Gender/Sex inCommunication: Chapter 9: Work Kelsey O’Brien
Chapter 9: Work• Understanding the ways in which work relates to gender/sex requires one to also comprehend intersectionality• Intersectionality was a term ﬁrst used by Kimberle Crenshaw who used it to explore “how the law, meant to prevent discrimination, was failing Black women because it did not recognize the intersecting ways in which they faced discrimination.” (p. 199)• The issues of race, class, and nationality also need to be considered when studying gender/sex in the workplace
Working Moms• The term “off-ramping” is used to describe an increasing number of women who are leaving their careers to temporarily be stay- at-home moms• Factors for this decision include: economics, work structure, http://liberatingworkingmoms.com/category/ family structure, and the struggle working-it-out/the-choice-to-work/ to “on-ramp”• Society’s deﬁnition of work is associated with being paid and making money, because child rearing is not paid, people do not http://www.examiner.com/article/working-mother-s-guilt-how-to-deal-with-absence-and-emotional-conﬂic
Work as a Social Institution• According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census in 2006 98,000 men out of the 26.5 million who are a part of a heterosexual marriage, are stay-at- home dads• Work is perceived to be a masculine institution with more social value towards male occupations due to more pay, authority, and opportunities for advancement• Women tend to be criticized for being bad mothers when placing their child in daycare
Maternity Leave• Pregnancy Discrimination Act of • Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 1978 • Allows up to 12 weeks of • According to the U.S. Equal unpaid leave Employment Opportunity Commission the act is designed to prohibit sex • Reasons include: pregnancy, personal, or family reasons discrimination on the basis of pregnancy
Maternity Leave • This chart shows where the U.S. is in comparison with other countries in regards to maternity leave • What are your thoughts on this chart? Do you think that the U.S. is unfair with it’s maternityhttp://womeninpublicservice.org/2012/06/01/comparing-paid-maternity-leave-around-the-world/ leave?
Lori West Peterson & Terrance L. Albrecht (1999)• “Found that in discussions of work and women’s childbearing processes, maternity leave was interpreted as a beneﬁt, and pregnancy was interpreted as a disability” (p. 204)• A study was also done by Patrice M. Buzzanell and Meina Liu (2005) which concluded women’s satisfaction of a company’s leave policy inﬂuences their ability and willingness to return to work following childbirth
Bureau of Labor Statistics: Labor Force Participation Rate (2011)• Mothers with infants under 1 year: 55.8%• Mothers with children under 6 years: 63.9%• Mothers with children 6-17 years: 76.1%• Unemployed, married mothers with infants under 1 year: 6.4%• Unemployed mothers with a different marital status: 24.2%
Characteristics of the Workplace• Expression of emotion is considered inappropriate• “Emotions are considered organizationally appropriate when expressed by a man are perceived as inappropriate when expressed by a woman” (p. 206)• Men socializing at work is considered to be an effort towards advancing their career http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/w/women_at_work_gifts.asp• Women socializing at work is perceived as a waste of time
“The Top 10 Facts About the Wage Gap”• In an article for the Center for American • 5. Women are more likely to work in low-wage, Progress, Sarah Jane Glynn and Audrey Powers “pink collar” jobs such as teaching, child care, listed and described the following as the Top 10: nursing, cleaning, and waitressing• 1. In 2010 women who worked full time, year • 6. The wage gap accumulates over time round, still only earned 77% of what men earned • 7. As women age, the wage gap continues to• 2. The gender wage gap does not only affect grow individuals- entire families are impacted by women’s earnings • 8. Single women are even more adversely affected by the wage gap than married women• 3. Women earn less than men within all racial and ethnic groups • 9. More than 40% of the wage gap cannot be explained by occupation, work experience, race,• 4. Even though women are out pacing men in or union membership getting college degrees, that’s not close enough to close the gender pay gap • 10. Mothers earn about 7% less per child than childless women
Race, Gender, and Workhttp://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/diversity_brief.html/
Race, Gender, and Work• African American women face oppression and subordination from both White men and White women• The practices may be more subtle such as who is asked to do certain tasks http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/07/diversity_brief.html/
“The Ofﬁce: Diversity Day”• “The Ofﬁce” is a comedy show on NBC based on the everyday lives of ofﬁce workers at a paper company Dunder Mifﬂin. It sort of pokes fun at the stereotypical ofﬁce worker.• The following is a link to a clip from the second episode of the ﬁrst season entitled “Diversity Day.” The Manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) is forced to give his staff a racial diversity seminar after he imitated comedian Chris Rock. He assigns each employee a card with a different race written on it which they put on their foreheads. He instructs them to interact with each other while treating them based on what their race card says so they will know what it is like “to be a minority” when in reality, it leads them to stereotypically treat each other.• Diversity Day Clip
Sexual Harassment• There are two types of harassment• The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network deﬁnes them as: • Quid Pro Quo- when a perpetrator makes conditions of employment contingent on the victim providing sexual favors. • Hostile Environment- when unwelcome, severe, and persistent sexual conduct on the part of a perpetrator creates an uncomfortable and hostile environment (jokes, lewd gestures, inappropriate touching) This type of harassment is responsible for almost 95% of cases.
Sexual Harassment• The most common normalization form of violence in the workplace is sexual harassment• The most predominant form is men harassing women• “Most studies indicate that 40% to 70% of women and 10% to 20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.” (p. 211)
Sexual Harassment• A man who has learned to perform masculine behaviors simultaneously learns to not exhibit signs of empathy• This is why they fail to see their behavior as harassment• “It is not enough to inform people about actions that constitute sexual harassment. It is also necessary to challenge prevailing notions of masculinity that discourage empathy in men.” (p. 212)
Conclusion• Whether work is paid or unpaid, basically every person takes part in it. The many aspects of it such as occupation itself, the interactions with others that occur, and the laws that are created/upheld all play a role in a person’s performance of gender/sex.• “In turn, gender/sex inﬂuences how people understand work and its relation to family, identity, and culture. The tensions and intersections that exist between work and family, work and leisure, work and law can only be improved if one overtly considers gender as part of that mix.” (p. 215)
Sources• Glynn, Sarah Jane & Power, Audrey. (2012, April 16). The Top 10 Facts About the Wage Gap. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/04/wage_gap_facts.html• Pruin DeFrancisco,Victoria & Palczweski, Catherine Helen. (2007). Communicating Gender Diversity. Sage Publications.• Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012, April 26). Employment Characteristics of Families 2011. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ news.release/pdf/famee.pdf• Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Sexual Harassment. Retrieved from http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual- assault/sexual-harassment•
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