Sep 9, 2019 in Sociology

There are various forms of discrimination in the workplace. One of the most common forms, which has been observed for a long time is that against women. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss if the discrimination of women still exists. Moreover, there are readily available data and evidence confirming that this problem remains actual. People expect to receive the corresponding judgment based on the merit of their accomplishments, talents, efforts, and insights. However, in many workplaces today, this issue is not raised. Due to the different women experiences, it may be revealed that the notion of gender discrimination has been entrenched in the labor market to the extent that some radical changes should be implemented. This research paper reviews the various ways in which women are discriminated in the workplace citing corresponding reasons and the impact of discrimination on the individual and the company.

The first form of discrimination against women in the workplace exists in the form of gender stereotypes. The gender gap in business leadership is mainly the result of gender-based stereotyping. Consequently, the outcomes are devastating and undermine the capacity of women to lead and implement career advancement. Most men consider women to be weak while solving any problem, which is one of the qualities of good leadership. The current corporate thinking is dominated by this male held stereotype, hence women are outnumbered by men in top management positions.

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It is an undebatable fact that stereotypes are not easily eliminated. The belief of most people that women are inferior to men in matters of leadership is the greatest reinforcement of these stereotypes. Other false stereotypes include consideration that most women do not like working, show less commitment to careers than men and are not tough enough to achieve success in the business world. There are also notions that women are too emotional, incapable of proper decision making and that they do not show sufficient aggressiveness. The fact that the female employees find it difficult to relocate makes the employers feel uneasy while hiring them. Consequently, the question arises why these notions still persist. Discriminations against women can only stop if these stereotypes are eliminated.

The second form of discrimination against females is the result of the motherhood penalty. This implies that mothers in the workplace experience various disadvantages in terms of payment for the reason of being mothers. There are also disadvantages related to perceived competence. In some organizations, there is per child wage penalty which results in a difference in pay between mothers and non-mothers as well as between women and men. Moreover, mothers get low job evaluations under the belief that they show less commitment, being less dependable and display less authority (Paludi). Therefore, the disadvantages of the motherhood therefore are connected with daily job experience as well as of the corresponding pay. The impact of the motherhood penalty is that women are more likely to trade the flexibility of their working hours for lower wages. This is a very clear form of discrimination against women.

In addition, discrimination against women exists in the area of promotions, which are withheld based on the gender of a person. The most significant obstacle to the promotion of women in the workplace is the failure to support working mothers. The employers sometimes fail to promote women because they believe that they will prioritize family life over their work (The Journal.ie). The likelihood of a woman employee being promoted is lower than that of a male counterpart in spite of comparable work. Another reason for which the women are not promoted despite excellent qualifications is that it is considered that most of the company’s clients feel more comfortable when dealing with men. This is clearly the highest level of discrimination since it is based on perception rather than reality.

The glass ceiling is a concept used to imply the act of routinely passing over women in case of promotions. This is especially true if the post to be filled is of a very high caliber. A male colleague who is less qualified has a higher chance of rising to such a post. Glass ceiling is considered as the unwritten rule in many businesses. It is an invisible barrier to avoid women and minorities. This kind of rule has negative effects on the performance of women since it makes them feel unvalued and unwelcome by their bosses.

Discrimination of women is also observed in the form of less pay. On average, the earning of women is less than that of men in any occupation. According to the institute for policy women research, pay equity is affected by jobs’ segregation according to gender. In spite of the education level, women jobs are less paid than those executed by men. In some industries, such as construction, gender integration is still a problem (Institute for Women's Policy Research). It means that in these industries, there are categories of jobs, which are reserved for men. This segregation can be considered as the greatest impediment to progress in terms of closing the gender age gap. This gap in terms of wage results in higher poverty levels among women than that of men. It is, therefore, outright discrimination to pay women less than men for any occupation.

Job classification is another area of discrimination against women in the workplace. When an employee starts undertaking extra duties and executing extra hours of work, job classifications should be changed. In the same way, the different job classification should also represent a change in the pay. Some employers follow discriminatory practices when they allow female employees to undertake additional duties without changing their job classification while doing the opposite for male employees. Sometimes even when the job classification is the same for male and female employees, the females still receive less pay. This is clearly a discriminatory practice against women based on gender.

