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Gender Diversity and Discrimination in Workplace

Gender Diversity and Discrimination in Workplace

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  • GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY SUBMITTED: Alina Sultani (1111254) 7/10/2012
  • ABSTRACTOrganizations all around the world are struggling for success, and therefore, the recruitingprocess of employees has become an important area for successful business strategies and theirimplementation. Companies know the power that talented employees can bring in theirorganizations. Companies are trying to bring in the best of employees to get benefit from them.Many leaders know the impact of gender diversity, but due to the stereotype beliefs, theycannot transmit them in to action. Role-specific beliefs are creating a barrier to implementgender diversity in organizations. There is a major gender discrimination observed at executivelevels. Women are not perceived to be using their potential, therefore, male dominating culturestill exists. This study highlights the different issues faced by women globally in organizations,impact of gender diversity and what companies should do to implement gender diversity in theorganizations.Key Words: gender discrimination, gender diversity, global gender gap, stereotype, businessperformance, training, nurture
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS:1 INTRODUCTION: .................................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT:................................................................................................................. 1 1.2 STUDY OBJECTIVES:....................................................................................................................... 1 1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY: .......................................................................................................................... 1 1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: ......................................................................................................... 12 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................................................. 2 2.1 GLOBAL GENDER GAP: .................................................................................................................. 2 2.1.1 GLOBAL PERFORMANCE: ...................................................................................................... 3 2.1.2 REGIONAL PERFORMANCE:................................................................................................... 3 2.2 MINDSETS FOR IDENTIFYING DIFFERENCES: ................................................................................. 3 2.2.1 STEREOTYPE: ......................................................................................................................... 4 Stereotype is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: .................................................................................. 4 “A widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type ...................................... 4 of person or thing” .................................................................................................................................... 4 2.2.2 PREJUDICE: ............................................................................................................................ 4 According to the Oxford Dictionary, prejudice is:..................................................................................... 4 “A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience” ........................................... 4 Brown (2010) tells that prejudice is an orientation towards the whole group of people rather than individuals. Prejudice ................................................................................................................................ 5 2.2.3 DISCRIMINATION: ................................................................................................................. 5 “The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people…”................................................ 5 2.2.4 SELF PERCEPTION: ................................................................................................................. 5 2.3 FINDINGS FROM SECONDARY DATA: ............................................................................................ 6 2.3.1 WOMEN IN WORK FORCE: .................................................................................................... 6 2.3.2 SENIOR EXECUTIVE POSITIONS: ............................................................................................ 7 2.3.3 CAREER GROWTH:................................................................................................................. 7 2.3.4 PERCEPTION OF JOB CHANGE AND THE REALITY: ................................................................ 7 2.3.5 HIGH MENTORING, LESS SPONSORSHIP: .............................................................................. 7 2.4 IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY .................................................................................................... 8
