Discrimination against Women in the Workplace Jessica Holmes Professor Williams April 10, 2012 From the beginning of time the male and female have been expected to perform certain roles in society. Males have been expected to work and provide for their family while the female raises the children, cooks, cleans and keeps the house in order. Today many women have broken that tradition and are starting their careers and becoming more independent.
Even though females today are braking away from that stereotype, they are being discriminated in the work place because there are still individuals out there that believe that women should play a certain role and that they are not strong enough to work in a cooperation or organization. Apart of society believes that women should not compete and take jobs away from men because men are the breadwinners for the family. I believe that women are strong enough and there are some women out there that do their job better than a male can.
According to buzzle. com, the term gender discrimination basically means the prejudicial treatment of a group or a person due to their gender or sex. It involves a reinforcement of behavior and attitude on the basis of traditionally stereotypical roles people have in the society we live in. Gender discrimination can involve a whole variety of issues, from unequal pay to women being portrayed as sexual objects in the media to wives being beaten up by their spouses.
While gender discrimination can affect both men and women, however, it is women who have been at the receiving end through the ages and across cultures, since most cultures in the world are male dominated. The Discrimination of Women in the Work place is an extremely important issue. Even though the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination against gender, discrimination of women in the workplace still occurs. This Act was put forth to ensure that employment decisions are made on the basis of an individual’s qualifications rather than there race, sex or religion.
Discrimination of women in the workplace is displayed in many ways from unequal salary, sexual harassment and belief that women’s work is worth less than their male counterparts. I believe this topic is extremely important because it is a major issue in the business world. A large amount of women in the workplace don’t receive as much credit as they deserve because of their gender. Gender discrimination in the workplace is not only harmful to the professional growth of an individual but also limits the growth of a business.
Some women feel they are unsecured in the man’s dominating society and they also have less employment opportunities than a man does. In this paper I will be discussing six key issues that surround discrimination of women in the work place. I will also discuss the Glass Ceiling regarding women in business world, focusing on there advancement in the workplace. Before ending my paper I will give actions that can be taken when someone is experiencing gender discrimination in the workplace. One major issue involved with the discrimination of women in the work place is unequal salary.
Women in nearly all job categories receive less pay than males in those job categories. There are women today working in fields who have the same education and experience as men in comparable positions that sometimes receive lower pay. Even if the man and woman doesn’t work for the same company in general, the pay for traditionally female occupations such as administrative assistants, nurses, librarians, teachers remains low in comparison with traditionally male occupations, such as engineers or lawyers. I believe that these are the jobs that are some of the most important and most challenging in our society.
According to buzzle. com, a recent study by US Bureau of Labor shows that women working 41 to 44 hours a week earn 84. 6% of what their male counterparts do. Women who work more than 60 hours a week were found to earn only about 78. 3% of what men in the same category earned. This shows there is a big salary difference between women and men. There are women that work more hours then their male counterparts and women still make less in salary. A second key issue is the hiring process. Many companies prefer to hire men over women for a positionregardless of their education or experience.
Some reasons this may be is because most females have to balance work and family duties which may be a huge barrier in helping advancement in an organization, so an employer may prefer to hire a man who will not come with the baggage of children or the issue of balancing work and family duties. During an interview some women are not hired because they cannot be taken seriously because some may wear too much make-up or their pants suit or skirt may be too tight. Women that are pregnant are also sometimes not considered for a position because he manager may worry about the women wanting time off work on maternity leave. This may not be a direct financial concern about paying women while on maternity leave. It’s more about the cost of replacing and training someone to cover their role while they are off. A third issue in the discrimination of women in the workplace is sexual harassment. Sexual Harassment is described as a form of gender discrimination that is in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Even though it is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 there is still sexual harassment in the workplace today.
The majority of sexual harassment complaints in the work place come from woman. According to sexualharassmentsupport. org, statistics of women being sexually harassed in the workplace goes as follows, 43% were harassed by a supervisor ,27% were harassed by an employee senior to them, 19% were harassed by a coworker at their level 8% were harassed by a junior employee. Some reasons why sexual harassment may occur in the work place are Supervisors and employers can grow accustomed to the power they have over their employees and they feel like they can do whatever they want because they are the boss.
Majority of the time the person that is being sexually harassed on the job deals with it in fear of losing their job. Another reason women are discriminated in the work place is because some employer’s don’t see women as good decision makers. It is perceived that most women base their decisions off of feeling and emotions where is though men base decisions more on logic and reasoning. It is also stereotyped that women are not strong enough to make big decisions.
Since most of the time women are thought to not be good decision makers, they are usually ignored when they make suggestions or come up with an idea for her a company that they work for. It is also said that women can’t handle pressure like men women can’t think as critically as men can, women can’t lead others as well as men , Women can’t solve problems as well as men. Another issue is the limits on promotions to high level Management Positions. Sometimes when someone is being looked at to be promoted at their job the male employee is usually considered first.
