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Gender and the Workplace. Presentation for GNDR 111: Introduction to Gender Studies Dane M. Partridge, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Management Director, University Honors Program University of Southern Indiana October 2007. Gender and Education.

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Gender and the workplace

Gender and the Workplace

Presentation for GNDR 111: Introduction to Gender Studies

Dane M. Partridge, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Management

Director, University Honors Program

University of Southern Indiana

October 2007

Gender and education
Gender and Education

  • Evidence of gender disparity in terms of kinds of jobs children think about re: future employment

    • Where does this come from? Are boys and girls encouraged to take different academic programs that lead to different skills, many of which are gender role stereotyped?

    • Evolution over time: In 1970, women earned only 9% of bachelor’s degrees in business, 4% of master’s; in 1995, 48% and 37%, respectively

    • Evolution over time: Doctorates in physics earned by women have increased from 3% of total in 1970 to 15.5% in 2002; engineering, <1% to 17%, etc.

Labor force participation
Labor Force Participation

  • Labor force participation rate of women has increased from 43.4% in 1971 to 60.2% in 2000

    • Men’s rate has decreased from 79.1% to 74.7%

      • White men’s LFPR in 2000: 75.4%

      • White women: 59.8

      • Black men: 69.0

      • Black women: 63.2

      • Hispanic men: 80.6

      • Hispanic women: 56.9

        • Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


  • Median weekly earnings, full-time wage and salary workers, 2007II

    • White men: $783

    • White women: $620

    • Black men: $597

    • Black women: $521

    • Hispanic men: $523

    • Hispanic women: $470

      • Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Organizational behavior research
Organizational Behavior Research

  • OB research suggests men and women often differ in communication styles

    • Men more likely than women to view conversations as negotiations of relative status and power

    • Also evidence than men interrupt women far more often than vice versa and that they dominate the ‘talk time’ in conversations w/ women

      • Some evidence that women more satisfied with ‘virtual team’ experience than men

      • Possibly due to nature of computer-mediated communication: lack of nonverbal cues and structure allowed for more equal group participation

        • Source: McShane and Von Glinow (2003)

Organizational behavior research1
Organizational Behavior Research

  • Men more likely to engage in “report talk,” women in “rapport talk”

    • Rather than asserting status, women use indirect requests

      • Women apologize more often and seek advice more quickly than do men

      • Women are more sensitive to nonverbal cues in face-to-face meetings

  • But, men and women mostly overlap in their verbal communication styles

    • Source: McShane and Von Glinow (2003)

  • Organizational behavior research2
    Organizational Behavior Research

    • Some OB research suggests men and women differ in use of organizational political tactics

      • Direct impression mngt tactics apparently used more often by men than women

        • Men more likely to advertise their achievements and take personal credit for successes of others reporting to them

        • Women prefer to share credit w/ others

      • Men and women seem to differ in assigning blame

        • Women more likely to apologize, even for problems not caused by them

        • Men more likely to assign blame and less likely to assume it

      • Women more likely to use indirect impression mngt as well as forms of networking and coalition building (but don’t over-generalize)

        • Source: McShane and Von Glinow (2003)

    Organizational behavior research3
    Organizational Behavior Research

    • OB research suggests men and women differ to limited extent in conflict management style

      • Women pay more attention than do men to the relationship btwn the parties

      • Women tend to adopt collaborative style in business settings, more willing to compromise to protect the relationship

      • Men tend to be more competitive and take short-term orientation

        • Source: McShane and Von Glinow (2003)

    Organizational behavior research4
    Organizational Behavior Research

    • Gender Issues in Leadership

      • Common belief that men and women lead differently

        • 76% of male and female chief executives believe than leadership and mngt skills of women differ markedly from male counterparts

          • Women generally seen as consensus builders, more participative leaders

      • Suggested that these qualities make women particularly well-suited given stronger emphasis on teams and EI

        • Arguments consistent w/ sex-role stereotypes, that men are more task-oriented and women more people-oriented

      • Research suggests that male and female leaders equally people-oriented, but female leaders tend to be more participative

        • Stereotyping may lead to greater negative consequences for autocratic female leaders

          • Source: McShane and Von Glinow (2003)

    Are women more ethical than men
    Are Women More Ethical Than Men?

