More workplaces are committing to having a diverse workforce now than before the turn of the century, but they disproportionately treat women in comparison to men. This paper reports the challenges and opportunities for women in the workplace and briefly outlines the legal framework guiding the same.
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Women are more likely to be victims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the workplace compared to men. Sexual violence and discrimination targeting women in the workplace exists because the modern workplace, much as it strives to change, is still guided by patriarchal norms that regard men as superior to women (Elmuti, Jia, & Davis, 2015). These traditional norms continue hampering women’s chances of self-advancement relative to men considering that women are less likely to be considered for promotions than their male counterparts. The finding is manifest in the fact that less than 20% of the Fortune 500 companies have women in executive positions (Belasen, 2017). The few women in such positions face numerous challenges related to working in male-dominated workplaces, including sexual violence and discrimination.
Despite the challenges experienced, women have the opportunity of exerting their role in the modern workforce because of the preference for diverse workplaces by modern managers. Literature, such as Greenberg, Bruess, and Oswalt (2017) suggests that such workplaces are more productive because they take the advantage of different talents and the contributions of people from diverse backgrounds to problem-solving and other issues that have implications for productivity.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the parent legislative framework against discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the Act banned gender discrimination and violence in the workplace, which later led to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, to monitor discrimination (Gold, 2016). Today, the EEOC investigates and facilitates the prosecution of sexual harassment and gender discrimination incidences in American workplaces.
Conclusively, women are less favored for promotion and more likely to be targeted for sexual harassment in the workplace compared to men. The challenges hamper their chances of being part of diverse workforces, which means that they look to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for remedies to their situation.
- Belasen, A. T. (2017). Women in management: a framework for sustainable work-life integration. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Elmuti, D., Jia, H., & Davis, H. H. (2015). Challenges women face in leadership positions and organizational effectiveness: An investigation. Journal of leadership education, 8(2), 167-187.
- Gold, S. D. (2016). The Civil Rights Act of 1964. New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
- Greenberg, J. S., Bruess, C. E., & Oswalt, S. B. (2017). Exploring the dimensions of human sexuality. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.