Discrimination of Women in the Business World

Institutional Affiliation
Discrimination of Women in the Business
Although immense steps have been taken in the past two decades to
eliminate women discrimination in the business world, this have only
reduced gender-based discrimination to a lower margin. Discrimination of
women in the business world takes many forms, most of which have
disastrous outcomes for the organizations and the victims, women. The
various forms of women discrimination include, denied promotion,
harassment, refused employment, management denying them equal access to
training programs, unfavorable environment, harsh terms and conditions,
lower salaries and other fiduciary benefits..
Stereotyped women roles in societal setting have for long led to women
discrimination in workplaces. In many around the world women are
required to assume household chores and leave the industrial chores to
their male counterparts. Stereotyping chores along gender lines have
greatly contributed to denying women employment opportunities.
Additionally employed women are viewed as inferior to their male
counterpart hence offered lesser salaries and lower management
Unequal payment is the most prevalent form of discrimination leveled
against women in the business world. The business corporate environment
view women as possessing lower capabilities in performing their
functions. It is not uncommon to find women and in the same field and
same job category and performing the same functions as men, getting
lower payment. There is no distinct factors that are associated with
this feature apart the fact that one is male and the other is female. In
the past men were accorded higher payment because they were regarded as
the family heads and would therefore assume all the family
responsibilities. The situation has changed but the norm still remains,
women with equal education and skills with men receive lower salaries
and benefits in many organizations, dispute the fact that some of the
male colleagues are not married and have limited family responsibility
compared to women.
Women discrimination in workplaces is propelled by the perceived women
role in the family and their rights according international labor
legislations. International labor Legislations require that women be
awarded twelve weeks paid leave during pregnancy, a legislation that
employers view to be counterproductive (Faye 2007). Conversely employers
are of the view that pregnant women are less productive hence
discriminate them citing lessened productivity. Employers fail to employ
or promote pregnant women to avoid these international legislations
awarded to the women workforce.
Moreover, women are the primary care givers to all family members
including the aged hence employers tend to discriminate them by offering
less involving tasks citing that their family requirements would lead to
divided attention in workplaces Female physical appearance and mode of
dressing is another cause for women discrimination. Employers fail to
employ women due to fear of sexual harassment complaints due to large
number of male employees. In addition, women may be sexually harassed by
their male counterparts due to their perceived lack of physical
strength. Perceived Physical incapability denies women chances of
employment or promotion in jobs requiring physical strength. For
instance female firefighters may get stuck in junior posts despite their
experience due to the assumption that as women, they lack the requisite
physical strength in firefighting. This leads to women discrimination
since employers gauge women capabilities along gender lines rather than
skills and experience.
In the past, women working in businesses were consigned to lower
administrative, managerial and support functions such as assistants,
secretaries and clerks. Employers felt that women did not possess the
right knowledge and skills to perform at senior level management. In
actual sense, most employers avoided women employees, thus contending
that menial jobs were more suited for men because of their masculine
nature women that were hired in supervisory or senior management
position were prevented from reaching high level functions. This
phenomena came to be known as the ‘glass ceiling’ where despite the
fact that women were given senior and high managerial and administrative
roles in business organizations, they were indirectly prevented from
assuming full roles, influence and benefits like their male
The working environment in many business organizations is hostile
against women and is geared to improving the welfare and conditions of
men. Sexual harassment is a prevalent feature in many firms and
enterprises. In extreme cases especially in developing economies, female
workers are insulted and overworked since they are viewed as inferior
gender. Even though sexual harassment is illegal in all working places,
most of the time is goes unreported for fear of losing jobs or demotion.
Evidence indicate that discrimination of women in business organizations
is usually expressed in less visible ways, for example many women in
different job categories at different firms acknowledge that social
exclusion is a form of discrimination that is propagated by most high
level managers to prevent them from acquiring the appropriate knowledge
of the organization. Other forms of bias include inhospitable working
environment and corporate culture, exclusion from informal communication
networks and lack of proper training and mentoring. These obstacles are
not cut across the entire workforce as male employees are accorded
favorable working environment and play a key role in shaping the
direction that a firm will take (Stephanie & Rita 2006).
In most business organization, jobs that bestow most power and are well
rewarded are most certainly held by men. For example, leadership roles
in many organizations are at the hands of men. Despite the fact that
there are as many qualified women to hold such positions as men, men
still command a huge part of the leadership and managerial functions.
Society has described excellent managers and supervisors in business
world as being masculine, a feature that has created a false illusion
that women are weaker than men when handling prime functions.
Even in developed economies, there is massive discrimination of women
from ascending to positions of power in business organizations. For
examples, in 2003 the largest employing firm in the United States of
America, the Wal-Mart was sued by female employees for discrimination
against them in promotions and benefits. It became evident that women
constituted about 75 percent of the firm’s total workforce but only
constituted a mere 33 percent in the positions of managers. Therefore it
was apparent that there were factors acting and reacting to prevent
women, despite the fact that they were the majority in the firm, from
assuming high level positions. In another case of women discrimination
in business world, Morgan Stanley investment banking was coerced by the
court to pay a whopping $54 million to female workforce for alleged
denied benefits and promotions. It was evident that the bank had been
giving male employees better rewards and promotions and has by far and
large discriminated the female workforce These two examples exemplify
the extent of discrimination leveled against women in the business world
despite the fact that they have similar academic qualifications, skills
and experience just like their male counterparts (Raymond 2003).