    • Men tend to use principles of justice, women tend to use principles of caring, so women have more of a relationship ethic

    • Vs.

    • Socialization matters, gender doesn’t

    Earnings gap and employment law
    Earnings Gap and Employment Law

    • Male/female earnings gap has persisted to considerable extent over last 25 years

      • Currently ~80%

    • Equal Pay Act (1963)

      • Prohibits pay discrimination based on gender

      • Men and women must receive equal pay for “equal work”

      • Allows pay differences based on

        • Seniority

        • Merit

        • Productivity

        • Any factor other than gender

      • Cannot lawfully pay women less than men by labeling identical work differently

    Women vs wal mart
    “Women vs. Wal-Mart”


    EARNINGS** IN 2001




    REGIONAL V-P 39 10% $419,400 $279,800

    DISTRICT MNGR 508 10 239,500 177,100

    STORE MANAGER 3,241 14 105,700 89,300

    ASST MNGR 18,731 36 39,800 37,300

    MNGT TRAINEE 1,203 41 23,200 22,400

    DPT HEAD 63,747 78 23,500 21,700

    SALES ASSOC 100,003 68 16,500 15,100

    CASHIER 50,987 93 14,500 13,800 * Full-time ** Including bonuses Data: Richard Drogin

    Earnings gap
    Earnings Gap

    • Differences in Occupational Attainment

      • Discrimination and gender stereotyping or choice?

        • In early 70s, over half of women workers were in administrative support and service occupations, cf. 15% of men

          • Today, about 40% of women work in support and service

        • In early 70s, less than 20% of managers were women

          • Today, about half of managers are women

        • In 1960, almost half of women who graduated from college became teachers

          • Today, less than 10%

    • Differences in Personal Work-Related Characteristics

      • Experience, seniority, education

        • College major is single strongest factor affecting income of college graduates

    • Differences in Industries and Firms

      • Female employment more heavily concentrated in small firms

    • Differences in Union Membership

      • Source: Milkovich and Newman (2005)

    Assertiveness gap
    Assertiveness Gap?

    • Study of MBAs entering job market, interviewing for position paying $61K

      • 71% of male candidates believed they were better than other candidates, told hiring managers so, asked for more money

      • 70% of female candidates believed themselves to be equal to other candidates, willing to accept offered salary

    • Men and women have different attitudes about competing and winning

      • In research study involving computer maze, men performed 50% better when competing against others in group rather than when paid piece-rate

      • In research study involving runners, boys ran faster if they ran against other boys, even faster if they ran against girls; girls ran at same speed either running alone or w/ competitor

    • Social risks: “Consistent assertiveness in a woman rankles people”

    • Men may be more comfortable with selling themselves than women

      • Source: Washington Post, 7/8/03

    Earnings gap and employment law1
    Earnings Gap and Employment Law

    • In AFSCME v. State of Washington case, jobs of maintenance carpenter (2.3% female) and secretary (98.5% female) were deemed to be “equal” in value or worth by job evaluation study

      • Prevailing market rate 7/1/80 for carpenter, $1707/mo., for secretary, $1122/mo.

    • What to do?

    • Market rates are defense to paying dissimilar jobs differently under Civil Rights Act (unlike Equal Pay Act, and equal work)

    • “Comparable worth” advocates that women performing jobs judged to be equal on some measure of worth should be paid the same as men

      • Not mandated by federal law

      • Some states, for public employees; Ontario, public and private

    Differences in occupational attainment
    Differences in Occupational Attainment

    • Causes of Job Segregation

      • Socialization

      • Social and



        • But note

          CRA ‘64

    • What about

      ease of exit and


    Diversity initiatives
    Diversity Initiatives

    • Diversity initiatives are about creating an inclusive climate. “There must be a place for everyone, even those whose personalities, political parties, religious practices and a host of other variables require accommodation.”