  • 2.4.1 BUSINESS PERFORMANCE: .................................................................................................... 8 2.4.2 MUTUAL MONITORING: ........................................................................................................ 8 2.4.3 ATTENDANCE OF BOARD MEMBERS:.................................................................................... 8 2.4.4 EQUITY BASED PAY:............................................................................................................... 9 2.4.5 MONITORING: ....................................................................................................................... 9 2.4.6 VALUES: ................................................................................................................................. 9 2.4.7 SHAREHOLDERISM: ............................................................................................................... 9 2.4.8 RISK TAKING: ....................................................................................................................... 10 2.4.9 COMPETITION: .................................................................................................................... 10 2.4.10 GENDER DIVERSITY IN GROUP AND GROUP PERFORMANCE: ............................................ 103 CRITICAL ANALYSIS: ............................................................................................................................. 11 3.1 HIGHER GENDER GAP IN ECONOMICS AND POLITICS: ............................................................... 11 3.2 STEREOTYPE AS WELL AS SELF PERCEPTION LEADS TO THE DIFFERENCES: ............................... 11 3.3 MEN ARE GIVEN GROWTH RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THEIR CAREER: .......................... 11 3.4 MORE WOMEN WEIGHS HEAVILY AGAINST NO WOMEN: ......................................................... 114 CONCLUSION:...................................................................................................................................... 125 RECOMMENDATIONS: ........................................................................................................................ 126 REFERENCES: ....................................................................................................................................... 18
  • 1 INTRODUCTION:Where at one hand, gender diversity is a topic widely discussed worldwide and spoken toimplement in every corner of the world, it is still an issue to be resolved. This is, because,gender differences are still observed worldwide, even in developed countries. Surprisingly, thisissue of women underrepresentation has been widely observed in top managerial positions inorganizations.There are many observations discussed in this paper, such as stereotypes, high mentoring andlow sponsorship, that suggest why this issue is still prevalent in societies. Researches show theprevalence of gender discrimination and its negative impact on employees and firms, as wellthe impact of implementing gender diversity in organizations and the fruitful results on firms’performances.1.1 PROBLEM STATEMENT:This paper has highlighted the discrimination issues faced by women in organizations and haspresented the impact and recommendations for representing women in workforce to obtainbetter outcomes: ‘Identifying the issues faced by women in organizations and measuring the degree ofthis gender gap common worldwide so that the identified issues can be resolved to createpositive impact on the employees, the firms and the societies.’1.2 STUDY OBJECTIVES: i. To explore the problems and challenges faced by women in organizations ii. To gauge the degree of gender gap in economical, educational, health and political empowerment iii. To identify the reasons of low women representation that is related to mindsets iv. To present the impact of gender diversity on employees and organizations v. To suggest the recommendations for implementing gender diversity in the workforce1.3 SCOPE OF STUDY:The research incorporates detailed findings of the issues faced by women in workforce relatedto gender discrimination and the degree of gender gap worldwide. The study highlights themajor benefits of having women in a firm that leads to constructive strategic results.1.4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:Qualitative study has been carried out using secondary data for compiling this paper. Secondarydata sources used in this paper include journals, thesis papers, business magazines, books,electronic databases and websites.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 1
