Write one to two paragraphs
(a) summarizing the problem area (be specific in defining the problem)
The problem that has been chosen is the gender equality gap that is evident in corporate America. This problem is important due to the implications that this has on equality and social progress. The regard that is given to equality within the corporate and business realm has direct implications on the view that society as a whole has regarding the issue. Further problems can be seen in the lack of diversity that results from these hiring practices. This can lead to an inherent lack of critical thinking due to the institutionalization of ideals. Therefore, by ensuring gender and ethnic equality in the workplace a stronger and more cohesive workforce can be established.
(b) describing what you already know about the topic
The topic of gender equality in corporate America is present in the modern world despite decades of progressive movement towards equality. This seems to be primarily due to the traditionally established priories of the corporate structure. This structure has been created in a male-dominated workplace and so is built upon these priorities. This situation further works promote the inequality and develop conditions in which the United States is considered to be challenged by these conditions.
c) why you have chosen this topic for your literature review
This topic has been chosen for review due to the importance of research on the subject. This research can help to challenge the established priorities of the corporations in question. By doing so, the implications of the research can help to develop consideration for the establishment of equality-based gender roles in business and the rest of society. This demonstrates the importance of doing the research.
The objective of the study is to analyze the present state of gender equality in American corporations and, if it is found to be lacking, provide insight into how any discrepancies should be considered.
Evaluate the evidence. Create a draft of the findings of the articles you have selected and how they contribute to our knowledge of this problem. Be sure to address each of the following items in your draft:
1. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each piece.
2. If the articles talk to each other (that is, if they support or contrast with one another), explain how and why.
3. What does the evidence tell us?
4. Is there another possible explanation you can think of?
Based on what you have read, what is your hypothesis?
In other words, what is your explanation for the findings?
5. How can you refine your question or topic even further, now that you have described the findings?
One major consideration that is demonstrated is the idea of harassment in the workplace, which is a source of inequality. According to Cheryl Lyn Kelsey, author of “Gender Inequality: Empowering Women” this is evident in the fact that “subtle sexist behaviors remind females that they are not truly equal in the workplace” (1). Despite arguments that the source of this inequality is the result of lifestyle choices, the author demonstrates that there is an inherent bias towards women workers. However, the author also argues that there are biases in the workplace for both men and women of different cultures. “Existing cultural biases deny both males and females equal opportunities in the workplace” (3). Kelsey goes on to discuss various workplace biases that target women, especially when they are perceived to be in authoritative roles. The author demonstrates that, despite various sociological and cultural differences, women in general are seen to make less overall. “The gender pay gap affects all women regardless of their backgrounds, ages, and education” (3). Research suggests that women who have obtained similar educations to men even earn fewer wages. “Male dominated occupations have higher median earnings than female dominated occupations” (4). Furthermore, the author indicates that, according to research, women “face a pay gap regardless of their race, occupation, academic achievement, age, or where they live” (4). This author demonstrates the existence of a gap in the earnings of men and women as well as minorities.
Michael S. Kimmel in “Why Men Should Support Gender Equality” discusses the background of the women's equality movement and the successes that they have made so far. He describes the movement as a monumental, revolutionary transformation of the lives of more than half the population” (102). However, he goes on to argue that there has not been enough participation by men in this movement. This, he believes, is one of the major factors leading to the present state of gender inequality in the workplace. He goes on to make the point that “one of the single greatest obstacles to women’s equality is the behaviors and attitudes of men” (103). This is an important implication in the idea of gender equality as it presents the question of whether or not these ideas can be adopted by the entire population. The author presents two primary considerations in regards to the question of whether women's rights should be considered. The author states that “gender has joined race and class as the three primordial axes around which social life is organized” (103). This is an important consideration as it demonstrates the importance that gender plays in the modern notions of social interaction and conditioning. The other major aspect that should be considered is the extent to which women have “e transformed the workplace” (103). These major changes that have taken place over the past few decades demonstrate the importance of implementing studies on gender and equality.
In the article “Workplace challenges in corporate America” the author Janice Witt Smith provides an analysis a study that was done on the major challenges that faced women and ethnic minorities in the workplace. This study was done through interviews of various people in the workforce with the desired backgrounds with the intent of isolating specific concerns that might stand out. The study found that many of the challenges that were faced were the result of the established organization and cultural environment of the business and that the problem “impacted members in qualitatively different ways that may account for the variability in work experiences and outcomes” (743).
