I need help proofreading as well as strengthening my paper. Just looking for fine tuning, and plagiarism/citation correction.
Excluding title page and reference pages, paper must be 8-10 pages long.
Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE Gender Inequality in the Workplace
SOC 307: Gender and Sexuality
Instructor: Nadia Khrais
November 28, 2016 1 Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 2 Gender Inequality in the Workplace The glass ceiling is a barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting
women and members of minorities (Jones & Palmer, 2011). The glass ceiling is the
?attitudes and practices that keep women in many organizations and professions out of
the most powerful, influential, and prestigious positions because they are assumed to be
unfit for leadership. The tendency to see women as less competent than men and their
accomplishments as less worthy and significant is a prominent component of the glass
ceiling? (Beyond Bias and Barriers, 2007). Despite our many advances women still
struggle to break this ceiling, this inability results in women remaining in a disadvantaged
position. Sexism, discrimination, and family responsibilities
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 states;
?No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall
discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between
employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employee in such establishment at a
rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such
establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 3 effort, and responsibility (SEC 206). Despite the existing laws, sexism and discrimination
Sexism in the workplace ultimately affects the morale of its victims. Women who
suffer this type of injustice are unmotivated to effectively perform their jobs. Offensive
jokes of a suggestive or sexual nature and jokes imply that an employee?s work is inferior
due to her gender inhibits productivity. It is imperative that women follow protocols to
report sexism in the workplace, zero tolerance and whistle blower laws have been enacted
to protect victims of discrimination.
Women may experience discrimination in the workplace prior to being hired or
when they are passed over for promotions. Women are passed over for promotions due to
preconceived notions about their abilities and roles. For example, the United States Air
Force, which is embodies masculinity has never, since its conception, in 1964, had a
female Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force (CMSAF).
Women with children also experience discrimination due to family
responsibilities. Some women may not make it past the hiring process as employers may
believe that she will be torn between her job responsibilities and taking care of their
family. Albeit this is an illegal practice, it still exists. Home and childcare responsibilities
According to Pew Research Center data; Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 4 ?Women are most often the ones who adjust their schedules and make
compromises when the needs of children and other family members collide with
work show. A 2013 survey, found that mothers were much more likely than fathers
to report experiencing significant career interruptions in order to attend to their
families? needs? (2015). With the many compromises, women are forced to choose
to between their careers or their family, one suffers at the expense of the other.
Men, on the other hand, do not usually face family-related career interruptions.
The biggest struggle that working mothers face is finding adequate childcare. The harsh
reality is that childcare is not as simple as some think. Some of the problems these
working mothers face are;
III. Licensed child care facilities can be expensive and usually have age restrictions.
Religious organization may be more affordable but they have the disadvantage of
having rigid hours that cannot accommodate late night shifts.
A friend or family member is a great option if available, they can offer trusted
care, flexibility and low cost or free. Measuring gender inequality in the workplace
Two ways that we can measure gender inequality in the workplace are quantitative
and qualitative approaches. Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 5 Quantitative methods of data collection produce measurable results, such as
percentages of women and men in parliament, male and female careers in Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math or wage rates (Demetriades, & Esplen, 2008).
?Qualitative methodologies capture experiences, opinions, attitudes and feelings ?
for example women?s experiences of the constraints or advantages of working in the
informal sector. Qualitative data can also be collected through surveys measuring
perceptions and opinions? (Demetriades, & Esplen, 2008). Workplace Policies
Workplace policies or benefits such as flextime, telecommuting, job sharing, parttime work, childcare, parental leave, help women in the workplace. Flexible workplace
policies allow employees, both male and female to achieve a satisfactory work-life
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states;
?Numerous studies have found that flexible workplace policies enhance employee
productivity, reduce absenteeism, reduce costs, and appear to positively affect
profits. They also aid recruitment and retention efforts, allowing employers to
retain a talented, knowledgeable workforce and save the money and time that
would otherwise have been spent recruiting, interviewing, selecting and training
new employees? (2009). Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 6 In particular, these policies help support women, especially those with children by
enabling them to join and stay in the workforce without neglecting their childcare
responsibilities. These policies level the playing field so that women are able to compete
with men. International Comparison
Family policies are important because they affect health outcomes and reduce
wage inequities between women and men through increased job retention (Widener,
The workplace policies in Sweden are family friendly. on gender equality and workfamily reconciliation. The rationale for this is to help parents balance jobs and
responsibilities at home, and make it possible for women with children to remain in the
work force. For example, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave when a
child is born or adopted. This number is Sweden?s strongest argument when it comes to
being a child-friendly system. For 390 of the days, parents are entitled to nearly 80 per
cent of their normal pay (Abendroth,& Dulk, 2011).
The Unites States has introduced some initiatives of their own, such as the Family
and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which provides workers at companies of a certain size
with 12 weeks of unpaid leave (Eviston, 2011). While this means those individuals can
take the time off without fear of losing their job, in most cases the leave is unpaid. Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 7 President Obama (2014) stated that, "The United States is the only developed
country in the world without paid maternity leave." The United States does not mandate
cash benefits for workers on maternity leave at the federal level, and just a small fraction
of its citizens live in states that require it or work for companies that provide it. In that
regard, the United States is very different than the rest of the developed world, where at
least some paid benefits exist in every country.
These policies reflect the importance that their respective societies place on gender
equality. The more restrictive the policy, the less that country allows for a balance
between family and work, the more disenfranchised the women of that population are.
Restrictive policies also promote the unequal distribution of a society's wealth, power,
and privilege between females and males. Policies such as the Family and Medical Leave
Act enable women to maintain their careers and a family life. Conclusion
Francine D. Blau and Lawrence M. Kahn attribute the decrease in the female labor
force participation rate in the United States due to the lack of family-friendly policies
(2013). The mindset that men are the breadwinners is still prominent, things are slowly
changing, and people are beginning to acknowledge that women deserve all the same
opportunities as men. Public policies that allow women to enter the workforce and remain
employed despite obligations to their family, is one step in the right direction. Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY 8 References Abendroth, A., & den Dulk, L. (2011). Support for the work-life balance in Europe: the
impact of state, workplace and family support on work-life balance satisfaction.
Work, Employment & Society, 25(2), 234. doi:10.1177/0950017011398892
Beyond Bias and Barriers : Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and
Engineering. Washington, US: National Academies Press, 2007. ProQuest ebrary.
Web. 28 November 2016. Copyright © 2007. National Academies Press. All rights
Blau, F. D., & Kahn, L. M. (2013). Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States
Falling Behind?. The American Economic Review, 103(3), 251-256.
Demetriades, J., & Esplen, E. (2008). The gender dimensions of poverty and
climate change adaptation. Ids Bulletin, 39(4), 24-31.
Eviston, M. (2011). Front Pay under the FMLA. N. Ky. L. Rev., 38, 259.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963. Approved May 14, 1947. Retrieved from
https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm, SEC 206.
Jones, S. J., & Palmer, E. M. (2011). Glass ceilings and catlights: Career barriers for
professional women in academia. Advancing women in leadership, 31, 189. Running Head: GENDER EQUALITY US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2009). Employer best practices for
workers with caregiving responsibilities. Retrieved August, 6, 2009.
Widener, A. J. (2007). Family-friendly policy: Lessons from Europe-part I. Public
Manager, 36(3), 57.
Women more than men adjust their careers for family life. (2015, October 1). Retrieved
from PewResearch Center: http://www.pewresearch.org/facttank/2015/10/01/women-more-than-men-adjust-their-careers-for-family-life. 9
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