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The work environment provided for workers is another aspect that allows discrimination against women. Everybody needs an enabling environment to work and reveal their full potential. In many organizations, women are denied this chance where the employers do not provide them with enabling working conditions. There are many indicators of hostile environments where women have to work at times. Many men in the workplaces subject females to rude gestures, inappropriate name-calling, unnecessary touching and bad comments on their physical attributes and appearance. This is a clear sabotage in the work environment and has the effect of lowering the morale of women. It is clear discrimination since men are not subject to the same hostile working conditions. The most frustrating fact is that most employers do not undertake any actions despite realizing that their female employees are working in a hostile environment.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination against women in the workplace. Harassments come in the form of sexual advances that are unwanted, requests for sexual favors and even verbal harassment that is sexual in nature. Offensive remarks about women also happen in the workplace. In the United States, for example, the problem of sexual harassment should be seriously dealt with. Businesses have chosen not to take a proactive role in tackling this problem. The result of this is lawsuits that could have been avoided, loss of employee morale and decline in productivity. Sexual harassment may be demonstrated in different ways, but women suffer the most from this type of discrimination.

Sex discrimination is common in many workplaces. Many of such acts remain undetected since they are subtly conceived. Women fail to recognize the respective effects on their work. For this reason, only a few women seek legal redress due to sex discrimination. Due to family responsibilities, it is difficult for women to become involved in litigation. Many females also believe that sex discrimination is common in every workplace and, therefore, they are concerned about this problem. Despite the fact that employers are aware of the circumstances, they are unwilling to undertake any actions. Part of this policy is motivated by the knowledge that by maintaining the status quo, they do not have many losses. For this reason, discrimination against women has persisted.

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In addition, discrimination against women, despite taking various forms, has very far-reaching consequences for the individual worker, the company and the society in general. First, it leads to the loss of productivity. Any person who has been a victim of the act of discrimination on the basis of gender loses the morale and motivation for effective job performance. Loss of self-worth by the discriminated people leads to in the decreased productivity. High employee turnover is also an effect of discrimination. When women are discriminated, they will tend to resign from their jobs and search for other places where they will be treated better. In the course of such a situation, the company suffers due to high worker turnover since it takes time to replace the former employees. The end result is the reduced revenue for the company. Considering its effect on society, discrimination erodes the values of equity and leads to an unjust society that is oppressive to women.

With the knowledge that workplace discrimination is quite rampant, employers should seek possibilities of reducing this practice. Employees who have been subjected to discrimination suffer from humiliation, anger, and fear. The best way for employers to avoid discrimination is to prevent its occurrence. Moreover, employees can establish strategies to avoid discrimination. Women employees should investigate the job prospect before submitting their application. Consequently, they will avoid the damaging effects of discrimination.

During the interview process, potential employees should try and look at the diversity of employees in a company. The hiring practices of the organization should be a matter of concern for any woman planning to search for a job. Consequently, it is possible for them to avoid companies whose hiring practices are unfriendly to women. If a company, for example, has had suits filed against it due to discrimination against women, it should be avoided.

In the case of employers, they should establish strategies in order to ensure that there is adherence to equal employment opportunities. The company managers need to formulate goals in order to provide maintenance of diversity in the workplace. The upper management has to take a proactive role in encouraging diversity so that the lower management can take the same initiative. A discrimination policy is an important tool towards this dispensation. It should detail the circumstances of hiring, firing, and promotion. The employees should understand the policy, which would ensure that there is an understanding between the workers reducing issues of harassment and name-calling. Caucus groups should also be created to ensure that suggestions can be expressed to improve the working conditions of employees and reduce hostile working environments. Employers should encourage female employees to report acts of discrimination.

Finally, discrimination against women in the workplace is rife. It exists in different forms as expressed above and calls for serious measures to be taken. The employers, as well as employees, need to take a proactive role in the fight against discrimination.

Summary

Discrimination against women exists in many workplaces today. It has become entrenched into the labor market whereas radical steps need to be taken in order to fight this vice. Instead of judging workers based on the principles of meritocracy, gender has been used by many employers.

Discrimination against women in the workplace exists in various forms. These include gender stereotypes where the women are denied opportunities based on the perceived incapability that is not substantiated by any evidence or rationality. Motherhood penalty is a concept in many workplaces that lead to a reduction in pay for women with children based on the belief that their productivity is insufficient.

The glass ceiling is a concept in many businesses where women are avoided in cases of promotions. This is also another form of discrimination. Women also receive less pay in many organizations for doing the same job as their male counterparts. In terms of job classification, it is easier for a man to rise than for a woman executing commensurate work and at the same level of performance.

In addition, there are other forms of discrimination, which can be observed in the hostile working environment that most women have to endure as well as sexual harassment from their superiors. Despite the existence of sexual discrimination, most women are willing to seek legal redress due to either family responsibilities or fear to lose their jobs. The effects of discrimination against women cannot be underestimated. They range from loss in productivity, decreased revenue to companies and the general effect of creating an oppressive society. In other words, it is necessary to take radical action against the discrimination of women in the workplace.

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