Gathering information to validate gender issues in the workplace is a better approach than merely assuming the validity of the information provided. Gender discrimination is a problem across different states, organizations, and cultures. It is rooted in traditional patriarchal norms, which put women as minor people in their respective workplaces and homes. Gender discrimination negatively affects women because it harms their social health, lowers their output in the workplace, and makes them receive unfair and biased treatment from employers. In most cases, there are no clear policies in place to eliminate these problems. Hence, the gathering of information to validate the allegations is central to the resolution of the gender issue in the case study.
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How to Proceed
As the vice president of Reginald Murphy College, I would deliberate on the gender issue by gathering primary data from a sample of the employees with a view of getting firsthand information, which validates the existence of the problem. The best approach would be to hold a meeting with leaders, share the matter with them, and know their take on the matter. The approach of holding a meeting with leaders is better than just taking allegations as there are since leaders represent all departments in the institution. The dissemination of the real problem creates an understanding and urges all the members present to take up the matter and voice their opinions regarding the problem.
The approach of gathering information would start by inviting leaders for a meeting through a memo. The frame of the discussion would be clear and specific to gender discrimination in the workplace. As some of the employees have experienced gender inequality in the institution, examination of the causes, and the form of gender inequality is necessary. Allegedly, female members of various departments experience discrimination in aspects of promotion, participation in social events, unfavorable meeting hours, and masculine dominance. Therefore, gender inequality affects the performance of female employees because of their social standing in the institution.
Benefits and Risks of the Approach
Consequently, the approach of gathering information has its benefits and risks. The advantage of following the approach is that it encourages equal participation of all departments, which considers different ways of solving the problem at hand. The approach is also beneficial to leaders in different departments. These leaders have the privilege to share their experiences of gender inequality, and hence, shed extra light on its existence in diverse departments of the institution. The group discussion will also help in determining the perceptions and attitudes of leaders about the issue. Hence, from the perspectives of leaders, the vice president can have an enhanced understanding, and thus, can make an informed decision on whether the leadership team needs orientation on gender equity or not. The group discussion will also help to get insights on whether the leaders can be trusted as agents of promoting gender equity among their subordinates.
There are also risks associated with the approach of gathering information. Essentially, there is a higher probability that men dominate the leadership team, which can be a problem in disseminating the issue of gender equity. In most cases, men are satisfied and comfortable as they are superior and leaders of every department. Owing to patriarchal culture, it is difficult and uncomfortable for male leaders to condemn gender discrimination, while the entire team of male leaders is comfortable with the current status quo. Since social constructs depict men as innate leaders in their respective societies and households, it will be a challenge to come up with a viable solution. In essence, men cannot understand the problem of gender inequality, and in some cases, they are not aware that they are doing an injustice to women. In this situation, leaders require training for them to gain insights into gender discrimination. The approach is at risk of ineffectiveness because men perceive gender equity as an issue of women, which has nothing to with women. In this view, men will not only fail to resolve the problem appropriately but also relegated to women. Practically, the integration of men in the process of solving gender issues is critical because patriarchal systems contribute to gender issues.
Benefits and Risks of Talking the Issue with the Director or Other in the Division
There are various strategies in information gathering, which broadly covers the reliability of the information, ethical issues, and legal considerations. In this case, of RMC, there is a need, as the vice president, to consider all these broad aspects of information gathering while talking about the issue with either the director or other people in the division with respect to risks and benefits related to finding the solution. Some of the benefits will be clear clarification and reliability of the information. The director must have experienced the problem herself or must have done enough observation to the extent of sharing it with the associate vice president. The sharing will help identify the actual problem and have a person, who can talk about her experience with the discrimination of women. The director can also have an actual solution to the problem since she has experienced it as a woman. On the other hand, the risk will be evident when the director feels that the associate vice president has violated her confidentiality by revealing her identity.
Other Options for Validating the Issue
The other option of validating the information is to pay attention to the relationship between men and women in the institution, attending various social events and observing those, who dominate the participation whether men or women and evaluate their behaviors. There is an option of reaching out to women, who have transferred from RMC to other places and find out what was their major reason for finding a new job. It is also right to interact with various women in all sectors of the institution and find out the things they would like to change in the institution. If it turns out the director was right, there is a need to come up with various strategies, both short-term and long-term.
Strategies for Solving the Issue
In this context, the long-term approach would start by inviting gender practitioners to train all the community members of the institution, including staff members, subordinate staff members, and students regarding gender equity and equality. There is a need to establish a body or a committee that will come up with a gender-sensitive policy, which will uphold gender equity and equality between men and women. Leaders would advocates for the adoption of the policy in the institution for staff members and students to implement.
In conclusion, the short-term strategies include educating the leaders and ensuring that they promote gender equity in their activities, introduce gender-neutral games, and schedule the formal meetings at the appropriate times when everybody is available to attend. As the vice president, I would also introduce a platform where women and men have equal opportunity to voice their ideas in meetings and promotion opportunities.
Ruben, B. D., & Jurow, S. (2012). Reginald Murphy College Case Study: Gender Equity Issues. In Leading in Tough Times Workbook (pp. 34-39). Washington, DC: NACUBO.