  • 2 LITERATURE REVIEWBefore discussing gender diversity, the difference between the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ isimportant to be understood.Fox and Lituchy (2012), and Tovar (2011) maintain that sex differentiates a person based onbiological and reproductive traits, whereas gender describes the assumed roles each sex isexpected to perform and personality characteristics assumed with each sex. Fox and Lituchy(2012) further explain that sex is related to nature, whereas gender is related to nurture.Merriam-Webster dictionary (2012) has explained diversity as a condition of being composed ofdifferent elements, such as different people in a group or organization.Gender diversity in an organization indicates the level to which it is possible to communicatewith both the genders. Homogenous teams form a boundary which binds internal workforcetogether, but also makes them distant from the outside environment. Cooperation is highwithin these individual teams, whereas cooperation among different teams within anorganization is very low. As acknowledged by Zanoni, Janssens, Benschop and Nkomo (2010),diverse workforce will be better able to work and meet the demands of diverse markets andcustomers, improve firm’s learning and build flexible and creative work-teams.2.1 GLOBAL GENDER GAP:The Global Gender gap report is established by Hausmann, Tyson and Zahidi (2011) and isintroduced by the World Economic Forum in the year 2006. It measures the degree of genderbased variations and keeps a track of their improvement. This gap measurement is based onthree important concepts. First, it does not measure levels, but gaps in accessing the availableopportunities in a country. Second, it measures the gender gap with regard to basic rights, suchas health, education, monetary and political empowerment. Third, it measures the differencesin workforce participation rates, differences in salaries of both sexes, and comparison of menversus women to attain advancement.This report shows the ranking of 114 countries for the year 2011 based on gender disparities.Comparing the gaps in the years from 2006 to 2011, 85% of the countries (97 countries) haveshown the gaps that are narrowed in progressive years, while 15% of the countries (17countries) have widened the gap.Pakistan had been ranked 112th in the year 2006, but came down to 133rd rank in the year 2011out of 135 countries worldwide, hence indicating a widened gap.This report has examined the gap broadly into four categories: a. Economic participation and opportunity: It is based on comparison of workforce participation, pay and career progression. Pakistan is ranked 134th out 135 countries in the year 2011.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 2
  • b. Educational attainment: It shows the differences between: females’ and males’ access to schools; and the literacy rates of men and women. Pakistan is placed at 127th out of the countries covered in the 2011 report. c. Health & survival: It measures the differences in two variables. First, it identifies the degree of preference for son’s birth as seen in many countries. Second, the health life expectancy of men and women is measured. In the year 2011, Pakistan is 123rd in health differences. d. Political empowerment: It measures the differences between decision making power of men and women in politics at the highest executive levels. Pakistan is at a better rank in political power by holding 54 th position in year 2011.2.1.1 GLOBAL PERFORMANCE:Figure 1 shows the gender gap of 135 countries, that is covering 90% of world’s population. Itshows that the gap has closed to 96% and 93% in health and education respectively. But itshows that a wide gap still remains in economics and politics with a closed gap of 59% and 19%respectively in year 2011.Place figure 1 here2.1.2 REGIONAL PERFORMANCE:Figure 2 shows the regional performances of gender gap improvements in year 2011. Followingare the regions listed in descending order from highest to lowest closing. 1. North America holds the top position 2. Europe and Central Asia 3. Latin America and the Caribbean 4. Asia and the Pacific 5. Sub-Saharan Africa 6. Middle East and North Africa have closed least amount of gap Place Figure 2 Here2.2 MINDSETS FOR IDENTIFYING DIFFERENCES:Researches show that diversity is not a problem. The problem is in attitude toward diversity.People who have negative attitude toward others people’s differences often engage in negativebehaviors, some of which are discussed in this section.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 3
  • Place figure 3 hereFigure 3 shows the perceived gender discrimination followed at workplaces in emerging anddeveloped countries of the world (Hewlett and Rashid, 2010). Gender Discrimination is lesser indeveloped countries as compared to the emerging countries.2.2.1 STEREOTYPE:Stereotype is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: “A widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing”Tovar (2011) acknowledges that gender stereotypes are based on the positive and negativecharacteristics that are expected from each gender.Tovar (2011) further has explained that positive traits associated with women arekindheartedness, selflessness and nurturing. The negative traits portray women as sentimental,delicate and being dependent. According to this view, women’s proper role is believed to be inthe private sphere, taking care of the family and doing household tasks.Positive traits associated with men are believed to be competitiveness, determination andboldness, while mens negative traits are believed to be the lack of emotion, stubbornness andaggressiveness. Mens proper roles are believed to be in the public sphere in business, politics,and military because they are thought to be competitive, independent, and economicproviders.According to Fox & lituchy (2012), members of the society decide about what is masculinity femininity.The positive and negative traits just described above are associated with masculinity and femininity inmost of the cultures.Tovar (2011) acknowledges that although there are cultural shifts in many areas of the worldfavoring women’s rights, cultural stereotypes still exist in the world. This belief creates a barrierto have gender diversity in work.Carter and Silva (2010, p. 19) mention a question asked by Bloomberg’s Chief Marketing Officer,Maureen A. McGuire that “Are men more ready and qualified in their career where as womenhave to prove themselves?” She further added that companies should place manager on thebasis of qualification and not on the basis of intuitions.2.2.2 PREJUDICE:According to the Oxford Dictionary, prejudice is: “A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 4
