Managing Diversity: Women at work

Essay by rakeshcaltonCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2008

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Introduction:Gender equality in work place has still not found wide spread acceptability. In general, people are genuinely surprised to encounter a female mechanic or a female bus driver Tharenou (1998) reports finding that because "women are stereotyped as unsuitable for executive roles, do not fit into male dominated organisational cultures and do not have the networks needed, they have few opportunities to advance".

Gender Stereotyping:Research suggests that women workers despite being better qualified and equally experienced then their male colleagues, take longer to advance to senior levels (Wood & Lindorff, 1998). According to Williams (2000) the number of women completing undergraduate study equal men, but continue to be unrepresented in postgraduate research.

In examining gender-based differences in promotion seeking and achievement, Edgly (1987, in Wood & Lindorff, 1998) introduces the concept of 'social role theory', which proposes that "differences in attitudes could occur because of the different socialization experiences of males and females".

Gender roles are formed through shared societal expectations about how an individual should behave and the qualities they should possess (Edgly, 1987 in Wood & Lindorff, 1998).

Gender differences have been reported in personality traits. Men express and are stereotyped in masculine traits such as "decisive, independent, masterful, assertive, rational, objective, self-confident and self-competent" (Eagly, 1987; Heilman, 1997 in Tharenou 1998:7). Marshall (1997, in Wood & Lindorff 1998) argued that females exhibit feminine 'communal' type traits such as caring and nurturing, interpersonal sensitivity, cooperation, interdependence and emotional expressiveness.

Women in workforce:Tharenou (1998) notes that women who do occupy senior mangers and executives positions tend to work in "female-dominated industries such as community services" or hold positions emphasising feminine qualities such as human resources and public relations.

In the past thirty years, women have made significant progress in the labour force. Laws have been passed to prohibit sexual...