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Despite the presence of a significant international civilization, gender bias continues to be a disturbing issue within the societies. Women are frequently facing gender discrimination1 within the societies and even in their workplaces. Social stratification2 seems to shift from the cultural ideologies imposed within the societies to the workplace environments (Lee, 2005). Even though modernization seeks to ensure equitable access to work opportunities3 and an impartial treatment between genders, socioeconomic statuses differ and wealth4 distribution seems uneven between genders (Lee, 2005). Such disparities are creating serious public concerns. Fundamentally, this essay discusses workplace gender discrimination as a critical social injustice problem.
Discrimination in compensation
Underpayment or low payment makes life miserable because the meager income5 can barely make individuals to have the economic power6 or wealth to afford the recurrent life necessities. According to Lee (2005), a great number of the working class7 women rank within the lower class8 population and only a few manage to scale rank among the middle class9 or the upper middle10 population.
Modern companies have concentrated on improving the performance of the organizations and such intentions force them to recruit instrumental leadership11 that is capable of motivating an energetic workforce12. Lee (2005) asserts that women can barely match the workplace requirements that men can fulfill and such situations make some leaders to underpay the female workforce.
While most organizations claim to practice a democratic leadership13 that people perceive to be fair in ensuring equitable treatment among the workers, contemporary management systems often make unfair salary decisions (Lee, 2005). Managing a resilient and a low-demanding workforce that comprise of men is easier than managing a female workforce that has several familial issues and complications (Lee 2005). Irrespective of the fact that absolute poverty14 and relative poverty15 are universal social problems that affect both genders, corporate organizations tend to favor the male workforce in terms of compensation. Such disparities make women susceptible to workplace abuse, manipulation, exploitation, and social inequalities.
Discrimination in the Workplace Opportunities
Women remain discriminated against in terms of access to workplace opportunities. Modern companies have the philosophy of recruiting and promoting individuals through meritocracy16. Merit-based employment, retention, recognition, and promotion make men luckier than women with the opportunities offered within companies (Lee, 2005). Such situations make companies to classify its workforce based on the class systems17 that involve a consideration of the individual’s achievement and performance at the workplace. Bound to respect the organizational policies that favor bureaucracy18, modern managers can barely afford to exercise their democratic privileges to appoint women to occupy crucial men positions.
The area of specialization19 for women has been limited from the beginning of the industrial revolution. A notion that men often form competitive work teams20 is culturally inherent in most organizations (Lee, 2005). As companies focus on improving their performances, the increased reliance on technology21 to enhance work efficiency22 seems to deny the women opportunities to demonstrate their technical competencies23 skills. The command and control24 of the modern firms is often under the male workforce that often manipulates and harasses female workers when they seek posts and promotions (Lee, 2005). Manipulations, sexual harassments, and unjust gender-based promotions make women dissatisfied and frustrated at workplaces.
Discrimination in the Workplace Privileges
Women are facing an increasing workplace discrimination pertaining to the indirect benefits that companies offer to their workers. Companies have rules and regulations25 that govern the decisions of managers concerning employment, compensation, retrenchment, and the off-duty conditions of workers (Lee, 2005). Women have often faced discrimination because of their family responsibilities, maternal responsibilities and their biological problems. Cases of women facing unfair dismissals because of their commitment to maternal responsibilities and especially those who seek maternity off-duty permissions are currently on the rise (Lee, 2005). This form of intentional discrimination makes women lose working morale, fear seeking for job promotions, and even lose confidence in their work.
Women often qualify for white-collar occupations26 that require less menial labor compared to the blue-collar occupations.27 Contemporary white-collar jobs require strategic planning that requires workers to be always within the workplaces to execute the strategies and make significant strategic assignment (Lee, 2005). Women have their personal problems, health complications, and family obligations that limit them from fulfilling the demands of the formal organizations28. Countries and corporate organizations have limited policies and regulations that protect workers from these intentional discriminations (Lee, 2005). Coercive organizations29 use these legal lapses to manipulate the female workforce in terms of offering them equitable access to workplace privileges.
Formal organizations30 are often practicing scientific management31 and are often seeking employees who have technical competence and resilience in the workplace. Unfortunately, female employees have personal problems, cultural barriers, and professional deficiencies in handling the challenging tasks that men are competent in handling at workplaces. Coupled with the increasing quest of the formal organizations to utilize labor force effectively, women face compensation discrimination and unfair access to workplace opportunities and privileges. Low income and lack of workplace power make the female workforce live in intermittent poverty. Such workplace gender discriminations instigate feminization of poverty32.
Lee, A. (2005). Unconscious Bias Theory in Employment Discrimination Litigation. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 40(2), 481-503.