1. Apply your knowledge of stereotyping and social identity theory to explain what went wrong.
Being a woman, and of colour, Ms Beaufort was subjected to a perceived social status at the time. Ms Beaufort’s work in improving sales was not rewarded handsomely. She was offered the marketing research coordinator, a ‘backroom’ position, instead of a more upfront, operational position. Beaufort felt sidelined, because marketing research was not the right path to be in top management.
The stereotype of a woman holding a more operational based position seems to hold true in this situation. Being a woman, she was denied the opportunity to move up the ranks in the organisation, because the notion that women couldn’t take the pressure and challenges of being in a high ranking position in the oragnisation.
2. What other perceptual error is apparent in this case study?
Ms Beaufort was of the notion that her current employer was going down the same route as her previous employer. Ms Beaufort recalled a statement by her previous employer, who said that ‘women couldn’t take the heat’ and aptly judged her current employer the same way. After her efforts in improving sales did not meet her expectations of a higher profile position in the organisation, Ms Beaufort was judgemental of her employer. Her employer also did not explain clearly of their decision in offering the post to Ms Beaufort.
3. What can organisations do to minimise misperceptions in these types of situations?
Organisations can introduce a gender- and racial equality policy which encompasses the rights of all its employees, and any rating or ranking of them is purely based on merit and personal performance, not on skin colour, gender or religion. Rewarding employees based on merit and performance reflects on the sincerity and professionalism of the management in ensuring that all of its employees are treated equally and provided with a fair and equal opportunity of growth.