  • Brown (2010) tells that prejudice is an orientation towards the whole group of people ratherthan individuals. Prejudice comes from our family, our friends, our environment, media and externalinfluences. Prejudice against males and females, comes from a belief in the superiority of one’s owngender.An interesting point shared by Brown (2010) in his book is that, prejudice not only includes negativeorientation, but also a positive attitude. He further contributes that showing sympathetic attitudes towomen is in itself a prejudice, highlighting a woman’s subordination.According to UN News (2009), UN-Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon said that in majority of the countries,women are still not perceived as equal in the eyes of laws and men and boys. He also mentioned that nocountry has completely escaped this prejudice, and emphasized that men and boys must play activeroles in making women and girls equal partners.2.2.3 DISCRIMINATION:Oxford Dictionary defines it as: “The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people…”Channar, Abbasi and Ujan (2011) acknowledge that no law has ever attempted to definespecifically the term ‘discrimination’. They further tell that in the context of workforce,discrimination can be defined as the giving of an unjust benefit (or disadvantage) to themembers of the particular group, in comparison to the members of the other group.Gender discrimination is limiting one sex to reach its potential and give benefit to organization.In their research, Channar, Abbasi and Ujan (2011) found that: females are more discriminatedthan males in public and private sectors; gender discrimination decreases the job satisfactionand motivation of employees; it decreases the commitment and enthusiasm of workers; andoverall, it increases their stress levels. They suggest that by stopping discrimination,organizations can overcome these problems and work for the betterment of the society.A test is proposed by Anne Mulcahy, Xerox Chairwoman, to take resumes of the 100 employeeshired, remove their names and assess where the employees should be placed according to theirqualification and skills and make a comparison with their current position placement (Carter &Silva, 2010).2.2.4 SELF PERCEPTION:Niederle and Yestrumkas (2008) suggest that although, most of the literature focuses on lesserwomen recognition in high profile jobs being attributable to male preferences and overalldiscrimination, there is another reason to it that is related to self-perception of men andwomen to respond to various challenging tasks. Males and females sense, imagine, respond,recognize, adore, need, and are grateful to each other in a different way. In their research,GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 5
  • Niederle and Yestrumkas (2008) found that men and women of equal performance capabilitiesact in different ways in choosing difficult tasks. Men usually choose difficult tasks and womenusually go for easier ones.Niederle and Yestrumkas (2008) showed that the difference in preferences of choosing difficulttasks is related to the difference in the belief in one’s ability to perform tasks. Females believethat their good performance in difficult tasks is related to their luck rather than their ability,and opposite goes for lower performance. Males attribute their success to their abilities andlow performance to their luck.It is generally thought that issues like women’s inclination towards raising children and devotinghigher time to family, and issues like prejudice play a major role in identifying male domination.But in their experiment, Niederle and Yestrumkas (2008) created a controlled environmentwhere women and men were equally performing and issues of time devotion to families ordiscrimination were not affecting the participants’ performances or selection of challengingtasks. Yet, there was a large gender difference in selection of tasks that, along with otherreasons, is also attributable to the certainty in the one’s abilities to perform (Niederle andYestrumkas, 2008).2.3 FINDINGS FROM SECONDARY DATA:After reviewing the secondary data of women’s underrepresentation, following findings wereobserved to be prevalent in organizations:2.3.1 WOMEN IN WORK FORCE:Carter and Silva (2010, p. 20) acknowledge the fact that there are many programs which arecreating opportunities for women. However, inequity is there in workforce.Carter and Silva (2010 p. 19) also maintain that very less percentage of women are found inworkforce. According to their research, women are currently involved in workforce globallywith a percentage of 40%. Only 