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Gendered Analysis of the Workplace Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 10th, 2021

Even though every employer aims at diminishing discrimination and promoting gender equality, minor issues concerning the matter still occur. For instance, nursing is generally considered a profession dominated by females and males can suffer from sexism while working on hospital grounds. Similar problems arise in Molloy College gym where I work as a fitness attendant. Even though there are no explicit violations of laws or guidelines, gender-biased role distribution is a common thing in fitness due to a variety of subjective reasons. However, in general, Molloy College gym administration effectively addresses the matter.

Even though there are some informal practices that influence employees’ lives in the gym, they do not break any laws directly and do not pose considerable problems. The mission statement of Molloy College makes it clear that all the activities promote respect for every individual and ethical leadership (“Mission statement,” n.d.). The same standards apply to its gym where every person is treated with respect ,and all the formal policies adhere to the US laws concerning gender discrimination. In my practice, there were no recorded cases of sexual harassment or affirmative actions among the employees. Every client is instructed about the policies of the gym to avoid such behavior. However, while no employee feels discriminated against, some informal labor divisions can be tracked.

Before discussing role distribution among fitness attendants, it is worth mentioning some peculiarities of the profession. The majority of clients in the gym are women, while there are more male instructors than female attendants. However, male visitors rarely want to have an attendant, and even when they do, they prefer for it to be a man. This may be due to the matter that men think of themselves as “sturdy oak” that do not need any assistance (Woods, 2017). At the same time, women prefer their instructors to be females, as they can show more empathy and help to relieve emotional problems female customers may have. Even though the behavior may be rooted in the stereotype of women as mothers (Woods, 2017), it does not bring any discomfort. Due to the situation described above, female employees are advised to offer their services to male customers only on rare occasions. Male fitness attendants, however, are encouraged to help anyone they believe is appropriate. In short, while there are gender-biased recommendations that are based on the evidence acquired at work, they do not violate laws or bring discomfort.

Employee Behavior Norms

While the general norms of behavior apply to both men and women, there are some specific instructions that are designed to avoid incorrect interpretation of employees’ actions. First, the employees are not allowed to adjust customers’ clothes unless directly asked by the client. In the case of the direct question, employees are to decline requests from the opposite sex to avoid harassment charges. At the same time, if asked by the person with the same gender, an employee can still reject if he or she finds it appropriate. Second, women are not allowed to intentionally or unintentionally expose any part of their breast in the gym. At the same time, men may do so if they find it appropriate to perform their duties. In short, the behavioral norms are intuitive and designed to avoid sexual tension in the workplace.

Gender Equality Promotion Practices

Molloy College gym officials instate a strict zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy. According to Woods (2017), more than 50% of women experience sexual harassment at work, which is attributed to the stereotype of women as sex objects. Additionally, employees cannot have intimate relationships with one another or the customers of the gym. These policies are supported by the mentoring policy, according to which trainees and their advisors should be of the same gender. Even though these practices may seem controversial, they serve their purpose to limit gender-biased behavior to a minimum.

Another policy that helps to address gender equality is the dress code promoted by the organization. A gym is a place where bodies are demonstrated, which increases sexual tension. Therefore, managers created a dress code for both employees and customers to mitigate the consequences of the matter. All men and women are to wear unrevealing tee shirts, sports pants, and appropriate underwear. Women are allowed to have only minimal makeup and fix their hair for safety purposes. In brief, the policies promoted by Molloy College gym are rather effective to address gender equality.

Evaluation and Conclusion

Working in a gym may be a controversial experience as it is a place of possible sexual harassment and other gender equality issues. However, Molloy College gym authorities developed sensible policies to avoid problems with the matter. In my opinion, the strongest point is zero-tolerance to sexual harassment and the prohibition of intimate relationships among employees and customers. However, I believe that the recommendation of female instructors not offering their services to male clients seems inappropriate and can be considered a weak point. This should be changed, and no such segregation is to be allowed, and female attendants should not be limited in their actions. In conclusion, Molloy College gym adheres to the mission statement of the organization and successfully promotes a respectful and ethical working environment.

References

(n.d.). Web.

Woods, J. T. (2017). Gendered lives: Communication, gender, and culture (13th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.

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