Women in the Workforce
Women in the workplace have proven their capacity to be as competitive as men and choose a profession which used to be viewed as exclusively for males. Women have gain autonomy and respect over the years since the existence of feminist and antiracial discrimination groups. In a workplace where professional women dominate, males complain that women have become more competitive and intimidating for they refuse to share power or withhold information and they are very much concerned about rewards or recognition for their accomplishments (Tanenbaum, 2002, p. 173).
In this essay, women’s issues in the workplace including the concept of flexible work options as one solution in overcoming problems or improving their work-life condition are discussed. The importance of flexible work options for women workers Problems and issues in the workplace Sexual harassment and disruption were found to result to stress, distraction, dread of work, and poor performance (Woodzicka & Lafrance, 2005). In addition, biological factor also affects women’s work productivity and efficiency and it is also one of the reasons why human resource managers prefer to hire males, especially in strenuous and taxing jobs.
Although women live longer than men, they get sick more often and account for more use of health care services. As a result, it is likely that women and men enjoy similar numbers of years in good health. Women report more illnesses (Messing et al. , 2000). Stress, particularly mental stress in the workplace has been one of the major health-related concerns of most workers due to the higher demands brought about by the changing demands of family life and the workplace (Kompier, 2002).
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Work-related stress has also been fuelled by the nature of work as well as the working schedules that needs to be reconciled by mothers. Women are more affected with their job and men which results to stress. This result concurs with other findings of negative attitudes specifically experienced by the women themselves (Bergman, 2003). Bergman, further states that: “…the gender-related factors perceived burdens on women, personally experienced burdens, sexual harassment, and inadequate organizational support are important measures of women’s health and well-being (p. 291). ”
Other significant reasons why women experience high level of work-related stress is their judging and decision-making activities, their social environment, the difficult and boring nature of their job, not clearly defined responsibilities, and mental and physical strain. Women are usually dominated by men while other females with higher position tend to take advantage of their power over other women. According to Gianakos (2000), “women, particularly those high in femininity, tend to select careers offering little autonomy, and this perceived lack of personal power is most highly related to female workers’ stress symptoms.
Thus, direct action coping by these women may be ineffective, ultimately increasing felt stress as well as promoting the stereotype that women must work harder and longer to be perceived positively by management (p. 1065). ” Work-related stress is the second most common work-related problem. Its negative impact increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as musculoskeletal disorders particularly back problems. According to Houtman et al. (1999), Absence from work is also one of the more prevalent problems arising from work-related stress.
Thus, workplace stress does not only involve health-related problems but also their actual participation in the organisation. Due to the nature of full time work patterns coupled with the demands in the life, there is an increasing need for individuals to reconcile their career and family life pattern in such a way that both will not suffer. This is the reason why in most European countries, women tend to prefer flexible working times instead of part-time work in order to tend to their family needs.