3% of women are the Fortune 500’s CEOs and only 15% are atthe position of corporate executives worldwide.Hewlett and Rashid (2010, p.102) acknowledge that in emerging countries, women are givenless challenging roles or low performance ratings.This finding concludes that women are discouraged to work in an organization, which in turndiscourages diversity in that organization. They acknowledge that family pull and work pushforce women to leave workforce. This issue should be resolved to have diversity in workingenvironment.Nancy and Carter (2010) show that women are left behind where as men climb up their careerladder. However, there were women who moved up their career at an equal pace as men, butthese were the women who began their post-MBA career at middle management level orhigher than that. There is a lag again as only 10% of women started at those levels comparedwith 19% of men in their research sample.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 6
  • 2.3.2 SENIOR EXECUTIVE POSITIONS:Carter and Silva (2010, p. 20) acknowledge that Catalyst, a non-profit membership organization,found that from the start of careers, men are selected for higher positions than women. Thisdiscrimination is not on the basis of parenthood, as according to the findings, priority was givento men for senior executive positions even when both the genders did not have children athome.2.3.3 CAREER GROWTH:N.M.C. and C.S (2010) has done a research according to which, 10% of MBA graduates leftbusiness and worked in variety of jobs. After returning to their traditional career, both thegenders had different experiences. Men moved up in their career and they attained the samesatisfaction as other men who never left, whereas women were assigned off-track jobs;moreover they were not paid well as were men and advanced less than the women whoremained in business.In 2008 Catalyst survey mentioned in the article by Ibarra, Carter & Silva (2010, p. 82), it wasfound that women are paid $4600 less in their first post-MBA jobs, occupy lower levelmanagement positions more, and are lesser satisfied in their career than males with equivalenteducation.2.3.4 PERCEPTION OF JOB CHANGE AND THE REALITY:According to a survey conducted by N.M.C. and C.S (2010), employees perceive that: 99%Women will quit due to family reasons where as only 1% of males will quit due to the samereason; and women do not hope for the top managementHowever, Carter and Silva (2010, p. 21) have found that in contrast to the perception of higherwomen’s turnover, women are the ones to continue their jobs in most of the cases ascompared to men. In other words, men usually leave their jobs for career growth, higher payand career change. Women leave their jobs mostly when they encounter difficult managers-theones who perceive that women are not growth oriented. Place Figure 4 Here2.3.5 HIGH MENTORING, LESS SPONSORSHIP:High potential women are mentored excessively, but sponsored too seldom as compared tomen, leading to lesser advancement of women in their careers (Ibarra, Carter & Silva, 2010).Ibarra, Carter & Silva (2010, p. 82) identify the reason of why mentoring fails women tosucceed: In a 2010 Catalyst survey, it was identified that although men and women were givenequivalent assignments, men received promotions at the completion of these assignments,GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 7
  • while women received more assignment in return instead of promotions. Hence, women arenot as enthusiastically sponsored as men are.2.4 IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY2.4.1 BUSINESS PERFORMANCE:Herring (2009), through his research, suggests that diversity is important for better businessoutcomes. According to him, gender diversity leads to higher returns, high customer base andoverall increased profits. This is attributable to the fact that diverse groups are more prone toconflicts of ideas, which takes them ahead of the simple solutions that homogenous groupsusually think of, leading to higher creativity and firm’s performance.This has received support by Hoogendoorn, Oosterbeek and Praag (2011). According to them,teams composed of equivalent combinations of men and women give better performance interms of revenues, earnings per share and profits.Place table 1 hereThe values in table 1 are calculated by Herring (2009) by the help of a survey, which heconducted in U.S among the for profit organizations’ employees. The values suggest that highergender diversity leads to higher revenue, more customers base and higher than averageprofitability.2.4.2 MUTUAL MONITORING:A key to successful performance is the mutual monitoring, that is, team members monitoringeach other’s work. Heavy monitoring will lead to more winning results. Gender diverse teamsperform better because they monitor each other more intensively than teams composed ofonly males or only females (Hoogendoorn et al. 2011). This has also received support by Herring(2009) that gender diversity affects group processes positively.2.4.3 ATTENDANCE OF BOARD MEMBERS:Adams and Ferreira (2008) demonstrate that attendance of male directors gets better the moregender diverse the board is. This can be attributable to some facts: directors improve theirattendance when their peers or newly appointed male directors are more compliant andregular (peer effect); attendance improves with more women (gender effect). Thesehypotheses were tested and the gender effect proved to be statistically significant.Another reason for better attendance is director turnover. The fact that the women and newlyappointed men, due to their high attendance, replace irregular directors, leads to attendanceimprovement of male incumbents.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 8
