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.
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
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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