Organizations are formed with one purpose, to achieve the organizational goals and objectives set out by the organizations to organs. The fact that, organizations exist within the society implies that, what goes on in the society is likely to influence internal processes of the organization. Management achieves it purposes by utilizing the various resources such as technology and the human resources. Of all resources at the exposure of the managers, it is the human resources, which are the most important in accomplishment of the organization’s goals. Therefore, there is a need for extra care while handling human resources issues. How well or poorly the human resources manager manages its staff reflect on job performance.
As (Bagilhole, 78) notes, “how well the management handles human resources has a bearing in that, it can diminish the morale of the workers. Well-motivated staff is more likely to perform well in their job output compared to poorly motivated employees. Discrimination along gender lines is a leading cause of poor employee morale. When discriminated upon, employees feel unappreciated and unwelcome to the organization. With low morale production goes down and the organization is very likely to experience losses. Employees who are discriminated are more likely to desist from working as teams something which can affect the performance output of the whole organization therefore making performance to go down significantly.
According (Hills, & Stewart, 142-143), discrimination based on genders is reflected in a number of ways which include; “unequal pay for men and women with men being paid higher salaries than women”. According (Hills, & Stewart, 136-142), the pay discrepancies are institutionalized in most cases and have been found to be a cause of low job performance for her affected gender. Discrimination based on gender is also evident in how organizations handle promotions with most organizations preferring to give special treatment to men despite both genders possessing equivalent qualifications and in some cases the women being better qualified than their male counterparts both academically and in terms of experience (Sennet, 2003.78-104).
Organizations have continued to discriminate based on gender especially when it come to pregnancy and maternity leaves (Thompson, 2006.25-79). In the past, women continued to work in unfavourable work environments even when they were pregnant although the situation has improved significantly in the recent years. In addition women would be denied maternity leave and therefore denying them the rest they deserved. Denying pregnant women their rights is tantamount to exposing both the women (whose immunity levels are usually low during pregnancy) as well as the unborn babies to dangerous health hazards, which increases the health risks. In some cases organizations allow pregnant women to take unpaid maternity leaves. This greatly disadvantages women who are forced to lead poor quality of life owing to financial constraints occasioned by unpaid maternity leaves.
The other area where the discrimination based on gender is rampant is in cases whereby organizations due to their labor needs, come up with restrictions on how frequently the women can take maternity leaves. This controlling of how often a woman can take a leave amounts to denying the woman her natural rights of procreation. What makes the actions discriminatory is the fact that they unfairly target and affect women in big numbers than men. This therefore creates an imbalance in the work place with most female employees getting very disoriented and disorganized as a result. Organizations usually want employees to unconditionally adhere to the unfair and discriminatory policies. As Haslanger, (2005.49-88) notes, most women are not aware of their rights or are simply not interested in preferring legal claims against the employers. This can be explained by the fact that, proving a case of gender discrimination is not easy and therefore most people prefer to undergo such discrimination silently than taking a legal move, which could cost the affected employee the job.
Transgender discrimination is another form of gender driven discrimination in which employees are discriminated on the strength of the fact that they have had a change of sex. Prior to the introduction of the sex discrimination act; this was a common type of discrimination, which employers used to deny transgenders equal opportunities as heterosexuals in the work place. Transgender discrimination is manifested in how promotions are carried out. In an organization where gender diversity is not tolerated, transgender are likely to openly face discrimination as well as being subjected to unfair treatment, denial of equal career and development opportunities. This means that many victims of gender discrimination at the work place are likely to continue suffering for a very long time unless new amendments are introduced in the sex discrimination act. Gender discrimination is very hard to prove and the process involves a complex and a prolonged court tussles.
According to (Thompson, 2006.66), most victims of gender discrimination face difficulties in overcoming this type of discrimination especially based on the fact that, gender discrimination is demoralizing and can take away the confidence of an employee who is seeking compensation on basis of gender discrimination. This clearly indicates that, women as a gender are faced with the same stumbling blocks when in the work place as they are when in the community.
Where issues of gender discrimination keep on cropping up that way, what happens in the work place is clearly a reflection of what happens in the society. This implies that the dimension or the approach required in addressing the gender discrepancies and discrimination in the work place need to be broad-based. In addition, such measures need to take into consideration the social construction of gender as well as how the society at large has continued to malign women in terms of gender.
Unless the root cause of the gender discrepancies in the society is addressed, solving gender discrimination in the work place will only remain a pipeline dream. Any sex discrimination legislations must be designed so as to take care of all possible sources of gender discrimination at the work place (Pickering, 57-81). Another area whereby gender discrimination in the workplace has been manifested is in situations whereby an applicant is denied employment on the basis of claims of pleasing customers, for instance, employing a female to serve mostly male patrons to meet the wishes of the customers. This is a form of gender discrimination which unfairly puts males at a clear disadvantage from their female counterparts who despite their qualifications may be discriminated against or lack the equal opportunities of employment due to their gender. This is also a reflection of what goes on in the society whereby boys and girls in most cases grow up knowing that they are different and therefore women can only make it in some fields.
By bringing up girls in a different manner from boys, the society influences the girls from an early age to believe that some jobs are suitable for males while some are more suitable for females. This gender construction eventually is internalized by the victims to such an extent that often gender differences are often confused for sex differences. Gender discrimination at the work place is also demonstrated in situations whereby employers employ on the basis of gender suitability for instance in situations whereby the jobs are designed to match specifically men or women and not both genders.
