Ethics may infer different meanings to different people. It however generally narrows down to what is considered in a basic sense as right or wrong. The society has placed a wide range of measures to ensure that what is right receives maximum support, and the people uphold the principles. In relation to a business context, ethics will involve making decisions that either aligns to wrongs or right. A further consideration is made for the law that the organization subscribes to within that society. Value-based and morality dilemmas within the workplace are very difficult to solve and handle. The ethical issue that has aroused my curiosity is the discrimination case. Many forms of discrimination occur within our business organizations. There are companies that are a predominantly male environment. Any presence of a recruited new female employee will stir up conflict. This is more specially for companies that have not taken the courtesy of conducting sensitivity training. In such situations, the male employees make very inappropriate remarks to the female counterpart (Ferrell, 2010). They hold the perception that a woman worker should not be accorded the same treatment. The treatment based on gender has inappropriate implication on the many qualified female workers. Subsequent response by the management to this issue, by giving special treatment to the affected female workers, may aggravate the differences. This is a far-reaching ethical challenge that may cripple the business if not handled. This case presents a challenge in determining whether to give equal opportunities to all workers. The challenge is that the management has to offer the female co-workers equal chances. This encounter will revolve around discrimination of female workers within the workplace.
Women in the workplace face unethical discrimination in many ways. In the hiring process, there are cases where an employer fails to take into account the qualifications of a person because of their gender. The employers, who have stereotyped the work description, so that it can only incorporate men, have created a tremendous disadvantage. They have it their description that the women cannot handle such roles within the business entity (Mellahi, 2010). The promotion process within many organizations also raises concerns regarding this ethical issue. There are women who have received prices as best workers in their job descriptions and further made the exemplary performance of their roles. They, however, have remained on their current jobs despite applying for promotions. Male counterparts, on the other hand, which exhibit fewer skills, are promoted to those positions. The discrimination may be spread over an extended period so that they cannot receive senior roles within the organization`s system. Further, there are cases where the women get laid off with an excuse of necessary company reorganizations or cutbacks. The male workers with less seniority are however retained.
Pay disparity between female and male employees working on the same job description is evident. A male salesman with similar work experience and training was hired, and he received more pay than a senior female salesperson. This is also seen where a woman worker is moved to a new work location to give room for a new male employee. This will create disparity as the new employee benefit from the relations that she had already created. Another evidence of the unethical discrimination in the work environment is seen in job classification. A female worker has been working for the company for five years and further putting in overtime. She returns from maternal leave and informs the employer that she will not manage to serve the overtime hours. She is demoted to a lower position and given a subsequent pay decrease. A male co-worker in the same position will be allowed to cut back on his working time for personal reasons. They do not encounter a pay reduction or a change in position.
An example of a case is that between Linzi Close and Belfast Audi Limited. Linzi argued that she was subjected to unlawful discriminated on gender issues. She had worked as an agent responsible for paperwork relating to car sales. She suffered a miscarriage and was subjected to unfair treatment by the employer. The tribunal set to investigate the case found out that the company had failed to consider disciplinary actions against her (BBC, n.d.). They instead fired her from her position. She won the lawsuit and was awarded a 12,510 Sterling Pounds.
The technical knowledge required to understand this problem would involve an analysis of this situation. The management may check on the harmful effects that this major failure within the organizational system has on its performance.
The employees have to choose in their actions, what is wrong or right. Ambitious and forward-planning managers will have to place in maximum consideration for all possible ethical challenges within the organization. The forward thinking management must implement work ethics and policies that will handle the ethical challenges that may arise. The effects of unethical discrimination will highlight the need for its consideration. Those discriminated against feel adamant resentment against the organization and the entire system. They largely lose a sense of self-worth and may result to means of destruction. The affected persons will find ways of getting back at those who effected the discrimination against them (Mellahi, 2010). This is a form of negative energy that would have been utilized to further development agendas. The destruction may occur in the form of physical violence, propagation of malicious rumors, and destruction of property.
The moral issue, in this case, is the discrimination placed against female workers by either the employer or fellow male workers. The organization`s reputation is at stake, and drastic measures have to be taken to retain its current position. Any form of discrimination destroys the company`s image and affects the perception that others about it. It will eventually influence the nature of the business, since customers will not want to associate with an organization that disrespects simple ethical issues of equal opportunities.
There are six universal moral value perspectives that have been illuminated in this challenge. The aspect of fairness to all is the most common. The women co-workers should receive equal chances within the work environment and an environment that supports the liberty of people to perform their different roles in their allocated work and jobs. The consequences of the gender discrimination on the performance of our organizations are widespread and imminent. It causes significant destruction since the victims of this form of harassment will undergo trauma that will lead to them losing their sense of self-worth (Kraal, 2010). The effects extend to the family unit at home, where the qualified females are paid less than what they are entitled to.
Care as a universal moral value should be seen when the women presenting special needs are given an appropriate chance. Those female workers in pregnancy cannot be tasked with strenuous activities. The company should allow time for them without implying punishments. Authority as a moral value applies in the administration observing the best leadership styles. Liberty for the women will allow them to make choices on various decisions that affect their lives. They will not receive pressure from other quarters into taking actions that do not align with their beliefs. Sanctity will refer to the ability of the organization to observe the religious beliefs of the women. They should not receive different treatment that may discriminate them due to holding different beliefs.
Application of values in understanding the moral issue will involve using wisdom in depicting the roles that everyone plays in the society.