    • “Diversity is easy when we are all alike. It is really tested when we are forced to be flexible and expand the boundaries of our inclusion.”

    Diversity initiatives1
    Diversity Initiatives

    • “Inclusion, however, does not require changing your values. It is not the organization’s place to tell you how to feel or how to think, but it can legitimately expect you to work with any and all colleagues and coworkers on common tasks.”

    • “Appreciating fellow employees for their talents and utilizing those talents in pursuit of accomplishing goals and objectives should be the focus of a diversity initiative.”

      • Gardenswartz and Rowe (1999)

    Gender diversity
    Gender Diversity

    • What tactics are orgs using?

      • Set goals and objectives

      • Modify succession planning

        • Identify top female/minority candidates, provide opportunities to acquire necessary experience

          • Lack of general mngt or line mngt experience seen as primary obstacle to advancement of women

          • “Glass walls” as well as “glass ceilings”

      • Pay for diversity management performance

      • Diversity training

        • E.g., male/female differences in leadership styles

          • (Business Week, 2/17/97; Harvard Business Review, June 2003)

    A cautionary note
    A Cautionary Note…

    • Recent research suggests that having a diverse workforce does little to improve a Co’s business performance or bottom line

    • Diversity education programs have little impact on performance

      • Don’t give people skills needed

      • Need training to deal with group process issues, communicating and problem-solving in diverse teams

    • Hard metrics for measuring performance results or return on diversity spending are in very short supply

      • Generally more success in dealing with gender issues than racial/ethnic issues

        • Source: Workforce, April 2003

    Sexual harassment defined
    Sexual Harassment Defined

    • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when:

      • Quid pro quo

      • Unreasonably interferes with work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment

    Sexual harassment defined1
    Sexual Harassment Defined

    • Elements of “hostile work environment”

      • Severe and pervasive

      • Reasonable person (woman?) test

        • To what extent do men and women differ in their perceptions?

      • Employee need not have suffered any detriment (e.g., termination)

      • Basis for imputing liability to employer

        • Conduct by supervisor

        • Co-worker

        • Client or customer

    Sexual harassment defined2
    Sexual Harassment Defined

    • Employer’s defense (when no tangible employment action taken against employee)

      • employer “exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior,” and

      • “the plaintiff employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise”

    Elements of an effective harassment prevention policy
    Elements Of An Effective Harassment Prevention Policy

    • Be in writing;

    • Define what constitutes harassment and declare that it will not be tolerated;

    • Establish a complaint procedure;

    • Involve training and education programs to sensitize supervisors and employees to harassment issues;

    Elements of an effective harassment prevention policy1
    Elements Of An Effective Harassment Prevention Policy

    • Include a prompt and thorough investigation of every complaint;

    • Provide for prompt corrective action, including appropriate disciplinary action, if it is determined that unlawful harassment occurred.

    Hostile work environment and the assumption of risk
    Hostile Work Environment and the “Assumption of Risk”

    • You are a restaurant manager and patrons are making arguably offensive comments to female waitstaff. What do you do?

    • Does it matter whether it’s Hacienda or Hooters?

    • Hooters staff must sign Co SH policy, which includes acknowledgement that “female sexual appeal is an essential ingredient of the Hooters concept”

      • Also must sign Ee handbook containing waiver:

        • “Work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace….I do not find my job duties, uniform requirements, or work environment to be offensive.”

          • Uniform requirements include orange shorts, Hooters t-shirt, half-shirt, tank top, and “prom-like appearance” (hair, makeup, nails done neatly)

    • In Washington D.C. area, mngr filed SH case based in part on boss taking her to lunch at Hooters

    • Settled hiring discrimination lawsuit in 1997, after EEOC dropped action in 1996

    Affirmative action plans
    Affirmative Action Plans

    • Objective distinguishable from equal employment opportunity – it is to take “affirmative action” to increase representation of historically underrepresented groups

    • Elements

      • Utilization analysis

      • Goals and timetables

        • “goal” vs. “quota”

      • Action steps

    • OFCCP

    Redefining achievement
    Redefining Achievement

    • Should achievement be redefined, so as to better reflect women’s lives and realities?

