Workplace Gender Inequality

Over the past century, women have fought hard enough to overcome numerous challenges in the workplace including the barriers to entry. Perhaps the most remarkable period was during the Second World War when women were forced to join the workplace while me were away fighting for their country. Although some of the women were retrenched upon the end of the war, most of the women retained their jobs in the workplace ensuring continuity in the employment of women. Despite this progress, women continue to face gender inequality at the workplace across the world. In the North America, the situation is similar with women earning an average of 78% of the men earnings (Fuller & Vosko, 2008). Perhaps most warring is the fact that the trend does not seem to be ending any time soon raising concerns about the commitment of firms to fight gender inequality. A critical analysis of workplaces in North America using the feminism lens points out to the evidence of gender inequality against women.

Today, women have benefitted from increased pressure to fight off gender discrimination in the world. Today, more women are opting for career choices that were traditionally deemed manly including in areas of technology, trade and engineering. Most recently, the general elections in the US have pitted a female candidate thus underlining the important role of women in politics. Across the world, women are now more involved in the running of personal businesses and are an equal partner in development. In fact, researchers have pointed out that economic stability can only be attained through the integration of women in the workplaces. Currently, most societies do not view women as vehicles for families and marriages but equally important player sin economic development. Women can now get married and still hold on to their careers without being blasted by the society.  Nonetheless, the shattering of gender barriers in different aspects of life has not guaranteed women of a fair treatment in the workplace.

Despite gains in women empowerment, the world has considerably high levels of gender inequality within the workforce. Although North America performs better that most of the world, it is still clogged with the issue of workplace gender inequality perpetrated against women. Today, the channels of gender inequality keep evolving to reflect different outcomes. In North America, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts despite having equal productivity in the workplaces. A male CEO is likely to attract relatively higher wages compared to a female in a similar position within the region. Moreover, it is more difficult to find women in executive leadership with a majority of the slots being absorbed by the male counterparts (Greene & Smith, 2015). This development is in total disregard of qualifications thus ruling women out of leadership positions unfairly. The boards of managements are even worse with most of them being predominantly composed of men. Indeed, studies have shown that more than 70% of the leading companies do not have a single woman in their boards yet women are equally qualified for such positions. In the end, gender inequality is manifested in different ways in the workplace.

Although women are now a large proportion of the global employed labor force, only about 25 of the total employed women are ion leading positions in the organizations. In fact, only about 10% of the top 500 companies have their CEOs’ as women with the rest having male CEOs (Stier & Lewin, 2000). The disparity in the workplace presents an opportunity for gender inequality against the women in society. Perhaps the universality of the problem makes it even harder to solve since the world has similar statistics regarding ender inequality in the workplace. Developing countries are worst hit with a larger percentage of the overall working class being dominated by men with women taking up domestic chores of taking care of the house and children. It is estimate that the number of women the middle leadership within global companies only increased by about 5% in the 20 years preceding 2010. This pace of increase is not enough to reverse gender inequality within the workplace in the near future. In fact, statistics predict that at a similar rate, it would take about 153 years to bring gender equality in the workplace to its fruition.

Gender inequality should have no place in contemporary society as women have similar abilities as men. Although women have similar outputs as men, their pay is always less by about 23% making it hard for the women to meet their needs. Today, women are as likely to enroll in the workplaces as men with a majority of the women going through college and attending graduate schools. In fact, parts of North America have witnessed more women taking up jobs compared to their male counterparts. Perhaps it is the motivation to attain gender equality that pushes women to seek for jobs in traditionally male dominated sectors. Even when women are more educated and qualified, companies in the region have opted to pay them less because of their sex and gender (Acker, 2006). In a majority of these organizations, the assumption is that women will underperform when compared to men because of their lack of masculinity. However, this assertion is nothing but a myth advanced by proponents of traditional systems of work. Today, most of the work has been mechanized with little requirements for manual labor. Consequently, most of the available jobs require skills that do not necessitate manual work. The continuation of lower wages for women is illogical as it not only leaves women jobless but also affects the companies through deprived labor.

Gender inequality within the workplace in North America is an issue of increasing concern as it affects both women and men. In particular, and to a large extent, women are more likely to undergo gender inequality in the workplace than men. Consequently, gender inequality affects the motivation of women to perform their duties in the right manner thus exposing them to underperformance. It is not surprising therefore that most companies complain of poor performances from women yet they are the actual cause of the problem. Many studies have pointed out to the fact that gender inequality is actually embedded within the workplace and is a reflection of the general society (Brock et al, 2012). For instance, gender inequality against women in the workplaces is advanced through inadequate benefits and lower wages. In addition, women are also exposed to sexual harassments as well as lower respect and job security compared to the male counterparts. Consequently, the poor treatment of women results in a lack of motivation in undertaking the assigned tasks. Eventually, women have little interest in creatively developing new ideas for better decision making in the workplace. The issue of gender inequality thus affects both women and the company at large.

