The Shadow of Gender Discrimination on Organizational Culture
Gender discrimination is more institutionalized within us than we think. Although many organizations believe they are protected from gender inequality in their workplace, we have detected this occupational trauma throughout history. However, it may seem too complicated to inform some behaviors as sexist.
It is no secret that various investigations worldwide have tried to understand the different aspects of this invisible syndrome and reduce the struggle by addressing the issue. More companies have started to pay attention to their organizations and have acted to reform their structures.
In some countries, human resource professionals and decision-makers have started to prioritize employment gender diversity above all, and some have taken different approaches to right gender bias; however, it seems that both hostile and/or benevolent strategies towards the issue might be detrimental in some ways;
Both of these approaches, because of their great distance from reality, can be destructive and therefore distress the organization’s balance and impact more racial discrimination throughout the organization.
The task of the hostile approach is a bit more evident and understandable. Hostile sexism involves antipathy and negative stereotypes about women, beliefs that women are overly emotional, unskilled, and even sexually scheming. In contrast, benevolent gender prejudice involves overall positive views of women. They occupy traditional/domestic feminine roles and believe that men are preferred over women for masculine jobs, and women are preferred over men for feminine jobs. In this view, they stamp women as weak, fragile, and powerless, in need of support and admiration. Ambivalent sexists reconcile their potentially contradictory attitudes about women by acting hostile toward women in the absorption process for high-value positions and high scores.
Now for decision-makers and HR professionals dealing with gender discrimination, using a hostile method toward offenders usually results in a reassuring and recognizing the belief that women are incompetent and weak. Therefore, it gives them the right to encourage more men toward high-authority positions and women toward low-authority occupancies.
Some may even say that as women have so many responsibilities at home, being full-time employees can be highly challenging.
Sexist jokes, excluding women from meetings, and non-important tasks are gender discrimination part of a pervasive pattern in such organizations.
On the other hand, decision-makers with a benevolent and generous approach toward sexism will inspire the belief that women are unfit for organizational roles that are demanding, challenging, and require agentic behavior or strength. Some even reason that this occurred because men are attempting to “protect” women from the struggles of challenging work.
This method also leads to negative points, such as disrupting the evaluation processes. It might eliminate or underestimate the difference between high-quality and low-quality female employees.
This article argues that progressive establishments, and organizations that work towards Innovation, change, opportunity, attainment, safekeeping, development, flexibility, and goals can play a significant role in supporting women in their communities to challenge inequality.
Human Resource Policies that create a disadvantage against a group of people with a frequent set of characteristics such as race or gender, regardless of their knowledge, skills, abilities, and job performance, can be called institutional discrimination. Institutional discrimination against women can occur by systematically evaluating job performance in favor of men regarding job ladders, payments, and higher education opportunities and even present itself in more nuanced ways like fewer opportunities for women who are or potentially will be mothers in the future. Consequently, gender discrimination would be institutionalized within the human resource sections of organizations.
The most critical task of Human resource management is the decision-making in an organization, which would cover the entire employee life-cycle from identifying potential candidates to the hiring, performance management, compensation, and exit based on their expertise, social knowledge, and competencies.
Perhaps, consequently, like all forms of social cognition, a large window is open to personal biases. Resource decisions are critically important as they determine an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that women are well-represented, paid reasonably, and promoted without prejudice in the workplace, which impacts all the business processes.
Studies have shown that women play an essential role in organizations with significant strengths. Women are great listeners, hard workers, problem solvers, good communicators, multitaskers, high emotional intelligence, ability to manage complexity, sense of intuition, and a tendency to take the “slow and steady approach” in decision making, which results in long term focus decisions.
The moral obligation of companies is to undertake the responsibility to decrease and even diminish gender discrimination and develop a comprehensive plan to manage the issue by taking actions such as increasing diversity in hiring, reviewing equal pay, beginning pay audits, and creating an opened minded atmosphere, provide mentorship for everyone. Suppose such programs are well-defined based on a general plan and cultural mechanism. In that case, organizations will fully leverage the benefit of diversity, and employees will feel at ease with bringing unique ideas and experiences to the table. Also, this culture can gradually expand to a society where all women feel valued.