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Equal opportunity in the workplace

Equal opportunity for all in the workplace is a fair practice that needs to be established by the human resource and the management team to emphasize the organizational drive towards ensuring equality at workplaces. There are many different inequalities that may arise in a workplace and need to be addressed adequately to build a positive work environment. Gender Inequality, racial discrimination, cultural differences and other similar factors contribute to workplace inequalities. Gender inequality is an important aspect of workplace inequality where the emotional demands are higher on women and the pay is less compared to men.

The article on sex segregation and emotional labor exemplifies the underlying differences in these aspects among women’s job and men’s job. The article provides a detailed briefing on the facts and reports pertaining to the topic in discussion and is well substantiated by research and the reading references. Even in the late 19th century women were denied equal educational opportunities and it was only in the early 20th century that women were allowed to earn their degrees from universities.

Women’s ascent in the work environment has been a slow progress through early 20th century. “For example, before the mid – 1800-s, it was unthinkable that a woman would hold a government post. Over time, it became grudgingly acceptable for women to work as clerks, so long as they did not take income away from men” (Guy & Newman, Par. 7) Women have rapidly grown in their career ever since taking up positions in nursing, medicine/healthcare, legal department, police department , counseling, social service , teaching and in other areas.

However often women are denied the same compensation as men in these areas and the workplace is forever emotionally more demanding on the women. Even today there are professions that continue to be dominated by men and are viewed as masculine jobs and remain impregnable by women. The article takes a critical view of the differences among women’s job and men’s job and outlines clearly the related facts and figures. The article is analytical, argumentative and critical switching between these styles in different part and is well substantiated by references. Major theme of the topic

The major topic of the theme is sex segregation and emotional labor and the gender disparity in workplace environment. Job segregation is defined as tendency to segregate certain occupations as suitable for women and others as more suitable for men. The segregation also marked by a lower wage system for women, in the work areas that are identified as feminine or as women’s job. Emotional labor or emotional intelligence is viewed as a key skill for the women’s job. The job profile typically includes nursing, customer relations and other positions that require emotional skills.

The article enumerates how emotional labor, which is a key success factor to the jobs segregated as suitable for women, is often overlooked when it comes to compensating for such emotional skills that ensure smooth operations and consumer satisfaction. “Tasks that require emotive work though natural for women, such as caring, negotiating, empathizing, smoothing troubled relationships and working behind the scenes to enable cooperation are required components o many women’s job. Excluded from job descriptions and performance evaluation, the work is invisible and uncompensated” (Guy & Newman, Par.

1) The article observes that the performance management and appraisal systems “fail to acknowledge and compensate emotional labor”. Summary of the author’s method of enquiry and approach The authors have considered an inequality factor; gender diversity at workplaces. The causal factors are identified and well established through related study reports and findings. Work segregation based and gender differences and the inequalities associated with the practice are enumerated for a deeper understanding of the theme.

Instances of the application of Emotional labor or emotional intelligence at workplace are cited and the authors indicate how this valuable skill is neither acknowledged nor compensated for in many cases. Emotional labor is a demanding work place skill by itself. It requires a constant self awareness and utmost attention on the job to develop positive emotional skills that contribute to success in these jobs. The authors reflect on the core competency which is emotional labor and other related competencies such as self awareness, self control, empathy, active listening, conflict resolution and cooperation with others.

Specific Findings noted in the article and related reading The ‘relational work’ or the work based on emotional skills is often excluded from the knowledge, skills and abilities and was considered more of a lubricant conducive to smoothing relationships. “Urbanization and industrialization meant that dichotomy emerged between home and work …Home became a refuge and haven from the dehumanization of workplace” (Guy & Newman, Par. 9) The article outlines the two degrees of separation as horizontal segregation and vertical segregation.

The distribution of men and women across occupations is termed horizontal segregation and the difference in distribution among men and women in hierarchy is termed as vertical segregation. There are considerable variations both in job types and hierarchical growth opportunities among men and women. Reports on variation in compensation The compensation varies across men and women across the job types and even in a similar work profile men are often paid higher wages than women. “While women account for 31 percent of all physicians, they earn 58 cents for every one dollar earned by their male counterparts.

” “More than 90 percent of registered nurses are women, but female nurses earn 12 percent less than male nurses” Among physician men earn significantly more than women. Among social workers the gap is narrowed and women earn as well as men. The emotional labor required of women are higher compared to those required of men in almost all spheres o work including healthcare, nursing, counseling, teaching profession and paralegal profession. Position of women in paralegal profession The demand for emotional labor, that often goes unpaid for, is high on women in paralegal profession.

“Female paralegals find themselves sanctioned if they fail to perform emotional labor. A women who does not play mom, who is not friendly, pleasant and nurturing is regarded as non cooperative, may not receive raises” (Guy & Newman, ‘Paralegals’, Par. 5) Conclusions Today’s human resource practices and management theories have evolved from what it was a few decades ago. Companies and large organizations are focused on anti discrimination and providing equal employment opportunity. For women of today the workplace may be fairer than what it was earlier, however there are identifiable gaps that need to be addressed.

“Sex segregation and salary inequalities cannot be corrected in reality when they are only understood in concept. ” (Guy & Newman, ‘Research Directions, Par. 1) The article elaborates our understanding of emotional labor as a factor contributing to gender diversity. Expectations of women across various occupations and the differences in compensation are outlined for a clear understanding of the subject matter. This understanding of the gender diversity is a key to our progress towards developing a fair system of management practices and human resource management.