Maria S. Floro discusses in “The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Women's Economic Empowerment” the idea that one of the major challenges facing research in the area of workforce equality is the establishment of significant research that can help to develop the underlying principles associated with the issue. The author makes the case that “systematic gender analysis of the current crisis is critical to develop viable solutions and for furthering the trend toward gender equality” (2). This provides insight into the current state of research regarding the issue, demonstrating the importance of developing new methods of inquiry and analysis of information. The report indicates that in economic crises the roles and rights of women could potentially deteriorate once more, demonstrating the need for “mechanisms to mitigate the negative effects of the crisis on women, in order to ensure that the gains in women‘s empowerment and gender equality in the last few decades are not put in danger” (2). By doing, the progress that has been made so far would not be lost.
. Alice H. Eagly in “Gender Work: Challenging Conventional Wisdom” provides insight into a study done regarding the roles and perceived attitudes of norms of both men and women in the workplace. The paper further argues that current research regarding the roles of women has been found to be biased due to a lack of consideration for the specific identities of the firms themselves. In this sense, it seems that further studies concluded that “an overall negative average effect of the gender diversity of corporate boards when controlling for individual firm characteristic” (6). This demonstrates the need for further analysis regarding the specific roles of women in corporations in relation to not only the positions that they hold but also the ways that these corporations view themselves and their roles in society.
In the essay “Organizing Around Gender Equality” Martha West provides an analysis of women in the academic professions. She demonstrates in the study that there are barriers to success that many women face that are not accounted for, which essentially lowers the standards of diversity in the academic setting. She argues that, in those cases in which women are missing from faculty ranks, the research questions they would raise are not asked and the corresponding research is not undertaken” (4). This demonstrates an important consideration regarding women in the workplace. The diversity of viewpoints and opinions provided by having a corporate environment grounded in equality would, therefore, provide a net benefit for the corporation itself.
Michelle Kelso in “Gender Equality in Employment” discusses the hard fight that women have had over the past few decades in gaining the privileges that they enjoy in the modern world. The study indicates that there has been “varying degrees of progress toward gender equality in employment in Switzerland and the United States” (9) however, there are still various areas in which they could stand to improve. In the United States, these issues seem to be in the outdated understanding that is present in many institutions. “The United States ranks the lowest on the percentage of women in parliament and the highest in maternal mortality” (9). This demonstrates a major concern for the present state of gender equality.
In the essay “Gender Inequality in the Workforce: A Human Resource Management Quandary” the author Nicole Parcheta demonstrates that, despite the history of progress that has been made in regards to women's equality in the United States, there are still many ways in which the level of inequality can be alleviated. The author makes the point that it is not simply a matter of women earning less money, but rather the issue of them facing what is called a glass ceiling, an idea that “hinders women and minorities to reach upper level management levels in the workforce” (241). This demonstrates a major obstacle that women still face in the modern corporate culture and indicates that there are still various sources of inequality that need to be overcome.
Rohini Pande argues in the essay “Gender Quotas and Female Leadership: A Review” that a major consideration regarding the inequality of women is their under representation in positions of power, authority, and leadership. This is true in both the political and economic sector. Women politicians as well as women in corporate America are often absent in leadership roles. While there have been various social advances, it seems that for women “improvements in education attainment, professional development, and political participation have not translated into significant increases in female leadership in politics and business” (2). This seems to indicate a major issue in regards to equality in both corporate America and beyond.
Robert Max Jackson in the essay “Opposing Forces: How, Why, and When Will Gender Inequality Disappear” discusses the future of gender inequality. He questions whether the trend of progressive rights for women and minorities will continue until full equality is obtained. The author seems positive about the future, despite current issues that still present challenges. He demonstrates that “significant threats to future equality are incomplete, empirically dubious, and theoretically weak” (25). This is due to the current perspective of factors leading to the equality of women continuing to increase in present society. In this sense, it seems that despite the major progress that has been made, movements toward equality are only just beginning.
Eagly, A.H. (2013). Gender and Work: Challenging Conventional Wisdom. Harvard Business School.
Floro, M.S. (2009). The Impact of the Economic Crisis on Women's Empowerment. Swedish International Development Agency.
Jackson, R.M. (1998). Opposing Forces: How, Why, and When Will Gender Inequality Disappear. The Declining Significance of Gender.
Kelsey, C.L. (2003). Gender inequality: Empowering women. Journal of Legal Issues and Cases in Business.
Kelso, M. (2012). Gender Equality in Employment. George Washington University Archives.
Kimmel, M.S. (2005). Why Men Should Support Gender Equality. Women's Studies Review.
Parcheta, N. (2013). Gender Inequality in the Workforce: A Human Resource Management Quandarry. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly.
Smith, J.W. (2010). Workplace challenges in corporate America. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.
West, M.S. (2006). Organizing Around Gender Equality. American Association of University Professors.