Gender Discrimination at Walmart

explanatory Essay
2006 words
2006 words

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and private employer, has established a highly profitable business centered on a low-cost strategy that utilizes logistical efficiencies to create a competitive advantage. Yet, to maintain this low-cost strategy, Walmart has engaged in ethically questionable practices, including gender discrimination in promotion and pay. While the Supreme Court recently ruled against class certification of 1.5 million women in the Dukes v. Walmart case due to a lack of proof that Walmart operated under a “general policy of discrimination”, overwhelming evidence demonstrates that gender discrimination is a persistent problem rooted in the culture of Walmart, despite gender-neutral policies (Biskupic, 2011).

During the 1950’s and 60’s in northwest Arkansas, a surplus of unskilled labor existed due to “increasing mechanization of agricultural work”. Leveraging this pent up demand for employment, Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, provided these agricultural men with prideful responsibilities as managers of his retail stores, while employing their wives and daughters as low wage clerks (Lichenstein, 2011). Forty to fifty years later, in an economy sagged by high unemployment, particularly among an unskilled, low educated workforce, the practice of promoting men to run stores while women are forced to settle for low wage labor remains prevalent at Walmart. In fact, statistical analysis from plaintiffs in the 2001 Dukes v. Walmart lawsuit showed that women comprised nearly 70% of hourly employees, but only 33% of management positions (Hymowitz, 2011). The overwhelming disparities between men and women in management relative to the proportion of those in hourly positions further cements the continual existence ...

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In this essay, the author

  • States that ayman, r., and korabik, k. (2010). leadership: why gender and culture matter.
  • Explains that walmart employs ethically questionable practices to maintain its low-cost strategy, including gender discrimination in promotion and pay.
  • Explains that keller, t., eagly, mitchell, a. a, & ristikari. are leader stereotypes masculine?
  • Explains that the official site for the women in dukes v. wal-mart stores, inc.
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