Discrimination is one of the mostpersistent malpractices in the employment sector.
During the Jim-Crow era,incidences of discrimination at the workplace were based on skin color. Mostblacks were denied opportunities of entering into good paying jobs andaccessing education. McDonald (2012, p.10) indicated that women were blockedfrom employment before the emergence of women movement in the nineteenthcentury.
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During this period, women were meant to stay at home and abide bytheir home duties. The issue of gender discrimination at the workplace subjectsfemales to different aspects of discrimination in the employment sector likeunfair payments, unnecessary sexual advances and long working hours. Okechukwu(2014, p.575) defined gender discrimination as the act of limiting the abilityof women to access and enjoy favorable working conditions and treatments.
Generally, it refers to the unfair treatment of a person or a group of peoplein the workplace. Discrimination, involves the favoring of, or against a personor people due to underlying factors, including the class to which a personbelongs to.In most instances, discrimination iscaused by developing assumptions, rather than taking time to know the realattributes of a person. In some cases, a person may favor another at a workplacedue to personal ties and connections (Reskin & Hartmann, 2016). Theworkplace is among the significant places where discrimination has persisted.Discrimination in the workplace refers to the instance in which an employeracts with cruelty towards an employee or even a prospective employee. Stainback& Irvin (2012, p.660) outlined that discrimination at the workplace isgenerally of race, age, gender, religion, physical or mental disability sexualorientation, among other factors.
Nevertheless, discrimination in theworkplace is not a new phenomenon; preferably, it is a vice that has beenexperienced for decades. Discrimination occurs on different grounds, and a widerange of measures have been employed to eliminate various forms ofdiscrimination at the workplace. However, successful elimination ofdiscrimination at the workplace has been attained. The problem persists indifferent employment sectors. It is essential to notice that there are factorsthat contribute to the persistence of discrimination despite the efforts being madeto stop it. The most prevalent stereotype that the women face at places of workis that they are not strong enough to take up highly labor-intensive jobs. Forthis reason, in most instances, women have been barred from taking up technicaljobs based on the assumption that they will not be able to deliver efficiently.
Women are not given the opportunity to attempt and determine whether they arecapable of taking up the employment opportunities, instead, they are dismissedby mere prejudice. There are also some employers who avoid giving employmentopportunities to young women than their male counterparts, even when they arequalified. Burkhauser, Schmeiser & Weathers (2012, p.165) argued thatdiscrimination on female prospective employees is because some employers feelthat the young women will require maternity leaves during times when they arenot ready and willing to offer leave opportunities to employees. Such employersargue that irregular maternity leaves to young female employees can interferewith the workflow or production and performance consistency, as well asefficiency in a business or organization.
Additionally, the employers may feelthat having a pregnant woman within the staff reduces the productivity of theemployees. There are some instances where the expectant women go without payafter taking maternity leaves or get dismissed from work on basis of asking formaternity leaves.Roberts, Davies & Jupp (2014,p.148) affirmed that there are several cases where employers favor males andmistreat females. When male and females carry out similar duties at theworkplace, men are entitled to higher compensation than females. This is not basedon the quantity of job accomplished. Basically, women are forced to do morework in order to earn as their male counterparts.
According to Heilman (2012,p.121) it was indicated that such employers subject male employees to favorableworking conditions based on superiority complex. In most cases, the voices ofmales are given higher priority than those of females, for instance regardingthe rapidity of responding to complaints. Complaints at the workplace can bebased on poor working conditions, unequal and unfair compensation, andfavoritism to some employees amongst others.
The problem of discriminating women inthe workplace has escalated to dangerous levels. It has also emerged amongstemployees such that male workers disregard and disrespect females based ongender. As a result, females feel less regarded, respected and recognized bymales. This, in turn, affects adversely the performance level of femaleworkers. It also hinders the ability of women to learn from men in differentworking environments. Instead, they feel it is better to work in isolation oftheir male fellows who subject discrimination and criticism. According toMcLaughlin, Uggen & Blackstone (2012, p.630), free interaction and exchangeof ideas amongst employees promote better employee performance, a consistentflow of work, and continuity in production.
However, this is hindered by genderbias and other forms of discrimination amongst employees. A non-interactive anddivided team of employees do not have a common focus on organizations goals(Pager & Western, 2012, p.229). Instead, they are distracted by variousforms of discrimination that they face in a workplace. Since employees areunable to eliminate the issue of gender discrimination, females are forced toendure such conditions in order to provide some income for their families.
In somecases where male and female workers share duties at work, males tend to leavemore work for females. On the other hand, females find it hard to complain totheir employees about the mistreatments that they are subjected to by theirmale fellows. Some females also fear to complain because they might risk losingtheir jobs.
There are instances where women loseemployment or promotion opportunities due to the fact of being female.Delfgaauw et al., (2013, p.