As (Rosenfeld, 90), notes, “Gender discrimination in the work place contributes to women to resign from their jobs to fend for their children just because the work environment is not favourable for parenting”. Business organizations seem to be only interested in job performance and do not care about the personal life of their employees. This usually affects women more than men due to their special roles in the society, which associates most of domestic chores and parenting responsibilities to women.
The social responsibilities especially in regard to family which women are allocated puts them at a disadvantage in the work place given the fact that for one to be promoted in the work place, there has to be some evidence of hard work. Therefore it becomes hard for women to balance between the roles the society expects the women to play and the demands of the job. Usually, many women find it impossible to balance between job and domestic issues and often give priority to the social pressures. This situation is partly to blame for the gender imbalance in the number of executives with women constituting less than 25% of all executive positions (Clayton, and Crosby, 2-16).
Another attribute of gender discrimination in the work place is the stereotypes in the society in which women grow up knowing that physical jobs belong to the males. This automatically leads to a situation in which women can only fit in some jobs and not others, especially based on the amount of physical involvement that goes with a given job.
Consequently women end up missing out on opportunities to earn similar pay as their male counterparts. Most females choose specific study areas, which have been traditionally associated with females such as the nursing and teaching professions. Coincidentally, it is such jobs that are mostly associated with the female gender that are poorly compensated. While it is common to find a class of nurses constituting of over 70% females, the exact opposite is evident in aviation or an engineering class (Rhode, 42-47). Therefore, the gender discrepancies demonstrated in the work place are evident in the social institutions such as in the churches and schools.
As evidenced in the above discussion not all cases of gender discrepancies in the work place therefore are caused by gender motivations. Some discrepancies are so intertwined in the social, cultural as well as religious beliefs such that; however much effort the government puts in the fight against gender discrimination in the work place, the discrepancies are likely to remain until such a time when the gender issue will be dealt with from a social, cultural as well as religious belief approaches (Romero & Margolis, 82-90).
Another rampant form of gender-based discrimination in the work place pertains to harassment and victimization. Again this kind of discrimination has been very common in the society (outside the work place) and the fact that the same goes on in the work place is a clear indication that what goes in the society in terms of gender discrimination ends up being replicated in the work place. Again it serves to underpin the importance of fighting gender discrimination in the work place from a multi-sectoral approach. Subjecting women or men for that matter to unconsensual decisions based on gender is discriminatory and highly inappropriate. It is bound to negatively affect the performance of the affected employees.
According to (Daniels, & Macdonald, 77), harassment and victimization on the basis of gender causes the victims to exhibit “low self-esteem and a feeling of humiliation” thus affecting employee morale. This most likely affects the job performance in that it results into a job environment, which is not empowering to the employees. Victimization of employees on basis of their gender is counter productive in that it affects the work place environment and prevents employees’ form fully unleashing their potential in the work place.
From the above discussion, it has been demonstrated that gender bias and discrimination is rife in the work place as it is the case with the society. Therefore what goes on in the society in terms of gender discrimination is transferred to the work place with adverse effects to organizations. Where gender discrimination is tolerated, employees’ morale and motivation is adversely affected and the same is true for job performance.
Employees who are discriminated against on the basis of their gender are more likely to quit the job something which is a leading cause of employee turnover in many organizations. The war against gender discrimination in organizations as well as in the society is not yet lost. However, efforts geared towards elimination of gender discrimination must be multi-sectoral in that the effort should be based on social, cultural and religious beliefs present in the society.
From this assignment, I have learnt some great lessons especially, on the need to control gender discrimination at the societal level if the war on gender discrimination is to be won at the work place. The numerous challenges gender discrimination brings to its victims, such negative effect on job performance, low morale and lack of motivation, lack of equal opportunities, humiliation as well as discrepancies in salaries along gender lines served to open my eyes to the fact that, gender discrimination is ugly and all effort must be put to end gender discrimination both from the society and the community.
Works Cited Page
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Bagilhole, B. Equal Opportunities And Social Policy: Issues Of Gender, Race And Disability. London: Longman. 1997.23-78.
Daniels, K. & Macdonald, L. Equality, Diversity And Discrimination: A Student Text. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 2005.44-77
Ian A. Pervasive Prejudice: Unconventional Evidence of Race and Gender Discrimination. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 2001.102-124.
Haslanger, S. On Social Construction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2005.29-71.
Hills, J. & Stewart, K. [Eds.] A More Equal Society? : New Labour, Poverty, Inequality And Exclusion. Bristol: Policy Press. 2005.120-143.
Pickering, M. Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 2001.57-81
Reskin, B. Sex Segregation in the Workplace, Annual Review of Sociology, 19. 1993.14-64.
Rhode, D. Speaking of Sex: the Denial of Gender Inequality. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 1997.11-42.
Romero M. & Margolis E. [Eds.] The Blackwell Companion To Social Inequalities. Oxford: Blackwell. 2005.21-90.
Rosenfeld, M. Affirmative Action and Justice. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1991.33-90.
Sennet, R. Respect: The Formation Of Character In A World Of Inequality. London: Allen Lane. 2003.78-104.
Thompson, N. Anti-discriminatory practice. 4th Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 2006.25-79.
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