Free Gender Discrimination Essay Sample
Gender inequality is said to be an acute problem of modern labor markets. The reason is related contrary to the idea of social justice and also as it acts a barrier for economic development. However, there is another opinion that gender discrimination in the workplace is a myth, and things are getting better with each year of the modern society development. Therefore, this research paper is aimed at evaluating the currently existing literature on the matter in order to identify the prevalence of the problem and its acuteness. Additionally, a small survey among peers and friend has been conducted to know an instantaneous opinion on the issue. The essay focuses on several matters, i.e. the difference between male and female workplace discrimination, stereotypical nature of gender discrimination, its types and manifestations. Finally, the paper is related to the problem of modern discrimination and its real state, basing of the conducted researches.
Occupation and employment are the main spheres of a human activity. Inequalities in this area have a negative effect on the individual human resources. They are leading to the dependence on other household members or government transfers. It significantly reduces the quality of life and restricts the freedom of an individual decision-making ability in other spheres of life. Professional gender discrimination is prohibited; and, in the majority of countries, it is punishable by law. However, it still exists. This issue is researched in books, studies, and publications. However, there is still much to be said on the matter. The stereotype is that women can easier to build a career because of their charm, as well as cunning and beautiful eyes. It is true, though males have more chances to reach the heights and get higher fees. The reason is that the world is ruled by men. Drawing an analogy with the well-known proverb The grass is always greener on the other side, everything becomes clear and understandable. Nevertheless, sexism is still manifested in the division of labor. Its victims are still both women and men during the periods of career setbacks and disappointments.
Numerous studies and assessments of gender discrimination connected with workers and employers show the following fact. The most urgent kind of discrimination on the labor market is related to such one in hiring and firing. Thus, according to Sandhu, Singh, and Batra, the majority of both women and men share the position that males have a better chance at employment.
The study conducted in 1989 by Abrams has shown that a significant proportion of vacancies are not gender neutral. According to Adams (1989) and later to Kuhn and Shen, it applies to the professions that do not require professional skills due to the biological differences between the quality of labor of males and females. During several decades after the study, the proportion of such vacancy announcements has grown from 30% to 40%. It happened despite the fact that in the labor legislation there was a ban on employment discrimination based on gender, according to Shen and Dhanani. The distribution of gender preferences by professional groups shows that employers have the stable stereotypes of professional preference of both sexes.
Stereotypical behavior is another side of the problem discussed in academic resources. Since women know that they are treated as less advantageous to male workers, they proceed from the following fact. They have no opportunities to compete with men and choose the activities that require fewer labor efforts. Therefore, according to Shen and Dhanani, more than half of women said as follows. They have few qualities that are valued in the current economic situation.
Thus, the labor market is mainly not realized as a direct and hidden discrimination being manifested in the hiring and promotion policies. It reflects gender preferences of employers in relation to certain jobs and activities. This hidden discrimination contributes to the formation of the horizontal and vertical segregation in different professions.
The methods for the current study have been to research the problem of gender discrimination in the workplace for both sexes, cautioning the gender segregation and female discrimination. For conducting the research, the set of the modern and old literature sources has been used. The outdated resource has been to compare the attitudes and analyze gender discrimination as well as segregation in the workplace at the end of the twentieth century and nowadays. The study has been conducted in order to identify manifestations of the discussed matter, its types, nature, and prevalence and compare in order to understand the current trends in the workplace. Additionally, the job search has been included into the topic since this stage of employment directly influences the homogeneity of genders in this or that workplace.
Additionally, to conduct the current analysis the survey among classmates and nearest friends has been conducted to identify the attitudes towards the existence of gender discrimination. The study contained several questions. They include such as Do you believe in gender discrimination in the workplace existence?, Was it hard for you to find a position and have you experienced gender discrimination?, Were you or your friends a witness of gender discrimination in the workplace?, Do you believe that there are male and female professions? and Do you think it is difficult for a woman to find a workplace nowadays? The survey has comprised 25 people. They answered No or Yes on each question. The answers were counted and transferred into the percentage relation to the overall amount of responses.