A male may be given a higher level position when his female counterpart does just a much work or even more than he does. Sometimes there are females that have been working at an organization for years and have been repeatedly denied the opportunity for a promotion, but a man with less experience, someone that the women may have even trained and supervised sometimes gets the promotion instead. The last issue is benefits an employer provides to its employees. This area of gender discrimination is often overlooked.
It is obvious that male and female employees have different, sex based disability and healthcare needs, and the law is no longer unaware to the fact that only women can get pregnant, bear children, or use prescription contraception. The special or increased healthcare needs associated with a woman’s unique sex based characteristics must be met to the same extent, and on the same terms, as other healthcare needs. Women who are told that they must use their vacationdays as maternity leave are victims of gender discrimination;pregnancy and childbirth are considered medical conditions and must be treated as any other illness or condition.
These needs for women are not met in the benefits for employees which makes it a form of sex discrimination. Even though today the discrimination of women in the workplace is not as bad as it was in the past there have only been a few women that have accomplished shattering “the Glass Ceiling”. The Glass Ceiling is a concept that refers to barriers faced by women who attempt, or aspire, to get senior positions in corporations, government, education and nonprofit organizations. It can also refer to racial and ethnic minorities and men when they experience barriers to advancement.
Even where women have gained access to the workplace, sex discrimination may persist in other ways. Examples include identification of particular jobs as “man–only” or “woman–only” or through the existence of a glass ceiling that ensures women will only go so far on the corporate ladder. Over the years progress has been made for women in the workplace but most women are working at jobs that are considered to be female jobs, like nurses, teachers, or librarians. The discrimination of women in the workplace not only prevents women from not getting what they deserve but it also affects them internally.
Some women feel they are unsecured in the man’s dominating society, and they become less motivated to get the job that they deserve. Some women are also afraid to stand up and speak for what they think is right in fear of losing their job. One example of gender discrimination in the workplace is a situation that occurred at a Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart faced one of the largest workplace gender-bias lawsuits in American history. In Wal-Mart’s employment policy it states, as America’s largest company, Wal-Mart has a duty to treat all employees and suppliers with respect. However, this was not always the case.
They were accused of paying women less and offering them fewer opportunities for promotion. In June 2004, current and former female Wal-Mart employees who charged the company were granted 1. 6 million. Wal-Mart also had other issues with discrimination which included a class action lawsuit filed by African-American truck driver, and a number other cases involving discrimination against workers with disabilities. For example, in 2001, Wal-Mart paid $6 million dollars to settle 13 lawsuits, which alleged widespread discrimination and violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If a women or any other individual is experiencing discrimination on the job there are many actions that can be made to stop it. One action is writing down what happened as soon as you experience any type of discrimination. Write down dates, places, times, and possible witnesses to what happened. If possible, ask your co-workers to write down what they saw or heard, especially if the same thing is happening to them. Remember that others may read this written record at some point. It is a good idea to keep the record at home or in some other safe place.
Do not keep the record at work. A second way in handling the situation is to confront the offender. Talk to the person you have a problem with. Calmly state your case and ask or demand that the discrimination end. This works best if a co-worker is doing the discriminating or an immediate supervisor. When discriminating against women seems to be a part of the company’s culture you have a bigger problem on your hands. If confronting the offender does not solve the problem the third step would be to file adiscrimination complaint with a Government Agency.
If you want to file a lawsuit in federal or state court, you have to first file a formal complaint of discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or your state’s fair employment agency. Then after the complaint is filed with a Government Agency you will be able file a lawsuit. You can sue for money damages, to get your job back, and you can also ask the court to make your employer change its practices to prevent future discrimination from occurring. Managers of organizations can also just start treating men and women equally.
Stop stereotyping woman in the workplace and give them a chance to do and to receive everything that they have worked hard for. The managers of many business and organizations need to change their mentally, just because someone applying for a position is a women does not mean that they are weak and cannot perform as well as a man or even better. Even though Gender discrimination is a problem it is not as bad as it has been in the past. The good news is that women of all ethnicities and ages are refusing to let sex discrimination go unpunished.
Companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that women aren’t treated unfairly on the job, by anyone. If a women or anyone is being discriminated in the work place I believe that, that person should not be afraid to complain about it. There may be a fear of losing your job, but I do believe no one wants to work at a place where they are discriminated or are harassed, so complaining about it is worth it. You may not be the only person on your job that is experiencing gender discrimination. Just take the steps that I discussed in my paper to file a compliant about your offender.
With just one person taking action and making a complaint the offender can be stopped. References “Issues | Discrimination. “Www. walmartwatch. com. 2009. Web. 15 Mar 2012. . Godbole, By Medha. “Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace. ” Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. 17 Mar. 2010. Web. 18 Mar 2012. . “Protection Against Employment Discrimination. ” Attorneys BraytonPurcell | Novato (San Francisco), California Attorney. 2002-2010. Web. 24 Mar. 2012. . “Workplace Fairness – Short-Changed || Discrimination. “Workers, Employee, Employment and Job Rights – Workplace Fairness. Web. 25 Mar 2012. .