      • To achieve work/life balance?

    • How would you define success in your life, re: career, family, other activities?

    Power do women really want it
    Power: Do Women Really Want It?

    • Should ‘power’ be redefined?

      • Do women have to follow ‘the boys’ scorecard’?

        • Fortune 2003

  • Suggested that women view power differently from way men do

    • Seen in terms of influence, not rank

      • ‘Making a difference’

    • Many fast-track women ambivalent about what’s next

      • This despite fact they foresee day in which there is parity in gender representation at top of corporate America

  • Do women lack power in business because they just don’t want it enough?

    • Do women want to ‘fill the pipeline’?

      • Only 9% of teenage girls anticipate careers in business, cf. 15% of boys

      • Women make up 36% of MBA students, cf. 47% med school and 49% law school

        • Half of entering classes at law and medical schools are fresh out of college, but most first-year business students have had three to five years work experience – biological clocks are ticking (New York Times, 11/6/04)

  • Power do women really want it1
    Power: Do Women Really Want It?

    • GE study of 135,000 professional ees

      • Women quit at higher rate

        • Female voluntary turnover 8%, cf. 6.5% for males (2,000+ more women quit each year)

    • Catalyst studies

      • 26% of professional women who are not yet in most senior position indicate they don’t want it

      • But, while 57% of men aspire to be CEO, so do 55% of women… (Wall Street Journal, 6/23/04)

    • Women have made more progress in moving into top positions in academe than in business or government

      • 21% of college presidents are female

      • USI’s provost (Linda Bennett) is female

        • 16% of law firm partners are female

        • 14% of U.S. Senate and 14% of U.S. House female

        • 8% of major co top mngrs (EVP+) female, 2% of CEOs of Fortune 500 female

      • However, may not hold true for sciences (where perception is that gov’t has been more open and fair…)

    Power do women really want it2
    Power: Do Women Really Want It?

    • Gender differences

      • Citigroup mngr reports that when she interviews candidates for “stretch assignments,” women often tell her they’re not ready – men almost never do

    • May be it’s not that women can’t get high-level jobs, but rather they’re choosing not to…

      • “Dirty secret: women demand a lot more satisfaction in their lives than men do” (Jamie Gorelick)

        • “Women have to play be the same rules as men do, and right now there are really brutal rules for women who want to have families” (Hilary Clinton)

    • To get to highest levels of power, women may be forced to choose between work and children

      • Or may need stay-at-home spouse

        • “Glass ceiling” or “maternal wall”

          • Er who assumes mother is less committed to job because of home responsibilities is engaged in potentially illegal gender role stereotyping re: caregivers (HBR, 10/04)

        • “The Opt-Out Revolution” (Belkin, NYTimes Magazine, 2003)

    The opt out revolution
    The Opt-Out Revolution

    • Between one-quarter and one-third of professional women are out of work force

      • Number of children being cared for by stay-at-home moms has increased by nearly 13% in less than a decade

        • Percentage of new mothers who go back to work fell to 55% in 2000, from 59% in 1998

      • Two-thirds of mothers 25-44 work fewer than 40 hrs/wk

        • Only 5% work 50+ hrs

      • White male MBAs: 95% working full-time; white female MBAs: 67% (African-American female MBAs more similar to white men than women)

    The opt out revolution1
    The Opt-Out Revolution

    • Belkin suggests that women today have the equal right to make same bargain men have made for centuries – to take time from family in pursuit of success

    • Instead, women are redefining success

      • In doing so, redefining work?

    • Suggested that balance between work and life is different for women than men

      • But, pull of motherhood or push of job dissatisfaction?

