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Gender Discrimination Essay

Women have always struggled to achieve their status in life, and they were viewed as second-class citizens who belong to house and kitchen. In the last few decades, there has been a transition in the status of women, and there are more women in the labor force than ever. I am studying the status of women at the workplace because I want to find out whether the women who have moved up the ladder with their efforts have improved their situation of being oppressed and vulnerable or not. Because men heavily dominate workplaces, so it is essential to understand the status of women in the workplace and how they are being treated in the male-dominated work environment. Workplace adjustment has been difficult for women as they were competing with men and the society at the same time. Also, the educational qualification of women was not highly qualified. Also, women were stereotyped for several jobs which involves hard work and stamina. Women have been discriminated in the workplace since the time they have started being a part of the labor force.

Gender discrimination in the hiring process:

Women have been experiencing bias from the start of hiring and interviewing process. Gender inequality in assigning the roles in the workplace is because of the interactions between the structure of the organization and the preoccupied gender notions. Structural mechanisms in the organization from the advertisement of the job to the hiring involves job description, eligibility requirements, and hiring practice are supposedly gender neutral (Gorman). For example, with the development in the job description, there is always a line “we are equal opportunity employer,” but the hiring process is gender biased as fewer women are being hired for the management and other leading roles. The hiring process impact men and women differently as employers tend to evaluate candidates through the lends of gender and gender stereotypes distort the decision making the power of the employers (Gorman). On this basis, an employer might be judging the candidate the candidate keeping in mind the perceived roles such as a woman might be judged for her apparent indecisive nature during the interaction or interview (Gorman).

The wage gap in the workplace:

Unfair and unequal pay is one of the primary examples of gender discrimination at the workplace (Childs). Even though because of several movements regarding gender equality the pay gap might have reduced, but still, females are being paid less as compared to men for the same amount of work they perform. Women usually work at the lower position and hardly has the chance to reach the management position or hold a position as a board of directors (Gregory, pp. 2). It has been perceived that women cannot work as efficiently as men because of their qualification and skill learning. This means that regardless how workaholic or hard working a woman is she still has to face several obstacles to progress in the professional life. Her potential is restricted by gender stereotyping and undermining her confidence. Because of gender issues, women lack equal chances for the promotion and management position. Even when performance dedication and experience of a woman outweigh the performance dedication and qualification of men they are not chosen for the position of managers and supervisors (Gregory; Childs). Equal pay act was introduced in 1963 where it was documented that men and women should be given same pay for the same amount of work (“Equal Pay Act”). Job title might be different, but the job duties and same workload should be paid equally, and this includes all types of pays such as salaries, overtime, monthly bonuses, life insurance, holiday package and other daily life indirect cost catered by the company (“Equal Pay Act”).

Gender Stereotyping:

Gender stereotyping and organizational factors may lead to gender discrimination. Cultural beliefs play a role in gender discrimination in the workplace and is a primary cause of gender discrimination (Ridgeway and England). Individuals usually translate their cultural ideas and goals which they have understood from their cultural settings and their everyday life. Regardless of educational status and other qualification, people tend to categorize based on gender and gender-related stereotypes. The secondary cause of gender discrimination is organization policies and other factors. Gender is a salient feature in organizational systems and structures as institutional decision are related to promotions, hiring and transfer of work as well as assigning the tasks (Bobbitt-Zeher). In some cases, employers explicitly put out their thoughts on women being overly emotional, irrational and unintelligent for a manager level or administrative level job. The notion that women are incompatible with specific jobs also reinforce the gender discrimination at the workplace. Also, some employers do not hire women and terminate them when they are pregnant because according to them that is unattractive for a workplace (Bobbitt-Zeher). People usually imagine a masculine imagine in the powerful seats and when the job role and gender do not match so at that point gender bias and stereotyping occurs (Heilman and Eagly). The gender stereotyping is more common when women work in integrated settings as compared to male dominated or female dominated workplace settings.

Sexual harassment at the workplace:

Sexual harassment is also another thing which women face in their workplace which impacts their career success and job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction and loss of productivity are one of the most common outcomes of sexual harassment at the workplace (Willness et al.). For example, the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace would have decreased quality and quantity of work, group work issues, lack of confidence and increased absenteeism (Willness et al.). The impact of the sexual harassment will also negatively impact the organizations. The workplace is all about power which means that less power leads to more vulnerability for the mistreatment and general discrimination (Stainback et al.). Usually, in male-dominated organizations, the men in power harass the subordinate females by fake promising and other means to attain success. The workplace power has several key dimensions such as job authority, human capital, and job security and those who have highest of these are less likely to be vulnerable and face discrimination of any kind (Stainback et al.). Women are also considered as sex objects and for not being in management positions makes them even more vulnerable.

Sociological theory:

The sociological theory which best suits the topic of women in the workplace is feminism. Feminism is one of the contemporary sociological theories analyzing and comparing the status of men and women in the society. The theory focuses explicitly on gender inequality which is gender inequality has negatively impacted an issue in the workplace and workplace. The basic principle of feminist theory that relationship between men and women have been unequal and societies have been patriarchal (“Basic Principles of Feminist Theory”). It also theorizes that male has dominated all the major sectors such as economy, politics, family, and religion (“Basic Principles of Feminist Theory”). The theory best fit with the topic as it aligns with the situation of women in the workplace where there are discrimination and unequal pays. Also, the workplace has been dominated by men where women are not able to climb the ladder of success while working. The concept that gender inequality negatively impacts the community and workplace has been the part of women status at the workplace because women struggle for equality at all level.

The concept of a glass ceiling:

The glass ceiling is a metaphor which emerged which explain the existence of this ceiling and other types of discriminations which lead to the underrepresentation of women in the labor force (Barreto et al.). The percentage of women in the labor force has increased over the years and women have been working hard to break the glass ceiling and lessen the workplace discrimination. But women are not able to climb the ladder of success in their work environment as men heavily dominate the managerial or top position in the organizations or the companies. The case of women not able to attain dominant managerial position is truer in the cooperate sector (Barreto et al.) than any other industry. Research on the glass ceiling has concluded that the success of women to have top-level cooperate position is dependent on the company’s decision to provide opportunities to women as equally as men (Burke and Mattis). The awareness and struggle of women might have led to increasing the percentage of women holding a powerful position in the cooperate sector, but the percentage is not significant. Women who already hold the position in the cooperate world should encourage and design some strategies for the young women to help them climb the ladder of success. The number of women owns a business has increased dramatically in the united states (Nelson and Levesque) which puts women in economic power and managerial positions. Those who own their business should encourage a new generation to work up to the ladder.


With the advancement of technology, the roles of women are changing from being limited to the household, taking care of children to more of being a part of labor force around the globe. The paper explores the status of women in the workplace because it is essential to understand how women are being treated in the workplace. Women have been struggling to find their places and equality in the working environment starting from the hiring process where women are not given the equal opportunity. Once the women are being hired, they face issues with wage gap. Even though the difference has reduced, but it is still there signifying the discrimination in the workplace. Women are also being stereotyped and sexually harassed at the workplace because their qualification and job roles do not align with the perceived notion and cultural beliefs of the expected roles. Women have been able to lessen the discrimination from their struggles and feminist movements, but the percentage of women who have managerial roles or enjoy equal opportunity is not significant.



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