- Is discrimination still a major issue in the work place in this day and age?
According to the internet resource WiseGeek (2013), the word “Discrimination” is defined as treating a person in a less favourable manner based on specific characteristics of a person. Under the laws of the United States of America, the term “discrimination” is defined as “the act of denying rights, benefits, justice, equitable treatment, or access to facilities available to all others, to an individual or group of people because of their race, age, gender, handicap or other defining characteristic” (lawdictionary.com, 2013). While the US values and supports equality, discrimination is still an issue that is present in today’s society. Previous discriminatory issues such as gender, race, sexual orientation and age are replaced with other real issues such as economic discrimination (i.e. denied opportunities to own homes by lower economic income persons).
- In what way does the educational system lead to discrimination?
The access to education may lead to economic discrimination. In most parts of the world, access to education is still difficult which leads to poverty and suffrage. The structure of education has contributed to the discrimination simply because less educated people become less economically significant in today’s society.
- Why do women continue to consistently earn less than their male counterparts?
Studies indicate that as the compensation level rises, the discrepancy in pay due to gender also increases. In a study conducted by the Census Bureau, of about 71 million full time male employees, 8.1 percent or (5.7 million) earned US$ 100,000 or more per year. However for about 52 million full time female employees, only 2.5 percent earned US$ 100,000 and above annually during the same survey period. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research calls this “continuing occupational segregation” (Bosworth, 2013). Women are at a disadvantage due to their child rearing capabilities. When a woman gets pregnant and gives birth, regardless of her career or position in the organization, she has to take a leave, work less hours, becomes limited in terms of mobility, etc. so much so that men are preferred over women because of this possible discontinuity. Women are traditionally more home-based thus the psychology of the work place being predominantly male has remained prevalent (Analytictech, 2013). Other experts believe that the gap between men and women’s salary was tackled not due to gender differences but to preference. According to Warren Farrell who wrote the book “Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth behind the Pay Gap – What Women can Do About It” the bias of women to work in less demanding industries affect their level of compensation. Similarly, age may be a factor. According to a study conducted in 2010 by Research Advisors, women earn as much as men if they are between the ages of 22 to 30, single and without children. In fact, these women earn 8% more than men of the same age bracket; a considerable statistic considering at that it is evident in 147 of 150 cities in the whole of the United States. With more female graduates, it is quite plausible that women will earn as much as men thereby closing the gap in compensation between genders. This is helped by the fact that the US has increasing knowledge-based industries and dwindling manufacturing industries. Race is also a factor since most African Americans, Hispanics and Asian women are more likely to acquire a college degree and join the workforce, compared to their male counterparts.
- If discrimination does still exist economically and socially in our country, then what could be some possible solutions to dealing with this problem?
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prescribes that to the law prescribes that whoever is discriminated should be put in the same position he or she was in as if discrimination did not take place. There are other ways of addressing discrimination which starts with education, better job opportunities, trainings and other organizational development strategies which are broad but can be specialized to fit the type of discrimination experienced.
Analytictech (2013). Gender Diversity in the Workplace. Retrieved from http://www.analytictech.com/mb021/gender.htm Retrieved on April 27, 2013
Bosworth, K. (2013) What Is Gender Inequality in the Workplace?. Demand Media. Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/gender-inequality-workplace-9778.html Retrieved on April 27, 2013
Brice, B. (2013). Is America Winning the War on Drugs? The Washington Times. Retrieved from http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/common-sense-conservative/2013/mar/28/america-winning-war-drug-policy/ Retrieved on April 27, 2013
Laine, J. (2012). Poverty Rate in US is Soaring: 7 Ways to Reverse This Trend. PolicyMic. Retrieved from http://www.policymic.com/articles/11717/poverty-rate-in-us-is-soaring-7-ways-to-reverse-this-trend Retrieved from April 27, 2013
Law.Dictionary (2013). Discrimination: Legal Definition. Retrieved from http://law.yourdictionary.com/discrimination Retrieved on April 27, 2013
Riddix, M. (2011). Four Ways to Solve the Poverty Problem in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.benzinga.com/general/politics/11/09/1943890/4-ways-to-solve-the-poverty-problem-in-the-united-states Retrieved on April 27, 2013
WiseGeek (2013). What is Discrimination? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-discrimination.htm Retrieved on April 27, 2013
World Hunger.Org (2013). Hunger in America: 2013 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts. Retrieved from http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/us_hunger_facts.htm Retrieved on April 27, 2013
United States Bureau of the Census. (2011). Poverty Thresholds. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/threshld/index.html Retrieved on April 27, 2013