    Redesigning organizations
    Redesigning Organizations

    • Significant organizational challenge in redesigning organizations to take advantage of mothers ready to re-enter work force

      • Attract, retain, motivate, plus now re-integrate?

      • Many professional women who quit their jobs to raise children now trying to go back – and they’re finding it harder than they ever imagined

        • Two-thirds of highly-educated women who left jobs mainly for family reasons want to return to work

        • Deloitte & Touche “Personal Pursuits” program, which allows ees to take unpaid leave for as long as five years

          • Training sessions for those on leave, mentors to stay in touch

        • “There’s a part of every woman who has had what it takes to succeed on Wall Street that yearns for that type of overachieving applause that you got, and that motherhood does not allow you to have. There’s just no applause. And I miss that.”

          • Source: Wall Street Journal, 5/6/04

    Redesigning organizations1
    Redesigning Organizations

    • 37% of women surveyed in study in Harvard Business Review voluntarily left work at some point in their careers – 43% of those w/ children – average break lasted ~2 years

      • In contrast, only 24% of men took time off from careers (w/ no difference btwn fathers and non-fathers) – average break lasted ~1 year

      • 44% of women cited family responsibilities as reason for leaving, cf. 12% of men

        • Among men, primary reason was career enhancement

      • In this study, 93% of women who took time off from work wanted to return to careers

      • Reductions in earnings potential due to exit and re-entry are a primary reason for earnings gap btwn men and women of comparable education increasing during child-bearing and –rearing years

        • Source: Business Week, 3/28/05

    Selling yourself
    Selling Yourself

    • Strategies consultants offer for mothers planning to return to work

      • Present your volunteer work with active business words

      • Never apologize for the time off

      • Convey that you’re truly committed to working again

    • While you’re out of work:

      • Be strategic about volunteer work you do

      • Keep abreast of your field

        • Source: Wall Street Journal, 5/6/04

    Redesigning organizations2
    Redesigning Organizations

    • Some evidence of growing dissatisfaction on part of men w/ price required to advance in corporate America, desire for same flexibility and balance that women want

      • Belkin suggests that instead of women being forced to act like men, men are being freed to act like women

        • Number of married men who are full-time caregivers to their children has increased 18% (to what and from when?)

      • Working men born between 1965 and 1979 now spend ~3.5 hrs/day with their children – same amount as working women

        • Among all working men, ~2.7 hrs, up from 1.8 hrs in 1977

        • 70% of men report they would take a pay cut to spend more time at home w/ family, almost half would turn down promotion if it meant less family time

          • Biggest change is new unwillingness to relocate

            • (Business Week, 11/8/04)

    • Family-friendly organization?

      • Better opportunities to work flexible hours, share jobs, not relocate

        • NPR: “Women’s Perks Can Bring New Problems”

    Get a life
    Get a Life!

    • Men and women far more alike in desires than had been assumed

    • 84% of senior Fortune 500 male execs say they’d like job options that let them realize professional aspirations while having more time for things outside work

      • 55% say they’re willing to sacrifice income

      • 80-hr week had become norm in consulting, law, investment banking

        • Jeff Immelt, GE CEO, boasts of working 100 hrs/wk for 25 years

        • “Businesses need to be 24/7 – individuals don’t” (Anne Mulcahy, CEO Xerox)

    • Nearly half believe that for exec to bring this up w/ boss will hurt career

      • The younger the exec is, the more likely to care about this

        • Fortune, 11/28/05

    Get a life1
    Get a Life!

    • Up to 80% of top mngt time is devoted to issues that account for less than 20% of co’s long-term value

    Law school out of the combat zone
    Law School: Out of the Combat Zone

    • One group of female legal scholars vehemently opposed to Socratic Method

      • Observed that women tend to be more reflective and take longer to formulate answers in class

      • Men often better at giving quick, clear-cut answers under the pressure Socratic Method creates

        • Women law school graduates more than twice as likely to choose public-interest jobs (although very small percentage of both do so)

          • Source: New York Times, 11/6/04