The Cultural Context
The cultural context reveals quite insight full information about the case. At first it is important to describe what does the cultural context actually represents. The cultural context observes the characters in a society and the natural outcome of their behavior and opportunities by the influence of their culture. Keeping the perspective in mind, it is quite interesting to observe that Liz Ames does not belong to a third world country where the role of the women has still not been accepted to such a greater extent as has been done in the western society. Furthermore, she belonged to the I.T industry which in itself is an industry based innovative and creative mind set. Facing sexism in such a cultural perspective is even further astonishing.
The information from the case, however explains that the society has still not been able to raise above its gender biases. We still live in a society where Men are provided preference over women. This is generally due the misconception or incorrect perception with regards to the capabilities of the women to perform strenuous task as business management. Whether it is a highly developed society of United States, United Kingdom, or Europe, a high tech industry like Information technology or the education, the women are considered to less important as compared to their male counterparts. The cultural context for women still cannot be considered highly supportive.
The Physical Setting
There are a number of physical settings in the case study however the most prominent physical settings has been shown by the memo itself. The physical setting shown by the memo depicts a work place which apparently looks like a great place. Where there are no gender biases and all the sexes are provided equal opportunity to perform their best. However the roles and perception start to change when a women is provided a position which involves decision making. At this particular position the environment changes to a considerable extent.
It appears that the male employees would like to see the female employees in their regular task only. Until this happens the Vision Software is a great place to work. As long as women are provided a decision making role, the attitude and perception starts to differ. In the physical setting of the vision software, the female employees are treated with unwelcomed attitude when they try to incorporate their personal thoughts with the objective of the firm. At Vision Software their concepts are ideas are not appreciated and as a result of these attitudes there starts to build a hostile environment for the female executives which ultimately lead to their departure from the company.
The Institution, Its Goals and Roles
The institution mentioned in the case study is Vision Software that excels at providing educational software to its clienteles. The goals of such institutions are quite appear ant. At first their prime objective is to serve the clienteles in the best way possible, to lead the competition, and to opt for the most innovative methods prevailing in the business environment. The role of its management however does not match with the goals of the institution. This is because in order to achieve any of the above mentioned objectives it is integral that the institution avails the services of finest of the human resources.
The actual role of the management of the institution is quite against it. A number of senior female employees of the company have left their job in the recent past. No efforts have been made by the management to understand the reason behind such exceptional employees leaving the company when there does not appear any possible reason for such. The Institution’s area of expertise lies in the field of educational software. Education is an area where women have shown tremendous qualities and abilities. The institution on the other hand does not enable them to play their required role in the decision making. For these apparent reasons the institution might not be able to achieve its objective.
Identification of values and / or beliefs involved
There were not any values or rules involved in the case study, however there were a number of beliefs in the case study which were not positive. One of the beliefs that emerge from the case study is that women cannot perform the same way as the man do. This belief has been apparent in the attitude of the employees and management of the company. Liz Ames and other female employees in the company had to face such discrimination in the past. This, in the view of the Liz also led to those women parting away from the company and moving to other opportunities.
As Liz described in the case, how they were taken non-seriously by their male colleagues with their presentations and performances with respect to new ideas and concepts. This shows that there is a general belief irrespective of the fact how disillusioned that is, that the female employees can only work in normal conditions and they cannot perform exceptionally in more responsible positions. Furthermore, Liz Ames has the belief that if she conveys her thoughts to the CEO of the company, she might have to face repercussions for this. If she did not have such belief, she would have confidently conveyed her thoughts to John Clark, the CEO of Vision software.
There are a number of interaction scenes in the case. One is where the Liz Ames consults with the author with respect to the issue, however more important is the scene where the author describes the scene of a presentation where the female employee was not given proper attention. According to the scene, the author remembers an incident of the presentation where a female executive was expected to deliver a presentation. As soon as she started the presentation, the male colleagues indulged in direct conversation with each other and did not pay the proper attention that was required to understand the concept being provided by the female executive. Once the presentation was over she was informed that idea has already been experimented and cannot be tried again.
She was not provided enough chance to express the innovations that she had as compared to other ideas. This was the kind of attitude that had highly negative effect on the objective. On the contrary, whether these were the violations of folkways or more is matter of opinion. In my view the folkways and mores were not violated as these are the norms in corporate setting. Underestimating the women at workplace is general practice, however unjustified it is, and it is a norm at the work place. For this obvious reason although I believe that the rule had a negative impact on the objective, the folkways and mores in my opinion had not been violated.
After reading and analyzing the case in detail, I have come to the conclusion that the Liz Ames must convey the memo to the CEO. There are various aspects of the case and each must be analyzed in detail. Conveying of the memo is highly crucial this is because until or unless is the issue addressed it won’t be solved. It is integral not only for the future of the Liz Ames but also for the other female employees of the company. The issues would certainly affect the other female employees of the company specially those who would be provided a decision making role. Whenever they would be required to take responsible decisions, and there would be non-serious attitude from the male counterparts they too would feel the same pain that at present is being is felt by Liz Ames.
However, she must keep this in mind that sending the memo to CEO would not bring any instant result. Rather, it would take considerable time to change the attitude of the male employees and the management to that of the perception related to the female employees. Rather than taking individual steps, Liz Ames should also seek support from other female employees of the company and should ask for their help and contribution with respect to the matter. She can also consult the former female employees of the company and can invite them create a joint effort to raise the issue before the management of the company.
Reardon, Kathleen K. 'The Memo Every Woman Keeps In Her Desk'. Harvard Business Review.
N.p., 1993. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.