A Proposed Solution to the Challenges in Gender Leadership
It is well known that gender inequality in the workforce is a prominent issue in the United States and in various countries. Many men and women go to college, receive the same degrees and training, but women are more likely to face discrimination. Some of the reasons for discrimination are attributed to women already being outnumbered in managerial positions The major cause is organized structures that set up Human Resources (HR) policies, which define how or what employees get rewarded. Many factors are set in place that lead to unequal decision-making in the workplace, so the purpose of this white paper is propose a solution to help reduce gender inequality, with a focus on leadership.
Gender Inequality is a known current issue that exists in all job fields. Women are often discriminated against in the workplace, which affects support for career advancement, especially in leadership roles. Statistically, women also receive a lower wage in comparison to men despite demonstration of equal performance of skill trade and academic preparation (Lantz & Maryland, 2008). A numerous amount of women in the workforce face unequal opportunities that impact not only their financial compensation, but their desire to start a family in fear that it may be used against them for career advancement (Lantz & Maryland, 2008).
The workforce in America today contains many benefits and opportunities for growth, including positions of leadership. However, there multiple forms of inequalities present, making the workforce an inhospitable place for women (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). Discrimination negatively impacts women’s earnings and opportunities, and makes it very difficult for women to step into management (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). Some of the reasons for this are due to women being outnumbered in higher-up positions, making it harder for other women to feel supported, and the longer time it statistically takes for a woman to advance in their career in comparison to a man (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). Other factors are largely contributed to human resources (HR) policies and HR- related decision-making standards that have been set in place for years (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015).
Human Resource Policies
Human Resources (HR) practices involve organized structures and practices that guide decision-making in the workplace. Unfortunately, some of those practices contain sexism because the decisions are often based on model where one factor is made to favor men without explicitly stating it (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). HR practices determine the access employees have to reward and outcomes within a job place, and it can also influence how they are treated (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). HR has specific criteria that is set up by organizational decision makers to evaluate job performance. One of the criteria used in many workplaces is ‘face-time’ value, which is a performance metric that rewards employees who are present at work more than others (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). Women naturally are the predominant caregivers, which means that they use many arrangements needed to cover their familial duties and as a result face more career penalties due to a lower score on ‘face time’(Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015). This criteria is biased, which contributes to gender discrimination (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015).
The Woman as a Primary Caregiver
There are many studies that discuss the challenges associated with managing children and family responsibilities while also holding a full-time job (Plickert & Sterling, 2017). Many of those studies concluded that the challenges with managing familial responsibilities lead to conflicts with work-life balance, and the reasons for differences in employment status between women and men (Plickert & Sterling, 2017). This has led to discrimination and the misbelief that women are less motivated than men for career advancement (Plickert & Sterling, 2017).
The Advantages of Gender Diversity
In academia, women have increased in numbers in the representation of college graduates. In a Japanese based study women’s college enrollment increased from 12 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 2000, and then 46 percent in 2012 (Nemoto, 2016). Despite the increase of academically prepared women for managerial positions, the rate of middle managers had only increased from one percent in 1989 to five percent in 2011, while lower level managers increased from 5 to percent in 1989 to only 15 percent in 2011 (Nemoto, 2016). This is said to be because of few women in positions of authority due traditional gender norms (Nemoto, 2016). The presence of more women in managerial positions relates to a reduction in segregation (Nemoto, 2016). In regards to workplace programs, high executives are more likely to adopt diversity programs when they have higher proportions of white women in management who push for these programs (Nemoto, 2016).
An environment where there is gender diversity is more likely to be more creative and adaptive to change (Ellemers, 2014). Female researchers in male-dominated fields provide valuable insights that develop science and industry (Ellemers, 2014). Some of those innovations include healthcare, technology and engineering, public transportation (Ellemers, 2014). Companies that achieve gender diversity in management generate more revenue. Companies with the most female board directors reported 16 percent more returns on sales and 26 percent more return in invested capital (Ellemers, 2014). Companies that kept at least three women board directors for five years, outperformed companies with no women directors (Ellemers, 2014). Overall, it is more beneficial to have more women represented in leadership than to not.
Based on the information presented, as proposed solution would be to focus on the organizational structures that are in place which affect Human Resources (HR) policy and decision-making. It is evident that the reasons why gender inequalities in the workplace exist are due to the systems that are set in place, which affect a women more negatively than a man. There needs to be a multi-faceted approach in how performance standards are measured, so that men and women are either rewarded or disciplined with a sense of equal representation. Such efforts would necessitate a push for more women to be in board positions in order to offer their valuable insights and support for other women in career growth. If changes in HR policies are made to be more gender neutral, women may be more likely to make the same wages as men as well as pursue leadership roles.
Gender inequality is not a foreign concept in the current workplace. In the form the discrimination, women are often left unsupported or motivated to pursue leadership roles. This is due to the challenging systems set in place that facilitate decision-making processes in Human Resources (HR). Organizational systems mainly consist of members of the male sex, which is a motivating factor to push women to advance their careers. A multi-faceted approach in performance reviews would permit a more flexible and equal environment, in which both men and women would be rewarded by their professional strengths and background. A change in HR policies is a step in the right direction to diversify the work environment and provide satisfaction with which a man and a woman are paid justifiably for equal merits.
- Ellemers, N. (2014). Women at Work: How Organizational Features Impact Career Development. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1(1), 46–54. https://doi.org/10.1177/2372732214549327
- Lantz, P. M. & Maryland, P. A. (2008). Gender and leadership in healthcare administration: 21st century progress and challenges. Journal of Healthcare Management, 53(5), 291-301; discussion 302-3.
- Nemoto, K. (2016) Too few women at the top: The persistence of inequality in japan. ILR Press. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgiarticle=1121&context=books
- Plickert, G. & Sterling, J. (2017) Gender still matters: Effects of workplace discrimination on employment schedules of young professionals. Laws, 6(28). 2-22. doi:10.3390/laws6040028
- Stamarski, C. S., & Son Hing, L. S. (2015). Gender inequalities in the workplace: the effects of organizational structures, processes, practices, and decision makers’ sexism. Frontiers In Psychology, 6, 1400. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01400
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A Proposed Solution to the Challenges in Gender Leadership. (2021, Mar 04). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-proposed-solution-to-the-challenges-in-gender-leadership/
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