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Gender Equality in the Workplace

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Meagan Bungay .

on 18 October 2016

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Transcript of Gender Equality in the Workplace

Gender Equality in the
Workplace

What is Gender Equality?
Who is Affected by Gender Inequality in the Workplace?
Mainly women are affected by gender inequality in the workplace however, men can also be affected. Due to the stereotype that women are weaker than men, males tend to hold more power over women. This makes women more likely to be subjected to gender inequality.

Young women and girls are also affected by gender inequality in the workplace as they begin to believe the lack of equality that they witness, giving them a mindset that men are more powerful than them at a young age.

Additionally, certain cultures may be more prone to gender inequality in the workplace as some cultures believe that men hold the power over women.
Different Perspectives of Gender Equality in the Workplace...
Feminist Theoretical Perspective
feminism is a perspective that views society as traditionally unequal between men and women and strives for equality between the sexes.


Goodfriend, W. (n.d.). Sociology's Four Theoretical Perspectives: Structural-Functional, Social Conflict, Feminism & Symbolic Interactionism. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://study.com/academy/lesson/sociologys-four-theoretical-perspectives-structural-functional-social-conflict-feminism-symbolic-interactionism.html
In terms of Gender equality in the workplace, the feminist theoretical perspective analyzes the inequalities between the genders within the workplace in an attempt to achieve equality between the sexes. This perceptive views gender inequality( including gender roles) in the workplace as a negative.
Functionalist Theoretical Perspective
The functionalist perspective sees society as a complex system whose parts work together to promote solidarity and stability




Source: Boundless. “The Functionalist Perspective.” Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 17 Oct. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/gender-stratification-and-inequality-11/sociological-perspectives-on-gender-stratification-87/the-functionalist-perspective-503-4583/
In regards to gender equality in the workplace, the functionalist theoretical perspective suggests that gender inequalities are an useful way to increase efficiency and resources by dividing labor (ex. gender roles).
Next, we will analyze an article regarding each of the perspectives
Article #1
Gender equality in the workforce: A feminist Approach
Synopsis
In "Gender equality in the workforce: A feminist approach", The situation of gender equality is delivered in the form of a speech in the feminism perspective. The author, Elizabeth Broderick, discusses how far we have come, where we still need to go , and some possible solutions to get there. From her perspective, one can understand that gender roles should not be given and that each gender should be treated equally within the workplace and not oppressed based on gender related attributes.
Why Is Gender Equality a Continuing Issue? (Feminist Perspective)
In the article, Elizabeth touches on the fact that although gender equality has come a long way from what it was, we still are without total equality between the genders. She states that: "despite these significant social changes, obstacles for women remain entrenched. Women, and especially women experiencing intersectional discrimination and women with family and caring responsibilities, continue to find themselves marginalized in relation to work even as they enter the workforce in greater numbers than ever before." Even though we are seeing a gradual increase in the number of women working in previously male dominated fields, women are still judged and treated differently based on their childbearing abilities. Gender equality in the workplace is a continuing issue because male and female counterparts are still treated unequally for unjustifiable reasons (particularly due to a males dominance over women)
Gender equality refers to the lack of discrimination and equal treatment between genders.

In the workplace, gender equality is achieved when all parties receive equal pay, rewards, opportunities and treatment. If this is neglected, it is considered "gender inequality"

Broderick, E. (2010, August 12). Gender equality in the workforce: A feminist approach. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://www.humanrights.gov.au/news/speeches/gender-equality-workforce-feminist-approach-2010

Who Are the Parties Involved?
In the situation regarding gender equality in the workplace, the two main parties involved are male and female workers. The feminist perspective strives to have the two counterparts equal. This means that both parties need to be involved in the issue and the solution of gender equality in the workplace. Additionally , one could consider those who strive to create gender equality in the workplace as an additional party involved. Therefore including employers, feminists and the government. Specifically in this article it discusses the involvement of the federal government as they "recently sought to amend the Sex Discrimination Act" as well as feminists. Both of these parties involvement has lead to greater gender equality in the workplace.
Solutions And Who They Would Benefit:
The following are solutions suggested in the article:
we should stop trying to “fix” women
we should recognize the importance of men’s role in promoting gender equality in workplaces
we should aim for critical mass
From a feminist perspective, a solution to the problem regarding gender equality in the workplace would benefit women. This is because women would be equal to men and would therefore be gaining power in the workforce.
Article #2
The Functionalist Perspective