The researchers claim that it is a concept of sexism. It is a direct analogy of racism that stands in the background of gender discrimination. For the first time, sexism came into use in the 60s of the last century. It was the period of the birth of feminist movement. That is why the term has evolved and began to mean discrimination only against women. Later, when the sexes obtained equal rights officially the sexism manifested into a dual character. Nowadays, it is interpreted as discrimination against people based on gender, associated with the presence of the belief in the superiority of one sex over the other and prejudice against members of a particular gender.
The nature of gender discrimination in the labor market can be objective and subjective. Its objective nature against women is related to their family and reproductive roles. Females have less time and opportunity to make the career, work without a break, and overwork. The subjective nature of discrimination against women is linked to the prejudices of employers that a woman is the worst worker. This evaluation has nothing to do with the professional characteristics of an individual female. Therefore, the preference in hiring is given to a man. The dismissal is related mainly to females as the first candidates to leave; and the career growth is also limited to them.
Types of Discrimination
As it has been said earlier, discrimination is unequal opportunities in the labor market towards a group of workers. The latter one is being isolated on the specific basis and with the same performance with other employees (group discrimination) or unequal opportunities of individual workers as compared with the ones with similar characteristics quality of workforce (individual discrimination). Several kinds of discrimination in the labor market in this field can be identified. They are as follows:
Discrimination in employment (or conversely the dismissal from work). It occurs when the particular population group is considered the last one to be hired and the first one to be fired.
Discrimination in an access to certain professions or positions. It occurs when any community of people prohibit or restrict the access to specific types of activities, professions, positions. It happens despite the fact that they are able to carry out these works.
Discrimination in payments. It appears in the case of low wages to some workers in comparison to others for doing the same work. That is why when the payment differences are not related to such ones in the efficiency of work.
Discrimination in promotion, particularly in the professional career. It occurs when workers are a discriminated group in limited upward mobility.
Discrimination in education or training. It may be an expressed or limited access to education and training or in the provision of educational services of lower quality. This kind cannot be fully attributed to the fact of discrimination in the labor market. Education is usually preceded work. Nevertheless, despite the pre-workplace nature of this type of discrimination, it causes the consequences being closely connected with the functioning of the labor market.
Male and Female Discrimination Differences
Any discussion of profession accessories to the female and male groups is a flurry of emotions among both sexes. However, the fact remains that the division exists. Moreover, it is defined by law. However, it applies primarily to physical labor. The Labour Code has a chapter where it is said that the weaker sex cannot do heavy work and work underground. Other articles stipulate that mothers with children under the age of 14 without their consent cannot be required to work overtime and forced to do work tasks on weekends.
Young people and women are the most vulnerable group among workers. The law turns the problem from such an angle that these individuals should first take care of an employer. However, the protection of females with kids, pregnant women, and young people should rest on the shoulders of the state. For instance, in case a woman is well developed physically and needs money, then the question of impossibility to do hard work becomes questionable. She has a physical ability to apply for such kind of job and legally. On the other hand, it is a normal situation when a large and physically strong man in a shop sells womens tights and stockings. On the other side, such men are also discriminated but not in the workplace. They face some discrimination from the society. It is being a matter of a separate long discussion.
Employers are very conservative when it comes to hard work for females. For example, they claim that they shout at the male porter. However, they cannot do the same thing towards women since they are either limited by a social standard or afraid of an extremely emotional female reaction, i.e. tears (Equal Rights Advocates, 2013). However, the question arises whether it is officially allowed to shout at workers At all. It is also prohibited; and such behavior towards employees is inappropriate towards both sexes.
For office workers, the gender issue is not as serious as for other occupations. The executives of large companies are especially concerned about the level of training and education of an applicant. If a woman outdoes a man by all the required features for a probable position, then her application in the overwhelming majority of cases will be successful. However, not all employers are so progressive. The research shows that managers mostly consider a trade secretary, office manager, personnel manager, accountant, and assistant as the most feminine occupations. In these terms, employers prefer to recruit men to the position of a driver, IT specialist, security guard, chef, etc.