312) outlined that some employers overlookindividual professional qualifications, work experience and performancecapabilities due to inconsiderate gender preferences. Basford, Offermann & Behrend (2014, p.343) found out thatmany females with excellent skills and performance do not get employed due tothe unbreakable ‘york’ gender discrimination in employment. In cases ofextended opportunities like promotion and selective employee training,employers mostly pick on male workers while ignoring females who are equallycapable and qualified for such opportunities.
Additionally, some female employeeshave higher performance capability and career discipline than males. Statisticsindicate that male employees are more likely to get promoted at work thanfemales.Other measures that have been taken toensure that women are not discriminated against in workplaces include theformation of trade unions. Employees are supposed to join the trade unions underwhich their job descriptions fall, who are supposed to ensure their members areprotected from different aspects of discrimination at work. They bear theresponsibility of fighting for the rights of member-employees in terms bettercompensation, good working conditions and equal gender recognition.
Interestand civic groups have conducted campaigns and protests against genderdiscrimination in the society (Heilman, 2012, p.131-132). This covers fordiscrimination of females in homes, workplaces, and institutions. Organizationslike the European Union have launched various campaigns and initiatives aimedat promoting gender equality in the society.Kelsey (2015, p.
1) argued that it isnecessary to empower females and creating more awareness of gender equality.This will offer effective teachings and enlightenment to women. More women willbe able to understand their individual rights and their rightful position inthe society. They will be able to realize their capabilities in terms ofparticipation in economic development, identifying and utilizing talents aswell as developing the courage to fight against gender discrimination.
According to Ranson & Byrne (2014,p.2779-2780), increased women educationwill create more awareness and consciousness towards various aspects of genderdiscrimination in the society. In reference to gender discrimination atworkplaces, increased education and awareness provide female employees withmore information on places or organizations where they can report such cases.
Despite several education and awarenessinitiatives, most women have gained enough courage to fight against genderdiscrimination. Some women have not realized that they have similar and equalcapabilities as men in sectors of employment. They still have little faith andconfidence in themselves.
Hence, allowing for male dominance in some sectors ofthe economy like the industrial sector. Lack of belief in one’s self andconfidence prevents most females from taking up certain employmentopportunities or executing technical roles with a lot of vigor and competence.They tend to act out of fear, reluctance, and expressions of incapability. Therefore,the population of employed females does not expand significantly (Kelsey, 2015,p.1).Being that, most females do not have the courage of taking up technical jobs,as such sectors are continuously dominated by men. As a result, the notion thatfemales are weak is continuously persisted in the society. This implies thatfemales also contribute to the persistence of gender discrimination atworkplaces.
According to Webster (2014, p.78), thefact that there is an insufficient number of trade unions and organizationsthat fight against gender discrimination in the employment sector alsocontributes to the persistence of discriminations of females at workplaces. Theprevalence of gender discrimination at workplaces is high in almost allcountries in the world. On the other hand, active unions and organizations,which fight for equal consideration and recognition of females for promotion,training, and hiring are less. They are incapable of responding to or handlingall cases that rise across the globe. This implies several cases of genderdiscrimination in the employment for unnoticed, hence, promoting the chances ofrecurrence.
There are cases where females fail toreport cases of mistreatments at workplaces. Pager & Western (2012, p.228)outlined persistence of gender discrimination at workplace can be caused by alack of adequate information.
Victimized female workers may choose to hold theinformation of discrimination, either willing or unwillingly from relevantauthorities. In some, cases, the female employees who face discrimination inthe workplace may be unaware of the privilege or reporting their problems toresponsible trade unions (Pager & Western, 2012, p.230). In this case,therefore, they are likely to suffer due to the lack of knowledge. According toHeilman (2012, p.129), some women fear to report cases of discrimination atworkplaces because they fear to face harsher treatments from their employers.
Handling the issue of gender discrimination in the private has a lot ofcomplications since the employers own the full authority of hiring and firingworkers. Females who are employed can risk losing their jobs if they reportcases of gender discrimination within private businesses and organizations.Being that most employers are males, female employees who tend to fight fortheir rights risk facing difficulties getting employed in the future. Hence,female employees face repetitive discrimination due to lack of information andfear of either losing or having poor relationships with employers.In conclusion, it is difficult tocomplete the problem of gender discrimination at the workplace.
In variouscountries, different laws have been put in place to reduce and eliminatediscrimination of women in the workplace. The setup laws are also accompaniedby penalties against individuals, groups, and organizations, which discriminateemployees based on gender or sex. Nonetheless, various laws have been put inplace against employment discrimination based on sex, at times, the legal authoritiesdo not take the necessary actions against the offenders.
Burkhauser, Schmeiser& Weathers (2012, p.171) confirmed that anti-discrimination law has playeda significant role in reducing the level of gender discrimination in theemployment sector. Most employers refrain from subjecting females to harshworking conditions, unfair payments, and unethical sexual advances because ofthe penalties that they are likely to face as outlined in the underlying laws.Hence, governments and anti-discrimination organizations should enact andreinforce strict laws against gender discrimination. A country with a largepopulation of employed women has a more stable economy than those with lessnumber of employed females.