Gender Discrimination at Workplaces and its Impacts: Problem Statement
Despite great strides towards a modern, more inclusive world; discrimination and harassment in the workplace still remains an ugly truth which needs to be addressed. People tend to think that discrimination and harassment are those huge instances which lead to filing of lawsuits, but in reality, majority of employees have faced some or the other form of discrimination or micro aggressions. Discrimination can span across various aspects like age, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and in fact even based on abilities and skills and field of study.
A workplace is where people spend majority of their day and time. Employees strive for success and recognition with a hope that they’ll be given a fair shot. But when workplace discrimination occurs, its effects extend beyond just a stalled career. The stress, burden and emotional drain can take a toll on the mental as well as physical health of employees. As a result, both the employee and the organization suffer. Discrimination leads to counterproductive habits and loss of focus, like leaving work early, arriving late, not completing tasks on time and it also increases the employee turnover rate of organizations.
While is obvious that the victims of discrimination and harassment suffer, people fail to consider the impact that it has on other employees also. It leads to an environment of hostility, mistrust, suspicion, resentment and rivalry. It in turn affects team cohesion and productivity.
India being a patrifocal society, women still face issues balancing their work and family life. Several studies have concluded that women have underrepresentation in the corporate boards and managerial positions. Existence of glass ceiling and the gender-pay gap has been proved by studies time and time again. Several times Companies underestimate the ‘Man-Days’ which are required to complete a project when making their bids, this led to people working for extra hours every day to complete the projects on time and putting in extra hours is considered as a requirement to prove one’s dedication and performance. Women generally have inhibitions putting in extra work hours due to various responsibilities which enforces managers to increase gender pay gap leading to difference in pay in organizations. Several studies have been done regarding discrimination but availability of literature on the impact of Discrimination of women is still very limited.
- Glass Doors to the Corner Office Women and Leadership, Sophia Zhao and Sunil Puri, 2017, Centre for Creative Leadership
- Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace, Thompson Reuters, 2019, Thompson Reuters Company Website, Newspaper Articles
- How Bloomberg Buys the Silence of His Employees, Silver-Greenberg, Jessica; Kitroeff, Natalie, 2020, New York Times
- Corporate India: Women have lower representation in senior positions [Corporate Trends], Puri, Mahima; Biswas, Shreya, 2011, The Economic Times
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- Impact of Gender Discrimination on Workplace Variables, Poonam Arora And Unnati Malam, 2019, I-Manager’s Journal on Management
- Why Still so Few? A Theoretical Model of the Role of Benevolent Sexism and Career Support in the Continued Underrepresentation of Women in Leadership Positions, Ivona Hideg and Winny Shen, 2019, ournal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 2019, Vol. 26(3) 287–303
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India implemented Liberalization, Globalization and Privatization in 1991 to boost the falling economy. During this period, gender discrimination was evident in all the sectors and industries. Even after all these years, it has increased in gravity if not remained the same. Women have been having problems in the workplace related to hiring, promotions, unequal job conditions, remuneration etc. These factors affect the performance of women in an organization leading to not receiving what they deserve and see others prosper for example other men. Gender discrimination puts women in a fix which does not help them grow personally or professionally which takes a negative hit on their motivation to work. This can be further seen in how women are treated at a workplace or the attitude that has been shown towards women. Furthermore, women are also given less opportunities than men, the main reason being their gender which can be seen in the above given ways in which they are treated or considered.
We will be specifically talking about discrimination in the IT/ITES industry which has been given the title of “Poster Child” of a liberalized India. Studies have shown that there has been an increase in discrimination due to feminization of employment and economic restructuring which has in turn increased the pressure on women to maintain a work life balance due to a stereotypical thought process that women do not get a break from their house chores even after slogging at their workplace for hours. This inequality exists due to a patriarchal society which does not want to change their thinking about women. There is no doubt that socio-economic conditions have improved in the country post liberalization and that has opened a lot of doors for various sectors and domains in various industries, but, after all this, Indian women face far more different problems than those in the Western half of the globe.
A major reason for that is the lack of a universal state welfare benefits system for periods and unemployment. The prevalence of a patriarchal society has led to strong cultural prohibitions in several parts of the country which prohibit women from taking paid work outside home.
With the lack of presence of trade unions in the IT sector, employment relations in India are Individualized with regards to pay, the salaries are discussed confidentially between the employer and the employee behind closed doors. Several policies have been put in place for equal pay but due to segregation of male employees in positions of leadership leads to a gender pay gap.
Gender discrimination also leads to lower job satisfaction which can be seen through the unfair treatment that they receive at their workplace. Studies till now have shown that women face much more gender discrimination, gender derogation and (OSTW)organizational sexism toward women prevails. It leads to alterations in many roles in organizations such as hiring, promotion, autonomy/feedback, unequal job conditions. Unequal job conditions are viewed as a significant issue, not simply because they have an effect on jobs but they drain the skills and abilities of individuals in a society. Experiments are conducted to study whether the job applications which vary only according to the candidate’s gender, are submitted to actual work vacancies. Promotions generally are based on the feedback mechanism from the employer and that is why an anti-discrimination policy should be implemented until men and women are not considered on the same scale for evaluation and personal biases aren’t removed. Gender discrimination also leads to lower self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, insults, exclusions, trafficking and gender-based violence. Women face resistance to enter the patriarchal society from co-worker to family members and because of which women are excluded or tied up to women centric roles though being equally equipped to perform other tasks or roles equally well.
It is found that men are assigned to more critical assignments that lead to career advancement than women according to a recent Catalyst study of 1,660 business school graduates. A third of the men reported that their assignments garnered them a great deal of attention from the C-suite, only about a quarter of the women could say the same. Due to workplace issues and not just family priorities, high potential women are found leaving their careers, which is reflected in a McKinsey report which shows that in higher ranks of organizations, the number and percentage of female representation is small. When ethical dilemmas were concerned, women were far more outraged over morally questionable decisions, even though this made less business sense.
On the other hand, the lesser representation of women at workplaces has less to do with women being less likely to receive job offers, but more with fewer applications by women. But when the motherhood scenario came into picture, mothers were significantly less likely to be recommended for hire due to the stigma that they would be less committed to the job.
The analysis also shows that at entry level women were rated equivalent or even higher than me, but as the level increases the gap increases too.
Till now, whatever has been mentioned above showcases that gender discrimination is very evident at workplaces and this hampers the growth of women to the extent of making them think that they are not good enough for the job and that results into them, either dropping out of the corporate ladder or they lose whatever motivation they have to become successful in professional life and just monotonously work without having any further aspirations.
Aims and Objectives
- To assess the gender discrimination in work force at various levels.
- To propose practices to help reduce the sticky floor and glass ceiling effects.
- Effects of Gender Discrimination on employee performance.
- Impact of discrimination on employee motivation.
Hypothesis for the study.
- Gender discrimination has an impact on stability and job performance of individuals.
- Gender Discrimination at the workplace decreases Job Satisfaction in women.
- Gender Discrimination makes it harder for women to climb up the corporate ladder.
- Gender Discrimination Training Practice have significant impact on Employees
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- Ivona Hideg, Winny Shen, Why Still so Few? A Theoretical Model of the Role of Benevolent Sexism and Career Support in the Continued Underrepresentation of Women in Leadership Positions, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10.1177/1548051819849006, (154805181984900), (2019). From https://ezproxy.svkm.ac.in:2246/doi/pdf/10.1177/1548051819849006
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- Arshad, Sobana Hameed (2020). Gender Discrimination and Job Satisfaction. _International Journal of Scientific Research and Management (IJSRM)_ 8 (5).
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