Gender Bias And The Workplace

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Gender bias has a long history and continues to occur in the workplace today. Research indicates that women remain significantly disadvantaged and mistreated compared to men in the workforce. How do the disparities of hiring, promotion, and salaries affect women in the workplace? “Statistical research by Catalyst demonstrate that women account for 46.7 percent of the U.S. labor force” (Evans, 2011, p.62), but gender bias continues to distort employers hiring decisions intensifying the challenges women endure in the workforce. Controlling bias has been a goal of American society resulting in federal, state, and local laws preventing hiring discrimination in the workplace. There is a natural tendency for superiors to prefer to work together with members of the same sex or hire applicants close to their age. Male leaders are likely to hold stereotypes about women that influence employment decisions not based on an applicant’s ability, but rather categorization. Management often perceives male applicants as the only candidate or the best fit for the job, even though the position does not require masculine characteristics. Koch et al. (2015) highlighted that highly qualified women are seen “just as competent as men” however; these women are still unlikely to be hired over their less qualified male counterparts. Laws prohibit prospective employers from asking women about family responsibilities outright, nevertheless this subject often surfaces during the interview process. As a result, hiring personnel pass over experienced female candidates when they suspect women struggle between the conflicting demands of family and career responsibilities. Men have quite different roles and responsibilities regarding family giving the... ... middle of paper ... ...which benefit an organization however, they are seldom valued as compared to the more traditional male aggressive, dominant traits. Top managerial positions come with a price for women and studies performed by Hoffnung (2004) indicate professional women delay relationships or starting a family in order to advance in their careers (as cited in Nadler & Stockdale, 2012, p. 282). Despite government regulations to promote equality within the workplace, women’s salaries continue to lag behind males in similar career with similar experiences. According to research performed by Blau & Kahn (2007) “women salaries averaged about 60% of men’s until the 1970s and rose to nearly 80% by the 1990s” (as cited in Bendick, Jr. & Nunes, 2012, p.244). Today, women on average earn approximately $.81 for every dollar that men earn in the United States (Guy and Fenley P.41 2014).

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