  • 2.4.4 EQUITY BASED PAY:Presence of women results in higher compensation pay for directors. This has been supportedby Adams and Ferreira (2008). According to them, women are more likely to be a part ofnominating and corporate governance committee, which set the compensation pay fordirectors. However, they are less likely to be a part of the compensation committee thatdecides the CEO’s pay, showing that women do not significantly affect CEO’s rewards.2.4.5 MONITORING:Adams and Ferreira (2008) document that board with higher gender diversity results in toughermonitoring. Evidence shows that women are more likely to be assigned to monitoringcommittee because of their regular attendance in board meetings. Presence of womenintensifies the monitoring process. Tough boards, however, do not improve overallperformance, but they do add value to the firm, depending on other governance mechanismsof the firm. Presence of tough boards in the firms already having otherwise strong governancewill lead to over-monitoring. Hence, gender diverse boards are beneficial for firms that haveotherwise weak governance.2.4.6 VALUES:Male and female directors differ considerably in their values. Adams and Funk (2011) documentfemale directors to be extra oriented towards benevolence and stimulation, and moreuniversally concerned than male directors. However, they are less bothered than men aboutother values, such as, security, tradition, conformity and power. These values were measuredthrough Schwartz’s 40-question Portrait Value Questionnaire by Adam and Funk (2011).Matsa and Miller (2011) have also supported this. According to their research, female leadersshow more self-transcendent values than male leaders. These values are related tobenevolence and universalism. The authors further relate it to a survey according to which,women are found to consider working relationships, customer quality and communicationsignificant. Men, on the other hand, are found to consider rewards, such as compensation andcareer development more appreciably than women.2.4.7 SHAREHOLDERISM:Adams and Funk (2011) demonstrate that the fact that women pay more heed to universalismsuggests that they are more stakeholders oriented than men. Male directors, on the otherhand, care more about shareholders, due to valuing power and achievement more thanfemales.An interesting point shared by Matsa and Miller (2011) is that, although women are morestakeholders oriented than men, their strategies favor long-term shareholders’ interests. Thisis, because female leaders reduce the employees’ turnover. They think of their employees to beGENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 9
  • assets for the firm rather than the cost. Although fewer layoffs result in higher short-term costs,it leads to long-term profits due to retention of experienced employees, who prove to be firm’sassets in raising revenues, and overall, increase shareholders’ value in long term. Also, lowturnover reduces the hiring and training costs of the firms.Herring (2009) has also suggested that diversity promises higher overall corporate earnings andincome.Hence, gender diverse organizations lead to higher labor productivity because of fewer lay-offs.This incurs short-term labor costs, but leads to higher shareholder profits in long run.2.4.8 RISK TAKING:The fact that gender diversity affects firms’ outcomes depends on general characteristics, suchas age and tenure, observed in male and female directors. Adams and Funk (2011) identify thatmale directors usually are older in age, mostly married and have more children. Whereas,female directors are younger, usually single and have fewer children as compared to maledirectors.Female leaders are less tradition and security oriented than men. They welcome openness tochange, suggesting that they are slightly more risk loving than male directors. Adams and Funk(2011) and Matsa and Miller (2011) suggest that women in the boardroom are at higherreadiness to take risks.Croson & Gneezy (2009) also acknowledge that men and women who readily take risks usuallyopt for managerial positions. Such women are few in number than men. But these femaleleaders show similar risk taking attitudes as men.2.4.9 COMPETITION:Women and men react in different ways to competition. Croson and Gneezy (2009), andNiederle and Versterlund (2009) suggest that differences in attitudes towards competitionaffects both, the performance and the participation in competitive environments. Theirresearch papers tell that in situations that offer higher competition, men are more willing toparticipate than women. However, those women that willingly participate in such competitiveenvironments perform as well as men do.2.4.10 GENDER DIVERSITY IN GROUP AND GROUP PERFORMANCE:A gender diverse group is not always a better performing group. Many of the researches showthat these groups have innovation and creativity, but communication breakdowns, lowcohesion and turnover can affect the performance. However, these issues can be easilyresolved by training, mentoring and feedback. As Herring, 2009 has suggested in his researchpaper that diversity at one hand, increase group conflict and reduces communication, but onthe other hand, increases the links, information sources and creativity.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 10
