Essay Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination is described as the discrimination of an individual based on their sex. Various states have their own laws regarding gender discrimination which makes them illegal. Gender discrimination is usually more prevalent in the workplace. Even states that have anti-discrimination laws have not prevented this from happening. In the workplace, it happens more to women and the culprits are usually both sexes (Bobbitt-Zeher and Donna, 2011).
Women who are qualified may be passed over for job placement or job promotion because they are pregnant. In some instances, jobs may be offered to men because they are simply male. Usually, women are judged on their looks and dressing as compared to the males (Bobbitt-Zeher and Donna, 2011). There is always a reason as to why they are discriminated be it they are too young or old, dress conservatively or provocatively or not being sexy enough. The latter happens when the job in question is sales, marketing or public relations.
How it works
The above form of discrimination is usually referred to as sexual harassment. In an ideal company with its policies, women should be entitled to the same perks and opportunities as their male counterparts but it does not always happen that way due to their gender. As stated above women are just as guilty of sexual harassment as are men (Bobbitt-Zeher and Donna, 2011). It is not always a superior who is the perpetrator but it can also be a colleague or a subordinate. It is still harassment if the company fails to address it. One may ask themselves what gender discrimination in the workplace constitutes. A good example is the “glass ceiling” that means a woman is unable to hold certain senior positions and cannot advance because of gender despite the qualifications and merit she may possess.
The situation called the glass ceiling is usually under the purview of promotional prejudice. The main reason for this is placed on having children. This movement of the glass ceiling began in the 1990s and was supposed to break the barrier that prevented women from moving up the corporate ladder (Bobbitt-Zeher and Donna, 2011). Women have made strides since then, but there is still a long way to go. Six women made the fortune 500 lists of CEOs. As of 2017, that number rose to 32. It is an improvement but considers the fact that there are only 32 out of the 500. This gender discrimination surpasses this. A man and woman may hold the same positions and titles within a company but the remuneration and recognition may be different (Cohn 2000). The man may rise quicker than his female counterpart up the corporate ladder quicker and gain more bonuses.
Interview processes also vary for both genders. This is despite the fact that some of the questions fielded are usually directed at women (Grace 2019). The usual being if they have children or plan on having them in the future. Questions such as these are illegal and morally wrong as they have no emphasis on an individual’s ability to work and perform. The reasoning behind this type of questioning is that they anticipate at some point the request for maternity leave. They need to understand that maternity leave does not apply to women but also paternity leave for men (Grace 2019). Neither gender needs to be grilled over such a question. Then there is the issue of termination in the workplace. Most of these terminations are usually executed with bias.
This kind of termination usually occurs in male-oriented industries such as manufacturing where sexual harassment is not taken seriously. There are numerous cases of women who have protested against discrimination and found themselves jobless. For example, there is the case of the female engineer at Tesla Mrs. Vandermeyden lodged complaints against the manufacturer on being paid less than her male counterparts and enduring sexual harassment.
The lawyers stated that her firing was an act of retaliation against her complaints. She was then subjected to ridicule by her male colleagues who said that they were tarnishing their reputation. She took a stand which was difficult (Kossek 2018). This is because people are always fearful of the repercussions and know that their record will be tarnished and blemished. It is difficult to stand up for oneself when there is no one to stand with you.
In looking at gender discrimination in the workplace, there is a question that can be posed which may not be definitive. Is sex a determinant of qualification for a job opportunity? No, this is only in very limited situations. For instance, if a company needs a role for an individual to play a female actress otherwise it is not applicable. It is not uncommon for men to be discriminated against in the workplace (Kossek 2018). Some companies have had the knack of appointing women in their positions. For example, non-government organizations that have women empowerment agendas prefer to recruit female employees. It is common in instances whereby they see a male colleague may bring distractions and more harm than good. In that case, they choose to hire females based on that assumption which is wrong.
The #MeToo movement has shed light on the plight of women undergoing sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace (Goldscheid 2019). The impact that #MeToo has had on 2018 to champion for the rights of gender discrimination has been profound. High powered men have resigned on misconduct allegations and a record number of women in Congress has been realized. One sector in technology whereby gender discrimination has been rife is technology whereby about 97% of men get funding for their projects.
Technology has been a cornerstone of male-dominated careers and breaking that ceiling has been a difficult task to do so far. Victims of gender discrimination have remedies that can be pursued (Kossek 2018). They include compensatory damages such as emotional torment and suffering, punitive damages, reinstatement promotion, hiring, back pay and other actions that will act as some form of restitution. In a workplace, an employer may make aware of the policies regarding gender discrimination and the remedies put forth to rectify the situation.
In case one is aware of any form of gender discrimination, it is important that is documented with supporting evidence, who as involved, time and place and the witnesses. There is a chain of command that one is required to follow in reporting such instances. Usually, there is a company policy that provides relief for such an event. The bottom line is that gender is wrong in all its forms. There is no place for it in today’s workplace. We have grown in leaps and bounds in terms of equality and there is no place for it in today’s society. It is up for us to set an example to eradicate this vice from our society.