All around the world, be it Germany, France, South Africa, Japan,
United Kingdom or China, senior positions and managerial roles in
business organization are strongly aligned with traits associated with
men than women. Men are perceived as more apt to perform such functions
while women are viewed as less fit. This notion has created bias against
women and shielded managements from making informed judgment. It becomes
impossible to succinctly assess the women capabilities because of
preconceived idea that they are weak and less fit. Performance in many
businesses is also evaluated differently for both genders. With a faulty
evaluation scenario that paints women as performing less satisfactorily
as men, being used to determine the level of reward, it becomes apparent
that women will evidently earn less than their male counterparts even
though they are performing the same task and sometimes even better than
men (Stephanie & Rita 2006).
Discrimination of women is detrimental to business performance today.
Women are discriminated and even though they are given a management
position in the business, their male counterparts rarely follow their
guidelines since they believe that they are not supposed to receive
orders from a woman. To eliminate discrimination of women in the
business world, the community needs to be educated on equality between
men and women, paying particular attention to women ability. In the
business world, women are viewed as inferior beings as compared to their
male counterparts, sensitization should encompass change of mentality
hence all people recognizing women as “able” if they possess the
required knowledge and experience. Managers should be specifically
enlightened on importance of recognizing women as equal in the working
places and can as well contribute to the success of the business as
their male counterparts. Managers from different organizations should be
enlightened on women ability, and change their perception on the
capability of women and their contribution to the success of any
business organization
Women have also being discriminated in terms of wages, the gap in wages
widens based on the level of education of women. Generally, women are
paid less than their male counterparts in their employment duration and
thus their pension insurance schemes are worse as compared to that of
men as they receive scanty pension the moment they are out of job,
although they live longer than men. They work under same conditions as
men yet they receive lesser pay than men and this kill women morale in
workplaces and usually make them feel inferior. As a result, there is
dwindling workforce participation coupled with higher unemployment on
the side of women that leads to economic loss as well as inequality that
widen the gap between men and women based on equality. This may result
to poverty and dependency particularly for the aged women since they
might not have saved enough for consumption at older 7age. However,
discrimination against women does not only affect them per see. It leads
to worsening of economic growth, less income inform of taxes and the
government would spend much on benefits related to social security to
cater for the welfare of women. Perceived Economic factors play a
significant role in propelling discrimination against women in
workplaces. Failure to employ and/or promote women is mainly linked to
the fear by employers to meet expenses and hassles that come with
absorbing women in workplaces. As such women seem to be paying gender
penalty just because of their gender, an aspect they cannot control.
Male co-workers within an organization should be educated on importance
of respecting and adhering to instructions even from women management
thereby making them follow guidelines irrespective of the fact that they
are from a woman. Women are discriminated in workplaces by their virtual
of being women. They are given lesser roles in workplaces despite their
adequate qualifications since in many cultures, women place is in the
kitchen, and their work should only involve the household chores. In
some cultures, women are objectified and often battered since they are
perceived to be inferior to their male counterparts. Institutions of
change should be put in place in order to erode the culture whereby
women are lowly rated, and are culturally required to tend household
chores at home and not taking up employment in companies, or if they do,
they should be in low positions such as clerks. This cultural aspect has
led to discrimination of women in the business world today. Any culture
setup should recognize the equality between men and women.
These factors have contributed widespread gender based discrimination
where women are prejudiced by potential employers, current employers and
their male co-workers. These discriminations take the form of less
employment opportunities, sexual harassment in workplaces, lesser
salaries compared to male counterparts of similar job levels as well as
denied befitting promotions. Transgender persons also face similar
discriminations as women and hence should be protected by similar
legislations as women in a bid to eliminate gender based discriminations
(Damasake, 2011).
The prevalent discrimination against women in the business world calls
for drastic measures to create a working environment that is equally
favorable to both men and women employees. The existence of gender
discrimination restricts women and compounds their working environment
leading to low motivation, reduced engagement and development of bad
attitude towards their jobs in the organization. Creating operation and
physical conditions that poise one gender as more suitable or qualified
against the other is the hallmark of the women discrimination in many
business firms. Business organizations will need to come up with
strategies and measures that are more congruent with the modern working
climate so as to create a balance and avoid gender bias that may impact
negatively on general welfare of the firm.
Works Cited
Damasake, S. (2011). For the Family? : How Class and Gender Shape
Women`s Work. New York: Oxford University Press
Faye, J. (2007). Sex Discrimination in Workplace. Blackwell: Oxford
Raymond, F. (2003). Women and Workplace Discrimination: Overcoming
Barriers to Gender Equality. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press
Stephanie, H. and Rita, J. (2006).Women`s Roles and Statuses the World
Over. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Pub

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