Gender Inequalities in the Workplace

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Male Pages: 6 (2197 words) Published: May 24, 2009
The issue of gender inequality has been in the eyes of the public and been in awareness of society for decades. The problem of inequality in employment is one of the most vital issues in today's society. In order to understand this situation one must try to get to the root of the problem and must understand the factors that cause the female sex to have a much more difficult time in getting the same benefits, wages, and job opportunities as the male sex. The society in which we live has been shaped historically by men.

"A woman's primary attachment is to the family role; women are therefore less intrinsically committed to work than men and less likely to maintain a high level of specialized knowledge" (Oakley, 1974, p. 28)President Clinton proclaimed April 11, 1996, as the "National Pay Inequality Awareness Day. In the year 1972, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act was established; the goal of the government was to change and eliminate the discrimination in the workplace. The major aim of these two acts is to protect individual rights and promotes employment opportunities and fairness for everyone within the workplace. We accept that the government is aware of the inequality between men and women in work place, and they are trying every way they can to prevent and discontinue the inequality; so the question is what are the reasons why women are still being treated unfairly at work?Work plays an important role in helping individuals find their true identity as well as helping one builds their self-esteem. However, in the past women were not encouraged to work "real jobs", instead they often stayed at home and are often labeled as housewives. The truth is women do work, they always have worked, but the work that they do are often unpaid labor work. Before men assumed that women didn't really want to work; they didn't need the money; and that they have different interests. (Kimmel, 2000, p.175) So it was assumed that women either couldn't do a job, or, if they could, they would neither want to nor need to do it. Now in the twenty-first century things have changed dramatically, more women are educated, and more determined to search for their identity. In order for them to do that, they often time seek employment. Women's participation in the labor force has grown to such an extent that society can no longer ignore and view women as unimportant. Women face many obstacles when seeking out jobs, and even more obstacles when they are working with men.

Sex discrimination and gender inequality have always existed in society, but when does it actually start? The answer is ever since the minute they were born. In 1995 Wall Street Journal report observed that elementary school girls receive smaller allowances and are asked to do more chores than boys. (Kimmel, 2000, p.174) When a woman grows up and enters womanhood, if she wishes to work, she would have to face many irrelevant tribulations. Sex "discrimination occurs when we treat people unequally because of personal characteristics that are not related to the job. Discrimination can be when we treat people who are similar in different ways, or when we treat people who are different in similar ways." (Kimmel, 2000) We often discriminate the people we meet because of our past experiences, from what we have learned, and through stereotyping. Stereotyping is the process of judging someone on the basis of our perception of the group to which he or she belongs. (Robbins, 2003) Stereotypes exist because of the differences among individuals. Since it is almost impossible for human brains to process such large degree of differences quickly, people simplify these differences and make generalizations without even noticing doing so. While these generalizations has originally begun with observed differences among people and have a shred of truth to them, most of these generalization have been so largely exaggerated over time that they no longer serve their original purpose of describing...

References: akley, Ann. (1974) The Sociology of Housework New York: Pantheon BooksStromberg, Ann H. & Harkess, Shirley. (1978) Women Working: Theories and Facts inPerspective. California: Mayfield Publishing CompanyRobbins, Stephen P. (2003) Organizational Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice HallMcGuire, Gail M. (2000) Gender, Race, Ethnicity, & Networks [Electronic version]. Work &Occupations, 27(4), 500-523.
Hale, Mary. (1999) He Says, She Says: Gender and Worklife. Public Administration Review,59(5). Retrieved March 4, 2009, from www.questia.comKimmel, Michael S. (2000) The Gendered Society. New York: Oxford University Press
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