Narrowing Gender Gap in the Workplace

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Narrowing Gender Gap in the Workplace

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Introduction

Gender disparity and inequality in the workplace has been a serious issue in many countries as at today. Many organizations have come up with ways to fight and close this gap but sadly it still remains. According to Billitteri (2008), there are still cases of women and men being given unfair chance of employment, promotions pay-rise. There are a number of reasons that have instigated this practice and hence there is a serious need to mitigate the imbalance. We take an insight at the Switzerland economy and working condition whereby women were discriminated extensively in that they could not even open a bank account or even make any financial decision without asking for permission from their husbands. In the current world, such practices are considered medieval and it is the high time both gender got an equal opportunity in the workplace. It is the high time that we mitigate all the stereotyping in the workplace and give everyone an equal opportunity in terms of promotions, paychecks and even authority (Billitteri, 2008).

Factors that lead to Gender-gap in the workplace

The first thing that has really led to an imbalance in the pay-gap and work opportunity in the workplace is the employer’s negative attitude towards a certain gender. Although not a very widespread behavior in the workplace, sometimes employers have the perception that a certain gender cannot have the mandate to control a certain group of people. Take a case of women, not many of them find themselves in a managerial position because there is that perception that they are not flexible enough or they are not fit to handle commanding positions and hence they may not have the chance to earn the wages that they deserve. Family demands also affect job disparity based on gender especially on female employees. They tend to get low wages as they have to work part-time to take care of their children and other family needs while men work longer hours (Jacobsen, 2007).

Other reasons include the job’s perception from the women and men themselves. Women limit themselves from work opportunities that are well paying due to their perception that that type of job belongs to men and vice-versa. This creates a self-incriminating situation whereby gender disparity arises from self creation. Another reason could be sex-segregation on occupation basis that lead to lock out of some men and women on the belief that that type of job can only be done by a certain gender or even ‘glass ceiling’ which is a social theory of barring women in their careers from getting promotions and higher wages or rather advancement on the basis of their gender. The perception that women cannot get to authority positions because they are incapable (International Labor Office, 2007).

Interventional methods

A number of interventions and strategies have been coined and are being utilized in most of the organizations all in a bid to promote gender payment gap-mending as well as balancing the promotional criteria in the workplace. The approaches discussed below would ensure that stereotyping in the workplace based on gender is mitigated completely. Some of the most effective methods include employer-based approaches and the government-based approaches. The gender gap and discrimination in the workplace in Switzerland is directly reflected by the percentage earnings between male and female as illustrated in the table below.

Gross monthly wage by professional position and gender, 2014

  Professional position
  Total 1+2 3 4 5
Women 5’548 8’221 7’185 6’190 5’180
Men 6’536 10’553 8’452 6’942 5’910
Total 6’189 9’990 8’019 6’711 5’657

Professional position:
1+2 = Top, upper and middle management
3 = Lower management
4 = Lowest management level
5 = No management function

Source: Swiss Earnings Structure Survey

The discrimination in the work place can better be explained by the percentage earnings between men and female as illustrated in the table above. Male gender earned more than their female counter parts of the same education levels, management levels and professional experience thus proves high gender discrimination at work place. Therefore the government through various methods and strategies is trying to reduce the wage gap discrimination. Thus the differences can be further explained using graphical representation (Billitteri, 2008).

Wages and income from employment – Indicators Wage level – by gender

Employer-based strategies

The employer is in a better position to implement policies and practices that integrate the family needs to the workplace hence reducing anxiety. Take a scenario where an employee, a woman in this case, has a child who needs day care and she still has to work at the same time. The management should come up with practices that offer such cares and even health insurances so that if an employee gets sick she can still get her wages since she will be given a sick-off hence improving her earnings. This means providing an environment which is result oriented and gender balanced (International Labor Office, 2007).