  • 3 CRITICAL ANALYSIS:3.1 HIGHER GENDER GAP IN ECONOMICS AND POLITICS:Research shows that there is narrowing gender gap in health and education at one hand; it iswidened in economics and political empowerment at the other hand.North America has the highest narrowing of this gap, while Middle East and North Africa havehighest widening of this gap.Pakistan is not performing well due to its gender gap being widened in the subsequent yearsfrom 2006 onwards. Steps need to be taken to encourage women to participate more in theworkforce and eliminate prejudice against women.3.2 STEREOTYPE AS WELL AS SELF PERCEPTION LEADS TO THE DIFFERENCES:Where stereotypical beliefs hold the major responsibility towards creating differences, theconcept of self-selection also plays a major role. This is, because of some values preferred bymen and women differently. Men are more oriented towards power, whereas women are moreuniversally concerned.Even if factors such as women devoting more time to family and kids, and discrimination issuesare kept aside, it is found that men prefer challenging tasks more than women. However, ifwomen take up the challenging tasks, they perform equally well as men.3.3 MEN ARE GIVEN GROWTH RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THEIR CAREER:Many researchers have shown that when men and women start their careers after their MBA,men progress faster than women. Women are given more mentoring and less sponsorship,which is the other way round for men. Women are also paid less than are men in organizationsand they occupy lower level positions more and climb up the ladder at a slower pace.3.4 MORE WOMEN WEIGHS HEAVILY AGAINST NO WOMEN:Various studies have been conducted showing favorable results by implementing genderdiversity at workplaces, hence favoring gender diversity. Studies indicate that gender diverseteams result in higher profits, higher customer base, creative teams and improved businessperformance.Boardrooms that consist of more women lead to improved attendance of male incumbents,tougher monitoring of the teams and higher mutual monitoring within the teams composed ofboth males and females.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 11
  • The values preferred by women, such as benevolence and universalism, lead to a morestakeholder oriented environment that favors long term shareholders’ benefits. Also, femaleleaders equally and at some instances, are slightly more risk oriented than male leaders. This isprevalent in women who aim to achieve top managerial positions and struggle hard for it ascompared to normal women population.4 CONCLUSION:Gender discrimination is prevalent in organizations, especially in top management. The majorreason is the stereotypical belief about women. There are various organizational challengesfaced by women such as low career growth, low pay, high mentoring and low sponsorship.These issues not only lead to the dissatisfaction and higher stress on employees’ level, but alsobecome the barrier for such organizations to compete with the institutes implementing genderdiversity.Hiring gender diverse teams positively affects the firm’s growth. At one hand, it makes the maleboard members regular, while at the other hand, it increases the equity based pay. Similarly,presence of women at one hand increases the monitoring of employees, at the other hand,shows more care for these stakeholders due to being more benevolent. This results in overallemployees’ satisfaction, fewer turnovers, higher productivity and economies of scale in longrun of the firm.Hence, gender diversity can be taken as a strategy to gain competitive advantage in a businessenvironment. But this strategic competitive advantage has not been implemented inorganizations fully. To implement gender diversity in organizations, companies should traintheir employees and make them aware about its benefits. Tasks should be divided in such a waythat talents of men and women can be utilized at maximum.5 RECOMMENDATIONS:Every human being on the earth needs to realize and accept that no two people are alike. Rightfrom the cognition to the processing to the motor action, every human being differs in someway or the other. The first person being right does not necessarily mean that the second personis wrong. By accepting people for who they are rather than what one wants them to be,organizations can prosper and lead to the betterment of their societies.According to Ibarra, Carter & Silva (2010, p. 83), many organizations such as Unilever and IBMhave established sponsorship programs to promote high potential women. If organizationsworldwide communicate the clear goals of mentoring programs, identify mentors and sponsorson the basis of these goals, train and hold sponsors accountable, they can bring a constructiverevolution in an organization.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 12
