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Gender, sexuality, and career advancement are some of the issues encountered daily in the labour market across the globe (Brown 1997). To give insights, various scholars have done some incredible research focusing on the kind of social stratifications that inform the parities observed. This discussion focuses on two journal articles that were written in an effort to look into the issue and determine how the employment industries recruit their employees as well as how organizations treat their employees on a daily basis. The two journals that are the basis of this discussion are: Inequality regimes, gender and society by Acker, J. and Gender fatigue: ideological dilemma of gender neutrality and discrimination by Kelan E.
To start with, let us discuss Kelans article. In her work, the data were obtained from two organizations in the Switzerlands sector of ICT (Kelan 2009). Their location made them preferred for the study. Secondly, the fact that it was a field with the emerging knowledge also attracted attention as a study specimen. Thirdly, the job done in ICT is seen to be based on personal merit rather than factors that favour employability such as gender or even religion. The study was to assume that performance was the only relevant measure. The ICT sector, therefore, was viewed as fair in employability where gender did not do much to facilitate employment. Totally, 26 interviews were conducted with sixteen men and ten women. The age bracket of the participants was between 25 and 54. Most of those interviewed were in their late thirties. The data was then analysed with the help of computer software.
The data obtained are summarized in terms of two main areas, that is, navigating the dilemma and fatigue due to much talk on gender parity. Kelan made some generalized observations on the process that was used to conduct the interviews. There was almost a universal assumption by most people that women were more prone to discrimination based on gender. Most interviewed were discontent with talking about the issues of gender. Under the navigation dilemma, a large number of people believed that their workplace did not have issues of gender parity. Most of the employees also acknowledged that while there was the potential of gender discrimination in their organization, the chances of its occurrence among employees were very low. These are cases that have been observed in many researches done (Brown 1987). They believed that gender discrimination cases were likely to happen when they engaged with customers. Gender discrimination was termed as a matter of the past, something that had been eliminated.
Two strategies that were viewed as the ones that had helped to make sense of the gender dilemma were put across. In the first instance, discrimination was associated with insecure macho men who had to prove themselves; second, women were supposed to be personally responsible for the endeavour to avoid any kind of discrimination (Deelat 2007). Gender discrimination was rarely seen to be attributed to structural or systematic problems.
Analysing the finding of her research, Kelan says that the data were a clear demonstration that interviewees were suffering from gender bound fatigue. She noted this to imply that the interviewed persons had finally given in to gender parity issues that existed and now perceive it as normal. That is the bitter fact that had led to people adopting a position of zero gender parity in their workplace (Fraser 1999). Further arguments are raised in relation to the fact that Kelans observation could have been manipulated by the fact that the participants of the interview were shying off from talking about gender.
Many other writers also have had their view on the findings of Kelan (Fisanick 2011). They argue that the conclusions of Kelans study might have been limited by the nature of the sector (ICT) employees and the size of the sample (employees drawn from the company). This study, however, is said to have strong theoretical and empirical base both in terms of design and data interpretation. However, additional research focusing on gender discrimination and other forms of discriminatory practices is needed in other organizations and other countries. For example, is there evidence of a race or age dilemma or race of age fatigue?
The second article that focused on inequality regimes, gender, and society is Ackers Inequality regimes, gender and society. Like the previously discussed article, Ackers journal talks of gender discrimination although we do not distinquish cases of gender fatigue in her work. Acker discusses the inequality regimes. She claims that inequality regimes are interrelated activities and processes that lead to gender and racial parities in particular organizations (Acker 2006). She goes ahead to describe obvious ubiquity of inequality. She says that in an organizational setting, managers, executives, leaders, end departmental heads have more power than secretaries and other workers down in the pecking order. She explains that even the organizations with the egalitarian goals, come to develop inequality over time. This is also shown in a research regarding organizations which are both egalitarian andfeminist (Konrad 2006).
Inequality regimes are exhibited in different ways; sometimes, they tend to be dynamic exhibiting continuous changes (Menno 2010). These regimes are linked to inequality in the surrounding society, politics, history, and culture. Particular practices and interpretations are developed in different organizations and subunits. In her study of the Swedish banks in the late 1980s, Acker looked at gender and work processes in six local branches; thus, she was able to make some observations as well as conclusions. Together with her colleague, they focused their research on the manner in which the banks had adopted the reorganization plan and a more equitable distribution of work tasks and decision-making responsibilities that had been agreed by both management and the union
They found out that there were differences in some dimensions of inequality. There were almost all women employees in one office and a few differences regarding power and status. The majority of tasks were shared or rotated, and the managers supervision was regarded by the workers in the branch as benign and supportive. Reese (2004) suggests that offices that have clear gender segregation have men handling the lucrative business accounts and women handling everyday private customers. In these offices, very little power and decision-making are shared although there are differences in the degrees to which the employees saw their work place as undemocratic (Sergeant 2006). The only branch office that was successful in the redistribution tasks and decision-making was the one with women employees and a preexisting participatory ethos
In conclusion, we can see that the issue of inequality at working places in an organization is a reality as shown in both articles. As demonstrated in both journals, there were great disparities which continue to exist. The inequalities can concern gender, positions, and even very huge disparities in the amount of money payed to the employees with the same qualifications in an institution (Stathman 1996). The matter has become so rampant that, as Kelan puts it, the society has developed some kind of gender fatigue. They no longer see any discrimination, because they have become used to it. However, with the emerging democracies, womens position continues to be considered with a greater attention (Williams 2010). Even if the gap in gender parity cannot be wiped out completely, at some point, there will be a notable achievement in closing up the this gap.