When it comes to advertisement of jobs, it is clear that many women or men do not go for those jobs since they are gender centered through the way they are advertised. The employers should review the way those jobs are structured as well as their description so as to promote gender-neutrality. The aspect of de-emphasizing masculinity and feminism of a job description should be emphasized so as to eliminate all the stereotyping of the gender aspects in the workplace. Hiring and information on regards to application should be made as neutral as possible to reduce intimidation. This will see to it that women and men equally contend for highly paying job positions without phobia or intimidation (Jacobsen, 2007).

Sometimes we have certain sectors which are dominated by a given gender. Take a scenario of a metal smelting industry which is a sector that is male dominated while on the other hand others are dominated females such as fashion industries. The employers should make it easy for the either genders to access any form of industry irrespective of its gender dominance. Working styles should also be harmonized to allow both genders to accommodate the demands of their families with ease (Billitteri, 2008).

Government Oriented Approaches

The government should promote an education oriented economy for both genders equally so that both girls and boys can get promoted careers in technology, mathematics, engineering and even science. When these courses are offered at equal measures then the disparity in job acquisition and payments will change for the better. Education will boost either gender to secure better paying positions in the workplace. Boosting of the education sector is a basic platform to cultivating for gender balance in payments and job promotions equitably in the workplace (Ñopo, 2012).

The government should also provide policies that support both genders in terms of caring for their families. Childcare provision policies by the employers should be enacted, parental leaves, balancing the managerial positions in the workplace based on gender and performance, Granting sick-offs and part-time job development in case one has a lot of family needs to take care of instead of dismissing them on the basis. When the government gets on the neck of the employers, then these policies will be enacted and the poverty level and income disparity will be highly mitigated as well as promotions on equal basis will be cultivated (International Labor Office, 2007).

The government should also launch a better platform for collecting and analyzing data that shows data disparity in the workplace between men and women. The analysis will set a clear visage on the gender pay gap disparity. It is through such efforts that the government will come up with ways to mitigate the gap or even lessen it to minimal disparity through identification of possible and viable improvements to existing legal framework (Jacobsen, 2007).

Research has it that women are the most affected by the pay gap in that they get twenty two percent less pay in comparison to men. That translates to an only seventy eight payment earnings for women. In regards to this, the government in collaboration with other organizations that foster gender equity should come up with ways to train women on various ways to demand for fair wages or pay. They should be educated that it is their right to earn a fair pay and making them know that there is a legal action that can be pursue in such a scenario. On the other hand, salaries to be regulated often and monitored from time to time by government officials and the management in order to ensure that employees get a fair treatment (Ñopo, 2012).

When it comes to promotions, the government should set up policies that require gender balance in the managerial positions. The promotions should be based on competitiveness and education level irrespective of gender and thus women should be given an equal opportunity to prove themselves in the managerial positions. Balancing of gender promotes cohesion in the workplace (Jacobsen, 2007).

Conclusion

Both the government and employer-based approaches are very much viable and effective and if well applied, the gender disparity in payment and promotions will definitely narrow. On the other hand, the employer based approach is more effective as it would harmonize the disparity at a more direct level. Unlike the government which might take ages to effect these policies and strategies, employers have a better chance to change the payment disparity and narrow it fairly in an indiscriminate manner as well as ensuring that promotions are done accordingly and fairly without focusing on which gender one has but rather their competence. Additionally, balancing of the genders is equally important especially in the managerial positions. Switzerland like many other nations has faced these disparities and if she employs the strategies above she will definitely prevail in ensuring that gender equity is the order of the day in each and every economic sector.

References

Billitteri, T. J. (2008). Gender pay gap. Washington, DC: CQ Press.

Ñopo, H. (2012). New century, old disparities: Gender and ethnic earnings gaps in Latin America and the Caribbean. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

International Labour Office. (2007). ABC of women workers’ rights and gender equality. Geneva: Author.

Jacobsen, J. P. (2007). The economics of gender. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.




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