Human Resource Management Research Paper

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Human Resource Management

"America's possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it -- so long as we seize it together…"

(President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 1/21/2013).

The job of a human relations manager in the 21st century goes well beyond hiring and training staff. An important part of an HR manager's duties includes working towards the creation of a diversified employee workforce. This paper echoes part of what President Obama asserted: to achieve success the U.S. will depend on "diversity and openness." The diversity of America's workplace in part depends on the role of women, and this paper delves into that issue and references the available literature. In fact an article in USA Today (Petrecca, 2011) points to the fact that women are being recruited to provide executive leadership in some of America's biggest corporations -- but they still lag far behind in executive opportunities.

Thesis: There must be evidence that the workplace is becoming more diverse vis-a-vis women in positions of authority whose compensation is equal to what males are paid to do the same work. However the evidence to date shows that only 3% of Fortune 500 companies have women as CEOs, an unacceptably small number. The U.S.A. Today article is correct when it asserts that women are not getting the respect (nor the compensation) they deserve in the executive field.

Record number of female CEOs in Fortune "500" companies

The USA Today article points out that more women took the reins of Fortune...
...1). The author mentions several corporations that placed females in executive positions in 2012, including: IBM's appointment of Virginia Rometty as CEO; and Heather Bresch has been appointed CEO of the pharmaceutical company Mylan. However, while those appointments are impressive, and while a total of 18 women are now running Fortune 500 companies (the previous high was 16), "…the gender gap between men and women in the workplace remains vast," Petrecca writes. Females are "…struggling to get the mentors they need and the pay to equal their male counterparts" (Petrecca, p. 1).

Cynthia Good who is CEO of the women's business newsletter, "Little Pink Book," said the advancement of "…key women in business is stalled" (Petrecca, p. 1). In the 3,049 publically traded companies in the U.S., there were (as of 2012) 98 female CEOs; that is 3.2% of the total number of CEOs in publicly traded companies. "We've really flat-lined," according to Debbie Soon, the senior VP of marketing and strategy of Catalyst (Petrecca, p. 1). Over the past five years, Soon emphasized, "there's been hardly any progress" (Petrecca, p. 1).

Tia Gaynor explains in her PowerPoint that diversity is about "…understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual" (Gaynor). She goes on to assert that "…there is an underrepresentation of women and minorities in certain positions and/or agencies" due to the "artificial barriers that block the advancement of women" to CEO and other managerial and executive positions (Gaynor).

There are several of those barriers that are holding women back, according to Petrecca's article. First, many companies have had a history of male-only leadership,"…so a masculine management pattern is often the default style," said Quinetta Roberson, who is a professor of management at Villanova School of Business (Petrecca, p. 2). The management style in place at many of those firms is to sanction a certain kind of behavior -- "to be very aggressive, unattached and direct" -- and if a woman doesn't have that aggressiveness she…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Gaynor, Tia Sheree. Diversity Management.

Obama, Barack. (2013). Made For This Moment / Inaugural Speech. The White House.

Retrieved January 22, 2013, from http://www.whitehouse.gov.

Petrecca, Laura. (2011). Number of female "Fortune" 500 CEOS at record high. USA Today.

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