In any case, among technical professions, women are less represented than men. They are still considered as male occupations. Therefore, it is said that females should think even when choosing a specialty. According to experts, in the next 10 years, the worlds most popular and highly paid specialists are expected to be IT- and nanotechnology ones as well as electronics engineers. Again, as these occupations are mostly associated with men, women may be overboard.
Gender inequality in the labor market is manifested not only in discriminatory phenomena related to employment but also in gender asymmetry observed in unemployment. Gender differentiation exists at the level of unemployment in the methods of search, time for search, and reasons for losing the workplace.
The impact of unemployment on females is a little tougher and is manifested in search criteria, duration of work, frequency of getting, and the length of remaining in an unemployed status. Womens unemployment is more protracted. They often go into the household, being desperate to find a job. Females may be changing their unemployed status on becoming housewives to create an illusion of being out of the situation. The majority of unemployed men find a new job rather quickly. The overwhelming amount of women, forced out of the social production, lose it forever.
It should be noted that discrimination in its purest form is quite difficult to highlight. Women are paid less than men engaged in the same work under the same conditions though having the same experience. It is rather prevalent and appropriate to talk about the cases of discrimination against females in employment or their dismissal, in the matters of promotion and career development. The obvious fact is that there exists the unequal distribution of the economic sector of men and women and professional groups with different levels of payment. The formation of gender differences in wages all over the world, appeared, on the one hand, in the end of the 18th century. At that time, there existed gender segregation in all spheres of human life, not only in the workplace (Adams, 1989). This imbalance was reproduced during every significant economic crisis, such as in 2008. Men were more likely to obtain a work place as they were supposed to be money-bringers. It is embarrassing for a male to stay without any money source especially during economic crises. On the other hand, market changes have exacerbated the segregation of women. Therefore, they are concentrated in the lowest paid sectors.
Speaking about discrimination in the labor market there are two types of stereotypes, which support gender inequality situation and stereotypes of behavior. Position stereotypes are the employers stereotypes. An employer perceives an employee (either a man or a woman) as less useful labor due to different values and social beliefs in his mind. For instance, when such attitude occurs towards women, it comes from the idea that females have to balance work and family responsibilities. Therefore, they make less labor efforts and focuse on career development, are expected from them.
Gender discrimination is a question of stereotypical behaviors, set at the genetic level, being male-dominated. Therefore, its key performance indicators are aggression, activeness, and ambition. A woman should obey and be emotional, sensitive, and caring towards others. In addition, despite the fact that there are supposed to be equal conditions for selection and professional development, the majority of men and women still prefer to realize themselves in the roles appropriate to their base models.
In the majority of countries, the problem of sexism in professions is not discussed as often as it should be. The research is performed even rarer. In 2013, there was a curious result of the study on this subject. It was aimed at identifying what type of job males and females are looking for and determining the gender segregation of the labor market. According to the research, men (53% of the studied CVs) focus on management positions. They are looking for work in the most highly paid areas: Sales, Information Technology, Internet, Telecommunications, and Higher Management. Women (47%) are much more modest in their expectations. Their requests are Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Enterprise Finance, and Administrative Staff. Unfortunately, there has been no study on the reasons for such distinction. Nevertheless, the situation is quite interesting. Women and men are still looking for appropriate positions in terms of their sex and not the educational background, abilities, and skills. With respect to financial expectations and demands, these factors are directly related to the experience, i.e. working experience for more than six years can boast 48% of male audience and 33% of female one. In addition, the important outcome of the research is the fact that 60% of job seekers without any experience are females.
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Modern Discrimination: Myths and Truth
In terms of stereotypes, there are three most widespread myths on gender discrimination in business.
Myth 1. Professions are divided into male and female. Leading experts of the labor market say that in the recent past sexism has been a part of ideology. It has been strictly followed, especially in the eastern European countries. For example, the father in maternity cave was like an alien. Theoretically, men during such period were approved and encouraged. However, it was rarely used in practice and often even condemned. Sexism today is rather an echo of the past. Moreover, it manifests itself most often in the conversations about a sarcastic boss in a skirt, the use of women in society, and their ability to cook soup. In this case, the criterion of success is mostly a result rather than the sex in any way.
