The following report is a discussion about gender discrimination within the business management system. Historically, women have been thought to be inferior with fewer skills than men. Women have always faced difficulties when they yearn for equality in the business arena. About 75 % of managerial positions are held by men in well-paid jobs and the jobs available for women pay them considerably less than what men are paid. (Betz, 326-339) One major question that is raised here is that are there any differences in the aims and aspirations between women and men? However, in order to figure out an answer to any question raised we have to understand stereotypical social values about gender roles in the business world. (Betz, 326-339)
Many sociologists have argued that the reason why men have better work opportunities are because of the biological differences that have been suggested between men and women. Women have always occupied a disadvantaged position in the labor market, having been increasingly excluded from it throughout the nineteenth century, to a point where it was seen as natural that a woman’s place was in the home. The law backed the rights of employers not to employ women or to pay them less money than men for the same work. The 1842 Mines Act banned women from underground work in mines is still continuing. After the 1970 Equal Pay Act (enforcing the same pay for the same job regardless o sex) and the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act was released, only then discrimination was banned in employment on the grounds of sex alone. (Betz, 326-339)
From being a minority confined to specific areas at the turn of the twentieth century, women had become a significant and generalized component at its close, although sex segregation nevertheless remained discernible. Thus, women started becoming a part of the workforce and the percentage of men in managerial positions started decreasing.
The lack of opportunities and the discrimination toward women in business is much like that experienced by other minorities who have tried to gain access to positions of management. Since the appointment of the first woman executive as Store Superintendent of Macy’s a century ago, women have achieved little more than token representation in management positions. (Weidenbaum, 11) The established norms of acceptable behavior in the business environment are those of the white, heterosexual male. Women interested in achieving a position in management have decade whether to exhibit characteristics considered desirable for men- and have their femininity questioned – or behave in ways that characterize women, and accept second class status. (Betz, 326-339)
To explain the location of women in the labor force, we need to learn that the labor market is made up of two sectors:
- A core or primary sector of highly paid secure employment with a chance for promotion.
- A peripheral or secondary sector of low-paid and insecure employment.
Mostly the second sector has been occupied by the female working force. This analysis draws attention to the belief that women are only seen temporarily in employment, on loan from their main roles as wives and mothers, developing less of an industrial consciousness, and are likely to join trade unions and to demand as much pay as men.
The labor market trends have shown that the number of eligible female employees for the management positions has increased as women now have the desired level of skills, education, and experience to fill in these designations. (Menasche, 89-94) Women are now holding educational degrees and have demanded a place in the business world. The good part of this is that other firms interact with these female managers, which has been the cause of making people realize that there should be no discrimination between men and women where professionalism is concerned. (Reardon, 110-114) As a result, organizations that experience turnovers annually among the existing managerial force, have to hire females for the managerial posts. Therefore, organizations which experience annual turnovers are more likely to hire females for the managerial posts throughout the year than organizations that don’t go through annual managerial vacancy turnovers. (Betz, 326-339)
Although, even after all the laws and pressures that have been from the government’s side, women continue to be discriminated against in managerial positions. These discriminations may be because of the stereotyped expectations that people have from a managerial figures or just because of the pressure for bias. Although, some firms might hire women for the managerial posts just to portray themselves to be different than all the other organizations. (Menasche, 89-94)
Much of this change that has occurred in the business arena where women are concerned has also been due to the fact that more married women, particularly those aged between 35 and 44, have joined the workforce in order to keep themselves busy and earn money for a better life for their families future. (Weidenbaum, 11)
Across the United Kingdom, the managerial positions filled by women have aggravated from 19 to 45 perfect during the 20th century. Women have been working hard in order to educate themselves, taking care of their families, and trying to enter the men’s business world. However, even now, if given the choice many organizations prefer hiring men over women and see female managers as unskillful comparatively. (Reardon, 110-114)
Companies who prefer female employees would have a greater advantage in hiring further employees if they had a female manager to do so. Most of the working women, if given a choice would like to work for leaders and managers of the same sex. In order to attract further female employees, companies tend to employ females for the Human Resource department. (Weidenbaum, 11)
Since an employees performance highly depends upon the work environment, turnover and satisfaction, firms which require more of the female skills is likely choose women to fill the important designations in the firm. (Menasche, 89-94) Furthermore the interaction between the male and female workforce has increased to quite an extent which has caused a reeducation in the different barriers to hiring women for the managerial post. (Betz, 326-339)
Although, the fact remains that a firms characteristics have the same significance to the percentage of women hired to fill the managerial posts as do the attitudes and beliefs of the employees working within an organization. It can be proposed that stereotypes have been the basis to the ignorance of females being hired to fill in the managerial posts. Some questions may never be answered accurately, for example, why women in the same jobs as men do not get promoted when the men do, and why some women in the primary sector continue to be relatively less well paid. (Weidenbaum, 11)
Weidenbaum, Murray. “Admitting the Gender Pay-Gap is Narrowing”. Christian Science Monitor, June 17, 1999:p.11
Reardon, Kathleen K, Ph.D. They Don’t Get It, Do They?: Communication in the Workplace-Closing the Gap Between Women and Men, 1995, 11—114
Menasche, Ann. “WomenNeed Affirmative Action to Overcome Discrimination” Working Women: Opposing Viewpoints, 1998: p.89-94
Betz, N.E. (1981).A self-efficiency approach to the career development of women. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 18, 326-339.