a disadvantage(Heilman, 2015). This discrimination is also seen when it comes tomaternity leave for women. Whereas a child means additional expensesfor a woman most employers do not provide their women employees withsome additional benefits when they leave for maternity (Lips, 2013).While the law requires employers to offer fully paid maternity leavefor their employees only 53 percent of employers give at least somecompensation pay during maternity leave (COLLEGETIMES, 2015). Thisbecomes a great setback for women as their income and their potentialto take care of their families is largely affected.

Despiteall the pointing evidence of women discrimination in the workplace,there is claim that gender discrimination in the workplace is all amisconception. The pay gap that exists between men and women forexample is not a fact. Schow (2015) argues that if women earn 72cents of every dollar earned by men, then employers would just employall women and cut salary costs by a whopping 25 percent. This wouldbe very economical even for the government. However, this is not thecase since the wage gap is not just undocumented rule guidingbusiness in the world. Basically, the wage gap exist as a result ofthe different career choices women and men make collectively whetherin terms of hours worked or career path chosen. Glenn Kesslerexplains that women often chose low paying fields (Schow, 2015).According to him, 90 percent of highest paying fields are maledominated while the second highest paying area in pharmaceuticalsciences has slightly higher number of women than men. In anotherview, 90 percent of the lowest paying occupation is dominated bywomen. Mark J. Perry of the American Enterprise Institute arguesthat the wage gap is as a result of lifestyle choices made by women(Schow, 2015). For exam, women with children and women who aremarried tend to make less than men due to their familyresponsibilities. This is no discrimination in that since women chosemore flexible jobs (Deem, 2012). Similarly men are engaged in morerisky jobs which are better paying than women do. So the bottom lineis not discrimination against women, but the choices individualsmake. Even in the Obama administration where the wage gap has beenpointed as a result of discrimination, the administration itself hasits own wage gap. In response the government explains that despitebeing more women in the administration jobs, they hold lowly payingjobs (Schow, 2015).

Theclaim that there is no discrimination against women in the workplaceis misleading and just uses choices as a scapegoat. As discussedearlier in the paper, women usually have to work at least three yearslonger in a teaching post to rise to the position of a principal thantheir male colleagues (Bobbitt-Zeher, 2011). This will lead todisparity in income between men and women. In addition, failure togive women maternity benefits places them at a disadvantage as theirincome range is affected. In addition, arguing that women makechoices in careers that are less paying is a misconception. In theUnited States, 2008-2009 academic year for example, more women thanmen received PhD’s not mentioning 60 percent women received MastersDegrees. Moreover, since 2003, undergraduate females have outnumberedmale by 57 percent against 43 percent (Berezow, 2011). This showsthat women are not making lesser choices in career than men.Ultimately, it is men who are not making choices if statistics inacademics are anything to go by.

Conclusively,women have been discriminated in the workplace through variousaspects of employment. Be it during interviews, women are likely tobe passed over a male counterpart for the mere fact that they arewomen even if they are highly qualified. At work, they tend toreceive demeaning comments about their inadequacy as women which pullthem down despite working hard as the rest of the team. To makematters worse, when it comes to promotions, women are required tomake extra efforts work for more years before they get to the nextposition and earn less than male counterparts. Although there arearguments that women make choices into careers that are less paying,this is untrue as women have always worked equally or even harderthan men in academics and in work as proved in this report. The glassceiling that persists on women has really negative effects on theirprogress and contribution to the society and the economy.


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Bobbitt-Zeher,D. (2011). Gender discrimination at work connecting genderstereotypes, institutional policies, and gender composition ofworkplace. Gender&amp Society,25(6),764-786.

Bruckmüller,S., Ryan, M. K., Haslam, S. A., &amp Peters, K. (2013). Ceilings,Cliffs, and Labyrinths: Exploring Metaphors for Workplace GenderDiscrimination. TheSage Handbook of Gender and Psychology,450.

COLLEGETIMES(15/02/2010). 10 Surprising Statistics on Women in the Workplace.Retrieved 25/11/2015).

Deem,R. (2012). Schoolingfor women`s work(Vol. 69). Routledge.

Heilman,M. E. (2012). Gender stereotypes and workplace bias. Researchin organizational Behavior,32,113-135.

Heilman,M. E. (2015). Gender stereotypes: Impediments to women’s careerprogress. In Auswahlvon Männern und Frauen als Führungskräfte(pp. 73-84). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

Lips,H. M. (2013). The gender pay gap: Challenging the rationalizations.Perceived equity, discrimination, and the limits of human capitalmodels. SexRoles,68(3-4),169-185.

Schow,A. (4/14/2015). A yearly reminder that the gender wage gap is due tochoice, not discrimination. Washington Examiner. Retrieved 24/11/2015).