Despite the fact that women are experiencing more progress in the labour force, they
continue to offer their services in jobs stereotyped as women jobs. Additionally, women
regardless their job categories receive less income compared to their counterparts holding the
same job categories (Workplace Fairness 5). Accordingly, women encounter restrictions in
regards to promotion to senior management levels because of the subconscious and conscious
sex bias. As a result, women continue experiencing sexual harassment in their place of work
despite employer's responsibility to take corrective and preventive action. Besides, pregnant
women are discriminated against subconsciously during job performance evaluation,
promotion, and hiring. The discrimination is attributed to the employer's false assumption
that pregnant women are unable to work effectively. To be precise, women of colour are
susceptible to discrimination because they are subjected to a combination of gender and racial
barriers. According to Berik, Rodgers and Zammit (175), women exhibit the right of not
being discriminated against in the workplace and workforce. This right is recognized by the
international law including the United Nations Conventions International Labour
Organization. However, the labour force does not comply with this right because women
face discrimination in the workplace and the workforce. The principal challenge that women
face is the lack of adequate access to employment opportunities. In fact, women participation
in the labour force is very low. For this reason, their level of unemployment is higher
compared to that of men. However, the rate of unemployment significantly differs across
regions (Berik, Rodgers and Zammit 176). Ideally, more women offer their services part-time
not because they like it but because they are compelled to do so. Accordingly, women who
are qualified are given jobs that do not match with their skills and experiences. Additionally,
they face cultural, social, or structural barriers including discrimination. Another limitation
faced by women in their workplace is the wage gap. Men compared to women are paid more
for the work of equal measure and value. On average, women are paid between 15%- 30%
less compared to their male counterparts (Workplace Fairness 6).
In a study conducted by O'Conor(25), gender discrimination prohibits the advancement of
women in the labour force. In this study, 31% of the participants claimed that men had more
opportunities compared to women, to be precise in the private sector. Correspondingly, 8% of
the respondents offering their services in the public sector pointed out that man had more
opportunities in the labour force compared to women (O'Conor 28). The major hindrance
towards women advancement in the corporate world is unconscious bias as argued by 58% of
the study respondents. For this reason, women do not consider high educational qualifications
as their safeguard. The wage gap in many countries continues to widen despite the fact that
women are increasingly becoming educated (Berik, Rodgers and Zammit 183). Another issue
affecting women in the labour force is the glass ceiling problem. Women are often neglected
in regards to workplace promotion. The availability of a vacant senior position in the
organization is likely to be given to a male than a female even though they exhibit the same
qualifications. However, some women can break this norm and assume a higher position
where they can make decisions. All these problems are as a result of women discrimination.
Many organizations discriminate against women because they fear hassle motherhood and
costs associated with employing women. Nonetheless, the discrimination of women is not
because of economic reasons rather because of the misguided perceptions and stereotyping of
women's abilities and roles, leadership style and commitment (O'Conor 83). Women
stereotyping results in women getting ill-paid jobs characterized by a minimal opportunity of
advancing themselves career wise. In most cases, women are eliminated from informal
communication channels and networks whereas some suffer harsh corporate culture. As a
consequence, they end up becoming victims of sexual and moral harassment, mobbing, and
bullying. The above discussions are a clear indication that there is unconscious bias against
women in the labour force.
Despite the fact that women are discriminated against in the workforce and workplace
settings, some women have succeeded in workforce including the likes of Meg Whiteman.
For instance, she worked at Proctor & Gamble as the brand manager and championed for the
rights of women. Acknowledging the fact that Proctor and Gamble failed to issue women
credits owing to the fact that they thought it was not safe for women to travel alone, she
fought to have that rule changed. Currently, she is on the company board of directors
signifying that women too have an equal opportunity in the workforce just like men.
Additionally, she was an authoritative boss while working at eBay. However, she was
accused of shoving the company employees. Additionally, under her management, she
managed to transform eBay from a young company into a virtual auction giant boosting its
sales from $ 86million to $b 7.7 billion in ten years time (O'Conor 76). Despite her
achievements in the business world, her decisions were highly questioned. A case in point is
when she decided to buy Skype in 2005 for $ 2.5billion. The rise of women to top leadership
is a clear indication that times are changing, and women are breaking the glass ceiling. In
fact, the current workforce is characterized by female university presidents, chief executives,
presidents of countries, and state governors. Additionally, both men and women exhibit equal
access to mid-level and entry positions. Even though women occupy top leadership positions,
they are often criticized by their male counterparts. Additionally, people resist women
influence. Despite the fact that top positions convey competence and status, modesty is a
requirement for women in these posts (Berik, Rodgers and Zammit 205). Despite criticisms,
women in top positions have proved to the world that the sky is their limit when it comes to
taking advantage of opportunities that present before them. However, they have to be strong
and triumph all adversities.
The subconscious and unconscious discrimination of women have forced various
companies to take various actions to enhance the equal opportunity for men and women in
the workforce. These companies understand that unconscious bias skew performance
reviews and talent (Marinova 25). Additionally, it determines whom organization hires,
promotes, and develops. As a result, it undermines the culture of the organization. Besides,
discrimination against women in regards to promotion, hiring, and income is a common
occurrence in various organizations. As a consequence, they are giving women opportunity in
the hiring process. Additionally, managers are being trained on the importance of handling
women. According to Marinova(28), making employees aware of gender discrimination issue
in the workplace is not sufficient because it is not appropriate to promoting workplace
diversity. Some of the companies that are making use of training program to enhance
workplace diversity include Google, Slack, and Airbnb. The aim of these companies training
programs is to improve employee's awareness about unconscious gender discrimination in the
organization. In addition to training programs, companies are taking the initiative of labelling
the biases that are likely to occur in the workplace (Berik, Rodgers and Zammit 173).
Labelling bias helps leaders in acknowledging how their biases affect organizational culture,
compensation, promotions, and hiring. Another strategy taken by organizations to eliminate
workplace bias is the creation of structures for organization functions such as performance
reviews and resumes screening to enhance the decision-making process. The establishment of
these structures permits organization leaders to take deliberate actions as well provide them
with an opportunity to identify instances when unconscious bias resurfaces (O'Conor 56).
Even though companies are enacting strategies to address unconscious bias in the workforce
and workplace settings, more needs to be done because women are still being discriminated
against in the twenty-first century.
Those with opposing view contend that gender bias is not an issue of great concern
because women are now filling various positions in a wide range of industries. For instance,
Davis (3) points out that women are responsible for 17% of various segments of the society
including the Congress, tenured professors, law partners, and Fortune 500 boards. Females
are also accountable for 31% for named or speaking characters whereas men are accountable
for 69% (Davis 4). However, 23% of the films depict women holding a co-leading or leading
character. Ten percent of the film exhibits a gender-balanced cast of 55% and 45% characters
(Davis 4). As per the analysis, individuals exhibit distinct opinions on the issue of women
discrimination but it does not necessarily discredit the issue.
Berik, Gunseli, Rodgers, Yana, and Zammit, Ann. Social Justice and Gender Equality.
Routledge: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Davis, Geena. Addressing Unconscious bias. McKinsey Quarterly, 2015.
Marinovat, Polina. Unconcious Bias Training: Not a Silver Bullet. Fortune Unconscious Bias
Training Not a Silver Bullet Comments. Time Inc., 13Nov.2015.
O’Conor, Lottie. A Third of Working Women Say they are Discriminated Against. The
Guardian. Guardian News and Medial Limited, 3june 2015. Web.13Nov.2015.
Workplace Fairness. Hidden Barriers: Discrimination. Web .13Nov.2015.