Sample Women Studies Paper on Are women discriminated against subconsciously in the working world?

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.


Works Cited

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.