The future of the world is dependent on a highly creative and innovative workforce. Having women in prominent positions within companies provides the organizations with an advantage by attracting innovative young talent across the different genders. Eventually, women have the potential of unlocking company opportunities by bringing in values that are not evident among men. However, the gains made by women in terms of empowerment are overshadowed by gender inequality in the modern workplace today. Although women are advancing in their career, they seem to hit an invisible barrier past which their development and growth is limited (Browne & Askew, 2005). The reasons for these barriers are attributable to the societal stereotypes and the roles assigned to women in past societies. Chauvinist men have held onto the traditional stereotypes in opposing the fair treatment of women in the workplace. The result is that most women are discriminated against in terms of job opportunities and security. Suffice to say, most women have a lower chance of securing jobs that they are equally qualified compared to men.

One of the main reasons for the disparity in gender equality stems from traditional gender roles attributed with women. In most business environments, employees are not only promoted through performance but through the consideration of different factors. Commitment and ambition is one of the leading considerations with employees required to put in long hours of work to be considered for promotion. Occasionally, most of the roles require extensive travel in different locations and the transfer of job locations both at the national and international level. While this may seem like a normal occurrence, it is an affront on gender equality and a disadvantage to the millions of women workers (Acker, 2006). The requirements for promotion put women at a fixed spot as they cannot juggle between family and the requirements of the job. Normally, the men in their families are in pursuit of their careers and cannot afford to move along with the transfers accorded to the women. Consequently, most men are unwilling to move to other locations as the need may arise thus resulting in the disqualification of the women. Moreover, women are the primary caregivers of their children and regular relocation cannot be honored thus disqualifying them from promotions. In the end, women are forced to take up job roles that are accommodative of their family requirements.

The nature of gender discrimination against women has evolved in modern times to reflect different methods. That notwithstanding, bias against women is highly prevalent through second generation methods unlike the traditional methods. The situation is even much worse as the current methods are more powerful yet overly invisible and highly undetectable. In the end, women development in the workplace is suppressed through cultural beliefs on gender and structural practices within the workplaces. Today, the world considers effective leaders as having the confidence, strength and assertiveness displayed in men thus sidelining women. Even when women act in such fashion, they are dismissed as being uncaring, abrasive and aggressive. The opposite is also treated negatively with collaborative and nurturing women leaders being considered ineffective in their leadership styles (Browne & Askew, 2005). This scenario presents women with a no-win situation where any decision is considered negative by the society.

Still, women’s progress in the corporate world is curtailed by virtue of their gender and the attributes associated with the specific gender. For instance, women are considered as less ambitious in part due to their focus on the responsibilities of their families. However, these are only stereotypical underpinnings as both men and women are equally ambitious when pursuing career goals. The problem is further compounded by the absence of confidence in women as compared to their male counterparts. Studies have shown that men consider themselves to be more capable than women in terms of performance (Brock et al, 2012). The disadvantage of this setting is that men are likely to display higher levels of confidence both in interviews and in the workplace at the expense of women. In most cases, women are likely to shy from the leadership roles leaving men to exploit the positions at their expense. All these factors contribute towards the inequality in the workplace in North America.

It is no doubt that gender inequality is a continuous phenomenon in today’s modern world. Despite a change in the methodologies, gender inequality in the workplace is quite illogical and harsh due to its invisibility. Research shows that women are have equal capabilities with men in terms of undertaking assigned tasks and performing within workplaces. Also, there is a direct relationship between increased gender equality in the workplace and the observed improvements in business performance. Consequently, gender discrimination should be discontinued as it affects both the women and the businesses in general. Although North America is fairly better in terms of gender equality in the workplace, a lot needs to be done to achieve total equality.



Acker, J. (2006). Inequality regimes gender, class, and race in organizations. Gender & society, 20(4), 441-464.

Browne, I., & Askew, R. (2005). Race, Ethnicity, and Wage Inequality Among Women What Happened in the 1990s and Early 21st Century?. American Behavioral Scientist, 48(9), 1275-1292.

Fuller, S., & Vosko, L. F. (2008). Temporary employment and social inequality in Canada: Exploring intersections of gender, race and immigration status. Social indicators research, 88(1), 31-50.

Stier, H., & Lewin-Epstein, N. (2000). Women’s part-time employment and gender inequality in the family. Journal of Family Issues, 21(3), 390-410.

Greene, B. M., & Smith, R. A. (2015). Gender Inequality in the Workplace.

Brock, D. R., Thomas, M. P., & Raby, R. (2012). Power and everyday practices. Toronto: Nelson Education.



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