  • To avoid miscommunication, both the sexes should use smart communication styles and avoidthose communication habits that are not appropriate to use with the opposite gender. This canbe done by acknowledging and respecting the differences that exist in men and women.To accept and work in a diversity environment, employees need to identify with theirorganizations and need to develop a sense of belongingness. To achieve this, leaders shouldarrange the training and motivation initiatives for their employees to increase theirparticipation, and ask for their inputs in organization’s decisions.Nurture plays a significant role in reducing gender gap. Providing equivalent education, treatingwomen with equality at family level and avoiding to stereotype girls to opt for certainprofessions may help promoting gender diversity, as Hoffman, Gneezy and List (2011) haveshown that cultural differences and nurture significantly affect one’s cognitive abilities.Companies should help their employees in expanding their social networks inside and outsidethe organization, as it will help in relationship building and strengthen the engagement,commitment, ties among the employees and visibility. Networking is very important in anorganization so that male and female employees can voice their opinions without anyhesitation and make their skills utilized for the success of organization. This will take theemployees out of isolation and comfort zone, which creates a bubble around them.Companies dealing with international assignments can provide flexibility and support to theiremployees, which will lessen the burden on spouses and families. Facilities as such as child care,elder care and visits for spouses can encourage women to work in such organizations.Goals of the gender diversity training and programs should be defined first and these goalsshould be carried to employees. They should be based on the careful assessment of currentculture of organization and translated into targets against which performance can bemeasured. Feedback should also be provided for achieving goals. In this way, both the sexes willrealize that they are important and will be motivated to work.In some training programs, female employees who are on middle and top managerial positionsin the organization should be asked to share their views and problems that they have facedduring their career growth.Companies should look for young talent in universities. This will lead to meritocratic genderdiversity.Recognition and rewarding policies should be used equally for both men and women, as it willencourage them and give them the required spark to mentor others.Diversity should be incorporated in multi-cultural and growth-oriented organizations, but not inthe organizations which are involved in downsizing, as this will lead to perception ofdiscrimination by employees.The extent of gender diversity should be on the basis of needs of people, their skills and the jobability requirements. This need assessment should be done on the basis of challenges faced byorganization, demographic make-up and attitude of employees.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 13
  • Areas requiring creativity, flexibility, problem solving and innovation should have a diverseworkforce.Shareholders and the corporate owners need to demand fully diversified boardrooms andexecutive teams for their firms. This will lead to their firm’s strategic growth and advancement.Employees should be encouraged to disclose to their superiors, any discrimination practicesthat employees have noticed in their firms.From the SWOT analysis perspective, diversity initiatives should be considered as a challengerather than as threats to overcome. This will lead to a positive mindset of achieving the goalsthrough diversity, rather than as a pessimistic approach towards accepting diversity inorganization.GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 14
  • FIGURES & TABLES:FIGURE 1 GLOBAL PATTERN, 2011 SOURCE: GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT, BY HAUSMANN, TYSON AND ZAHIDI (2011)FIGURE 2 REGIONAL PERFORMANCE (THE GLOBAL GENDER GAP INDEX, 2011) SOURCE: GLOBAL GENDER GAP REPORT, BY HAUSMANN, TYSON AND ZAHIDI (2011)GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 15
  • FIGURE 3 THE BATTLE FOR FEMALE TALENT IN EMERGING MARKETS: HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW, (HEWLETT AND RASHID, 2010) Perceived Gender Discrimination 45% 36% 32% 25% 19% 18% Brazil China India Russia UAE United StatesFIGURE 4 WHY MEN & WOMEN CHANGE JOBS (CARTER & SILVA, 2010)60504030 Men Women2010 0 Career Growth More Money Career Change Difficult ManagerGENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 16
  • TABLE 1MEAN AND PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION FOR BUSINESS OUTCOMES OF ESTABLISHMENTS BYLEVELS OF GENDER DIVERSITY (HOOGENDOORN, OOSTERBEEK AND PRAAG, 2011): GENDER DIVERSITY LEVEL Low Medium High CHARACTERISTICS (<20%) (20-44%) (45%+)Percent in gender diversity category 28 28 44Mean sales revenue (in millions) 45.2 299.4 644.3Mean number of customers (in 20.5 27.1 36.1thousands)Percent with higher than average 45 58 62market sharePercent with higher than average 45 58 62profitabilityGENDER DISCRIMINATION AND THE IMPACT OF GENDER DIVERSITY Page 17
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