There are many stakeholders in this ethical concern. Individuals concerned are the female employees who undergo this form of discrimination in the workplace. The female employees form the biggest group in this case. They are the major stakeholders in the unethical discrimination performed against them in the workplace. The management is involved as he supervisory agent that should foresee the elimination of the immoral conduct relating to discrimination. Their reach is however limited to other employees who perform gender-based discrimination. They cannot attend to ethical concerns raised against them, as management. This allows another stake is holding a party to play in. The various government agencies involved in protecting the women rights in the workplace are also involved. These agencies will uphold laws to protect the possible victims against potential discrimination.
The values that support their moral argument is that the society has to maintain fair opportunities for all. The traditions that viewed women as the weaker gender are outdated, and thus all work principles must align to the new challenges. Community values in a modernistic society will forbid any form of discrimination against their members from both genders. A workplace that respects diversity is set to benefit from all the contributions, due to disregard of gender-based roles approach. The moral argument that supports the workers claims is that they have an equal contribution to make, and their gender does not deter them from proper work performance.
The contesting duties that complicate this case are those that outline a need for more masculine effort. The women may not be able to perform as efficiently as some of the men may. Such conditions will require that the selection process be based on the ability of the person to work the specifics outlined. The workers have a more urgent and compelling claim towards observance of their rights to equal opportunities. They clearly outline for the need to give them fair playing ground where they can express their ability to meet expected standards.
Similar situations and cases that may make useful analogies for evaluating this case are other forms of discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of race has been present in some workplaces. Solution plans have shown that race has no effect on work performance, and hence the people should get equal opportunities. It highlights the need for fairness across all aspects of humanity.
Handling any form of ethical issues that arises within the work environment will require that the managers make an accurate and modern action plan. It will outline steady and very cautious approaches to matters presented. The actions have the potential to be dangerous and at times illegal due to failure to make sufficient consideration (Kraal, 2010). Gender discrimination involves unfair treatment of employees on the basis of their sex. The approach that the concerned parties will take will, therefore, work towards the elimination of this condition. There are laws that govern the equal treatment of workers, but an organization has to make more strategic steps to handle their situation on the ground.
The management can approach this form of discrimination in the workplace by implementing an active anti-discriminatory policy. The policy will define what consists of discrimination and further describe what workplace behaviors are acceptable. A major consideration is placed on all gender related topics such as marital status and pregnancy within the workplace. The policies will typically consist of details that outline all the discriminatory practices that are prohibited. Workplace policies that eliminate discrimination will enable the employer discipline workers who participate in such form of discrimination. These systems will serve to protect the concerned minority, more especially the women.
The management can only lead by example. They have to eliminate any form of gender bias against it workers (Gregory, 2003). They will have to institute very fair means of treating the employees. Female workers should receive equal treatment, and the management should further protect them from possible disastrous situations. In the hiring process, the company can work out bold plans that will outline the selection procedure. This outline should mainly focus on giving equal opportunities to all, regardless of gender. It should take a qualifications based approach, where the individual who presents the best working skillsis selected.
The management will further educate all its employees on the procedures they follow when making any form of promotions (Kraal, 2010). This outline will ensure that they understand what is expectedof them before making an attempt to a more senior position. The management may have to design a working policy that will explain all promotion processes. This policy will eliminate any possibility of bias promotions and give equal chances to workers of both genders. Promotions will aim at providing equal opportunities and do areview on work performance.
The policy will further explain the procedure followed in laying off workers. In case the need for a labor cutback arises, there should be a provision that will determine what positions should be eliminated without basis decisions on office holders.
An all-inclusive regulation guideline of the company will comprehensively explain the benefits that employees receive. There are conditions where the corporation`s health insurance does not cover the male spouse because it is assumed he will have his own. On the other hand, the male workers receive a comprehensive cover that includes their wives. This condition must be eliminated within the fair organization. The management must make a plan that enhances the equal benefit to the workers.
The judicial part of the government will play the biggest role in eliminating the unethical discrimination against women.
Although it is illegal to discriminate on sex basis, most women still experience less chance for equal work, when compared to male counterparts. The major decisions around his case will involve putting in place policies that will treat them equally (Merino, 2011). Motivation must spread within the entire organization. The first decision that will be geared towards eliminating this unethical behavior will be implementing an open-door policy. Companies that do not have a trend to take women ideas seriously should reconsider this position. The open door policy will allow the workers to talk to the management one-on-one and raise any issues that affect them.
The company management should encourage socialization. Women are denied the opportunity to making business contacts through after work activities. They can create social events that involve whole company personnel. To enhance gender awareness; the management should create mixed gender groups. When utilizing a team model, the proprietor should not ask all the male workers to perform a particulartask while female counterparts operate another. This will create the unethical disparity and may further the discrimination agenda (Merino, 2011). Conversely, if they work together on the initiatives, there is a higher chance of them viewing each other as equals. They will respect each other`s ideas and in the process eliminate any form of discrimination against the co-workers.
The management must deal with negative behavior with an aim to support women equality within the workplace. An employee that does sabotage on the processes that the control has advanced may require a disciplinary case.
The ethical challenge presented in the case involves giving equal chances to all regardless of gender. Fairness in society will be the ultimate measure of its compliance with ethical standards.
BBC. (n.d.). Woman wins sex discrimination case after miscarriages. Retrieved July 19, 2015, from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-22805132
Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2010).Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases : 2009 update. Mason, OH: South-WesternCengage Learning.
Gregory, R. F. (2003). Women and workplace discrimination: Overcoming barriers to gender equality. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Kraal, K.,Roosblad, J., & Wrench, J. (2010).Equal opportunities and ethnic inequality in European labour markets: Discrimination, gender and policies of diversity. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Mellahi, K.,Morrell, K., & Wood, G. E. (2010).The ethical business: Challenges and controversies. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Merino, N. (2011). Gender. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven Press.
Mitchell v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Inc., d.b.a. MetLife - Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-22805132