Gender Bias In The Workplace And Pay Inequalities

Topics: Gender, Glass ceiling, Male Pages: 21 (3208 words) Published: April 7, 2003
In 1972, the government attempting to correct discrimination in the

workplace passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. This act

protects individual rights and promotes employment opportunities and

fairness for everyone within the workplace (Klingner & Nalbandian, 1998,

p. 158). This act should have eliminated gender bias and pay

inequities, but has it accomplished its goal? Are employment

opportunities and promotion opportunities fair and equal to everyone?

Does gender bias and pay inequities still exist in 2000, 28 years after

the passage of the act? In researching this topic, I do find that

gender bias and pay inequities are still prevalent in today's work

world. Because there are so many women and minorities in the workforce

today, I will attempt to explore some of the reasons why gender bias and

pay inequities still exist.

Background

Organizational Culture First, does the organizational culture attribute

to gender bias and pay inequalities? In researching this topic, I find

the answer to be yes. Many times, the organizational culture and

climate foster workplace inequalities and these inequalities are

maintained by group pressure (Hale, 1999, p. 13). Informal networks

within the agency help to maintain inequality because women and

minorities are traditional employed in lower status jobs and not allowed

into the networks. These jobs limit their access to powerful employees

(McGuire, 2000, p. 1). These informal networks tend to be personal,

voluntary and have their own boundaries. You don't join the network

because you want too, you join because you are allowed too (McGuire,

2000, p. 1).

Organizations have always been geared to the white male and these habits

are hard to break. To accomplish goals of the agency, all employees

must work together. Managers must build rapport with their employees

and this is most easily accomplished by interacting with those who share

the same background and who are most like them (Maume, 1999, p. 4).

White men working and networking with white men. Many times the

organization does not even realize that they are inequalities in their

agency because they have always done it that way. People tend to get

set in their ways and operate on auto-pilot and never see their

weaknesses.

Organizational climates are hard to change and it takes dedication from

management to make it happen. Many times the management thinks, "If

it's not broken then why fix it?" What they do not realize is that the

organization would be so much stronger if they diversified their

workforce and let all employees excel to their greatest potential.

Literature also suggest that gender bias is a result of institutional

and attitudinal processes. White males simply do not want women or

minorities to be in an equal position with equal pay. Not only do they

not want it, often times they take steps to protect specific jobs from

women (Maume, 1999, p. 9). The "good ole boy" network is hard to break.

All organizations state that they are an Equal Employment Opportunity

company, but many agencies are only promoting that image and not

actually following it. Yes, they hire minorities and yes they hire

females, but these individuals do not have the same advantages as men.

Often times they hire just for quotes and this causes hard feelings

within the entire organization. Rather than the company hiring the best

qualified, sometimes they hire a minority just to meet requirements.

When this happens, the Equal Employment Opportunities policy can

adversely effect other employees through reverse discrimination which in

turn causes problems for the entire organization through decreased

morale (Hale, 1999, p. 13). Also, if the black or female fails or

performs poorly, then all white males will assume that all blacks and

females will fail.

"In sum, it is the relationship...

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