In the modern life, there is not much sexism in professions. However, there is a traditional division into male and female professions. For example, men can be attributed to such work as a programmer, driver, military policeman, plumber, carpenter, etc. For women, these are an accountant, secretary, nurse, and teacher as more appropriate. However, these occupations are important not in terms of sex, but in a set of competencies.
If earlier the choice of a profession was dictated by binding to the stereotypes of society. However, today it is a more individual choice. As a result, men have successfully realized themselves in the womens emotional, empathetic and esthetic occupations. Females are actively exploring male professions, where the logic, strategy, charisma, and strength are needed. According to many businessmens opinion, a woman has the power to master any profession, including those ones related to risk and physical labor. The main thing is desire. A human being is free to choose the profession that he/she likes.
The lack of women in the field of finance, and especially investment, is often a plus, especially from the side of thinking and the tendency to avoid activities with a high level of risk (Adams, 1989). It may be the reason why the CEO and Managing Directors from these areas are less likely to take females for these positions. However, they say that it does not mean that women in finance and investment are worse than men. In some cases, it is exactly opposite. On the other side, the absence of males among the educators and teachers is rather negative. At the time when personality and character are actively formed in children, vision and understanding of male models of behavior will be helpful.
Myth 2. Career opportunities for men and women are not equal. If the male career depends mainly on him, the female one is often related to the personal life, birth, and upbringing of children. Career ambitions of a woman being a mother are often reduced because of high load from domestic concerns. Modern employers understand this fact. As a result, it requires less involvement in work and professional development. However, due to technological advances in the form of a washing machine, microwaves and distance courses on any topic, a female appears to appears to spend much more time for work and for development. Therefore, giving up the career in favor of the personal life at the same moment is only the matter of choice and decision for both sexes. Additionally, working remotely is getting more and more popular among people. The career opportunities for remote workers are sometimes even better than for an office employee.
Myth 3. Men more willingly take on leadership positions. Historically, the role of a chief manager derives from the part of an alpha male of the tribe (Adams, 1989). It subconsciously affects the desire of a male to lead to this day. In addition, the position of the head often involves heavy loads and an irregular schedule. When appointing a person to a leading position today individuals often talk about professional qualifications and not an ability to work for days without sleeping.
The conducted survey has shown that among young people the problem of gender discrimination is not as acute as it seems to be. The overwhelming majority of respondents (22) have answered No to the question of existence of purely male or female occupations. As a matter of fact, the majority of answers to the research listed above was No. It serves as the evidence that in the common life the problem of gender discrimination in the workplace is not as prevalent as described in the literature. Again, the survey conducted has many limitations. Its design is too simple to dig into the essence of the problem. However, the initial response to the simple question can serve as an indicator of the issue prevalence.
People are mainly the victims of their own traditions. If we think about a kindergarten teacher, there appears an image of a woman. If we imagine an engineer, there is a picture of a man. This division is very conditional and often depends on the impression that the male should earn more. Self-indulgence is a feature for the work of women. The studies of recruiting companies show that the higher is the expected wage, the more men apply for this job. Moreover, as it has been already mentioned, according to the observations of recruiters, women are much more modest in their requests.
The long-term work with the candidates shows that the total mass of men is different from female applicants. Hence, these are males that see themselves much more clearly in the dynamics of development of professional career. During an interview, they tend to indicate half a year in response to the question about the period, in which an increase should occur. Women are more likely to indicate a period of two years. The representatives of the stronger sex, in general, are less willing to work for a long time in one position.
In the labor market, women usually self-exclude themselves, which does not allow them to occupy the same position as men. A broad participation of females has not led to the elimination of differences between both sexes in employment. At the quantitatively equal level of economic activity and a similar type of labor tasks over a life cycle, women continue to work in a horizontal and vertical segregation and receive lower wages in average. Thus, to exclude the economic foundations of gender inequality it is not enough to ensure an equal participation of males and females in the labor market. To do this, there is a need to change the structure of demand in employment, the practice of hiring and promotion of staff, as well as raise the profile and prestige of the posts occupied by women.