Source: Boundless. “The Functionalist Perspective.” Boundless Sociology. Boundless, 26 May. 2016. Retrieved 17 Oct. 2016 from https://www.boundless.com/sociology/textbooks/boundless-sociology-textbook/gender-stratification-and-inequality-11/sociological-perspectives-on-gender-stratification-87/the-functionalist-perspective-503-4583/


Synopsis
In "The Functionalist Perspective", the situation of gender equality is delivered through the lens of the structural functional theory perspective. The article discusses how "gender inequalities exist as an efficient way to create a division of labor, or a social system in which a particular segment of the population is clearly responsible for certain acts of labor and another segment is clearly responsible for other labor acts." The article also discusses the differences between a functionalist perspective and a feminist perspective as both differ greatly in regards to what they believe. Additionally, this article touches on the criticisms that the functionalist theory has endured.


Why does Gender Inequality occur? (Functionalist Perspective)
According to the functionalist perspective, Gender inequality occurs to keep stability within society. Gender roles are in place to keep society efficiently working. For example, women take care of the household and take on the more "feminine" jobs like nursing or teaching elementary students, while the men provide for the household in the "higher end" jobs. From the viewpoint of the functionalist perspective, gender inequality is positive and necessary for society to efficiently perform.
Who are the Parties Involved?
All of society is involved in gender equality from the viewpoint of the functionalist perspective. This is because the functionalist perspective sees society as a system that works together to create stability. For this reason, all of society would be involved in this issue as they are all working together to shape society as a whole, rather than targeting a specific gender.
Who Would Benefit from a Solution?
From the functionalist perspective, the question of who would benefit from a solution is slightly irrelevant. The functionalist perspective believes that gender equality is a positive as it keeps stability within society. However, because the functionalist perspective views society as a whole, if a solution were to benefit a group of individuals, it would benefit all of society.
Now we will compare the two different perspectives
How do the Mindsets of the Two Perspectives Compare?
The mindsets between the feminist and functionalist perspectives differ greatly. Although both touch on the gender equality in the workplace, they have different beliefs regarding the issue.The feminist perspectives views gender inequality as a negative and that there should be complete equality between the sexes. On the other hand, the functionalist perspective views gender inequality as a positive as it creates stability in society by maximizing resources. As stated in
The Functionalist Perspective
, " The feminist movement takes the position that functionalism neglects the suppression of women within the family structure. This shows the greatly contradicting views of the two perspectives.


How do the parties involved differ between the two perspectives?
Due to the fact that the issue of gender equality deals with the balance between the two sexes, similarities can be found between the parties involved in both perspectives. In both of the feminist and functionalist perspectives, the main parties involved are the males and females. However, as we dig deeper into the two perspectives, one can see slight differences in the parties involved. Within the feminist perspective a heavier emphasis is placed on women as they are striving to increase female dominance in the workforce to attain equality. On the other hand, the functionalist perspective puts a heavier emphasis on society as a whole.
Comparison of Who Benefits From Each Perspective
The party that is benefiting in each of the perspectives differ based on the contradicting beliefs. The feminist theory and its solutions benefit women as it gives them increasing power in the work force so that they are equal to men. The functionalist perspective more so benefits men or society as a whole as it keeps men in a position of dominance to create stability within society.
What Solutions Have Been Implemented/Could Be Implemented
Due to the fact that the functionalist perspective lacked a solution because of its positive representation of gender inequality, I will focus solely on the solutions of the feminist perspective for this section.

As the article stated, there are laws in place that increase gender equality in the workplace which act as our solution as of now. However, as the article also touched on, this isn't enough to have complete equality. Broderick gives ideas within the article that I believe could have a positive outcome if implemented in our modern society. The idea that "we should stop trying to “fix” women" stood out to me in particular. Broderick derived this idea as a way to make the workplace a system that works for ever body, instead of fixing the people that are placed in that system. I personally believe that if society were to make this simple change that gender equality in the workplace could be greatly increased.
In Conclusion...
Within this case study one was able to see the differences and similarities between the perspectives and how the feminist perspectives majorly involves the increase of women's rights in the workplace whereas the functionalist perspective focuses more on society as a whole. Personally I tend to agree more with the feminist perspective as it actually strives to create equality between the sexes. I find it harder to agree with what the functionalist theory suggests as it allows males to dominate over women and equality is not favorable. Being a women myself, I do not want to be oppressed by male counterparts or be restricted to the role of a caretaker as I can see myself as so much more than that. I hope that gender equality in the workplace will continue to grow and that new solutions such as those suggested in Elizabeth Brodericks speech will continue to be implemented in the workforce.
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