What influences Gender Inequality in the workplace?
Functionalists have claimed that inequality is found in all societies and is therefore an essential part of modern day culture. Class, stratification, elites, fulfilled a function which is described as making sure that the best individuals were in the best employments (Osbourne and Van Loom, 1996).
The most predominant issue facing Modern Feminisim today is gender inequality (Cosslett and Baxter, 2013). Gender inequality alludes to unequal treatment or perceptions of an individual predicated on their gender. It emerges from contrasts in socially constructed gender roles as well as biological differences between sexes, (Wood, 1994). The terms 'sex ' and 'gender ' are not synonymous. Sociologically, they have altogether different meanings. Gender refers to the feminine and masculine characteristics and socially constructed gender roles of men and women, (Wood,1994), and ‘sex’ refers to the biological differences between men and women (Mann, 1983).
While the aspect of ‘sex’ will not vary conspicuously between different human societies, aspects of gender can vary significantly. For instance, a woman’s menstrual cycle is a biological sex characteristic, which sets them apart from men, as men do not menstruate. In contrast, a recent survey showed that women do a lot more housework than men (Huffington Post, 2014), this would be an example of a gender role.
Gender roles represent the social and behavioural standards that are expected from males and females within a particular culture or society, (Eckes and Trautner, 2000) These standards are not exhaustive and will vary in dif...
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...g children until later on in life, in an attempt to avoid the gender pay gap, (Eccles, 2014).
In conclusion, the biological characteristics of women, such as bearing a child do have some influence on the reasons for gender inequality in the workplace however it is gender, socialisation and expectations derived from gender stereotypes which is the main cuase of gender inequality and discrimination in the workplace. It is evident that the household expectations of women have a negative effect on her in other aspects of life, such as her career. It is completely plausible for men to be a stay at home dad, or “househusband” however this would go against the “gender stereotype” of a male being the masculine breadwinner who’s duty is to provide for his family. The widening gender pay gap in recent years further supports the argument of gender inequality, (Goodley, 2014).
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