Gender Discrimination : A Literature Review On Gender Based Discrimination

Gender Discrimination : A Literature Review On Gender Based Discrimination

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Gender in The Workplace: A Literature Review Regarding Gender Based Discrimination

World War II brought upon us a time of scarcities: In food, in money, in soldiers, and in the working class. From 1940-1945 the midst of the war brought a shift upon the workers in North America. Suddenly, with most of the men overseas or in tied up in military affairs, it became acceptable for middle class women to workforce. 1940-1945 showed an amazing 50% increase in the female labour force with an incredible 462% increase in employment in the defense department (Quast, 2011). It seems hard to imagine how little we could have known on how this necessary alteration in our working practices would forever alter the foundation of not only our workplaces, but give rise to the new issue of gender equality in the workplace that still burns as brightly today as it did almost 75 years ago. With rising costs of living, it became an economic necessity that women continue to enter the job market, but with weekly wages for skilled female labourers averaging at only 59% of that of males, the gender wage gap was borne, and the battle for gender equality and females rights began to grow (Quast, 2011).
Through the years many gave much time and effort to produce a market free of gender biases and discrimination. 1963 saw the passing of the Equal Pay Act by John F. Kennedy, deeming anyone with similar skills be paid similar wages regardless of whether they were male or female (Civil Rights: Equal Pay, 2015). The following year saw the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 making it illegal for employers to discriminate potential employees based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, or sex (History.com, 2015). Three years later Lyndon Johnson passed ...


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...tation in managerial and administrative positions has increased from 30% to 50% in most professional sectors (Cohen and Huffman, 2007). In addition, another promising fact when gender is concerned is that promotions to higher positions within the workplace seem to be more likely when genders are the same between the promoter and the promotee (Cohen and Huffman, 2007). From this we can extrapolate that as more women attain higher positions within the job market, more women should in turn receive equal opportunities in receiving vied for promotions, giving some hope to the shattering of the proverbial and haunting “Glass-Ceiling”. The “Glass-Ceiling” theory states that even if females are able to break into the administrative hierarchy of a company, there will always be an invisible barrier preventing them from truly reaching the top levels (Wright and Baxter, 1995).


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