Gender Equality Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Management
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #37376642

Excerpt from Essay :

There has been a lot of progress when it comes to gender diversity. However, a lot of work remains to be done. Indeed, there is a cacophony of issues that keep cropping up including talk about the glass escalator vs. the glass ceiling, the myth that women are on equal status with men to this very day, the historical role of gender and diversity over the course of the history of the United States, the very different definitions of sex and gender and so forth. The recent Supreme Court of the United States decision that ensconced gay marriage as being an equal right that people in the LGBT community should enjoy as a civil right was a milestone moment. While this is an encouraging event and people in the workplace should not allow sexual behavior or gender/sexual identity to become an issue, there is still a lot of ignorance and prejudice out there towards women and other people that remain persecuted for gender or sexual issues.

Analysis




There is no doubt that what makes people different is too often a divisive and disruptive force in the workplace. While one might hope that arguments and disagreement do not come up in the workplace, they happen and they absolutely happen along social lines. Whether it be race, gender, sexuality or other things, what makes people different becomes a point of division in arguments and situations that really do not call for as such. At the very least, the differing perspectives should lead to a healthy debate rather than the acrimony and bigotry that ends up occurring all too often. There are many, including Sherry Schneider and Gregory Northcraft, that assert that social identity theory and social role theory should be used to understand the problems and dilemmas that arise so as to develop solutions and resolutions to problems rather than allowing infighting and division-style tactics to ruin any sort of synergy or calm in an organization (Schneider & Northcraft, 1999).



One thing that was mentioned several times in the introduction, and not by accident, is the difference between gender and sex. There is not a question as to what someone is born as from a sexual standpoint at birth. Of course, this construct is entirely physical and the gender or gender identity of a person can be an entirely different thing. As explained by Monash University, sex refers specifically and only to biological characteristics and difference. It pertains to things like chromosomes, hormonal profiles and the sex organs that are physically present. While these can indeed be altered through reassignment surgery and the like, the vast majority of people are born male or female, but this is in terms of biological definitions and traits. What is in the mind and "being" of a person can be along those same lines or they may be different. Indeed, a person's gender references the characteristics of a person and how they dovetail with masculine and/or feminine traits. A common and historical example would be term "tomboy." This, of course, references a person born as a girl that acts and dresses very much like a boy. This does not mean that they are anything other than straight. However, it is a person that is a woman (at birth, anyhow) that exhibits traits that are masculine in nature. Concurrent to that would be the sexual preferences of that person. That person may be inherently attracted to men but they may also be a lesbian or even a transgender. It really depends on the mind state of the person as they age and what direction their mind and biology take them as they age (Monash, 2016).



As for gender and the workforce, women have commonly been subjugated and minimalized in terms of their roles and options for much of the history of the United States. The last century, however, has been pivotal in terms of changes for women. Of course, much progress remaisn to be gained but the overall trend is obviously quite good. In 1920, women were only about a fifth of all workers, as they made up 21% of the workforce at that point. As of 2010, that number had shifted to 47% of employed persons. This is obviously not quite half but it is more than a two-fold increase from four generations prior. The women's suffrage movement, the labor that was necessary during the World Wars and a few other events over the course of American history has served as catalysts for long and sustained social change. Wage gaps remain to this very day but the momentum is clearly moving in the right direction (DOL, 2016).



Now this report comes to the idea of the glass ceiling versus that of the glass escalator. The glass ceiling, as many know, is when a woman appears to hit a "ceiling" once they reach a certain level of management or other power in an organization. This would be typified by a company that might have one or two vice presidents or other high-level executives that are women but the highest echelons of power are all possessed by men. The glass escalator, on the other hand, would be when a woman seems to rise higher and faster when they are…

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