Gender in management is a term that is used to describe the proportion of employees that occupy management positions in an organization based on their sexuality. More specifically it is a term that is used to describe the pattern and trend in organizations as it regards to allocations of senior management jobs based on gender (Hyde, 2005). Gender in management is an issue that is currently a focus of many organizations, including many other international bodies that advocate issues of gender in workplace.
The term gender in management is often used to describe the integration of both male and female in organizations at senior job positions and this is proportion to one another (Hyde, 2005). However the range of issues that gender in management incorporates are as diverse as the subject itself and include issues such as equal opportunities, job flexibility, cross cultural issues, sexual politics, culture, employment disparities, career determinants and sexuality orientation (Hyde, 2005).
Disparity of gender in management
Historically and for many decades, most women were assigned specific jobs that were usually tagged as feminine and the place of women and men in organizational roles were clearly defined. During those days most job categories were reserved for men and almost all management roles were assigned to men regardless of equal qualification from women candidates (Barbara, 2004).
However, gender discrimination and inequality in work place in modern day continues to be an issue that many organizations are still struggling with despite numerous frameworks and laws that have been enacted in order to address gender issues.
For instance many countries worldwide have enacted Equal Employment Act that require female workers to occupy at least 40% of all organizational roles, which also includes management roles as well (Hyde, 2005). Besides these enactments most countries have affirmative action laws which are a more comprehensive approach to addressing gender inequalities at all levels that discriminate on women.
There are various causes of gender inequality in work place that leads to discrimination of women in being given management roles and which inversely leads to male being appointed in management roles such as cultural factors (Barbara, 2004).
The cultural factors include society perception of gender roles in work place, gender stereotypes, and organizational recruitment culture; in a study done in 2003 in United States the overall managerial jobs that were held by female workers was found to be less than 40% in most of the organization as well as the total proportion of female workers (Hyde, 2005).
This is mostly because of gender stereotypes which lead to discrimination among female candidates when employers and management personnel overlook, ignore or fail to nurture management talent when exhibited by female employees, thereby causing them not to rise up in the management ladder (Levin, 2003).
Indeed, current statistics indicate that gender discrimination is very much a reality in many companies worldwide despite the existing efforts that address the same. For instance a recent analysis of top management roles assigned to women on top companies that were published in Fortune 500 magazine found them to be less than 2% and the rest dominated by males (Kirdahy, 2010).
Further down the ladder the study found that approximately only 15% of females occupied all other type of managerial roles among all the companies that were analyzed, this was despite the fact that women on average possessed the same qualifications and experience as the male counterparts in this organizations (Kirdahy, 2010). This is a far cry from the 40% requirement required by the law and is evidence enough that glass ceiling does indeed exists across majority of the firms.
Barbara, A., (2004). Gender Differences in Work Place. Retrieved from, http://www.baainc.com/pdfs/Gender-Differences.pdf
Hyde, J. S., (2005). The Gender Similarities Hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60 (6): 581-592.
Kirdahy, M., (2010). America’s Highest Paid Female CEO’s. Retrieved from from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26127522/html
Levin, N., (2003). Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/topic/age-discrimination-in-employment-act