Inequality in the corporate world

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Posted September 28, 2017 from India

Whether it is employment, educational, or social opportunities, women have always failed to receive equality, in terms of social, economic, and influential power, as their male counterparts. Such sexism is prevalent in the professional world, where women struggle to succeed and rise to the top, due to the glass ceiling that our society imposes on them. Our society fails to understand the political, social, and economic stability that shall arise from a woman’s empathetic and sharp inter-conflict resolution ability, combined with formidability, arising from power in the administration. As a result, women have always been considered inferior, and have been handed menial jobs, as opposed to the more productive, and influential jobs that a man possesses, in order to try and retain dominance in the professional world.

Unequal Opportunities

The issue of gender inequality is not limited to small corporations in Less Economically Developed Companies (LEDCs) and developing countries but is prevalent in large multinational corporations across the globe. Although the percentage of women partaking in the workforce has increased over the past decade in the technological and financial hubs of the world-Silicon Valley and Wall Street respectively, it is a shame that women are still employed in the non-technological and non-administrative sectors of the respective industries, limiting the influence they possess on the supply of the service the corporation is providing. Inequality women face in corporations is not just limited to job opportunities, but it also extends to a wage gap and prevalence of sexual harassment which women face on a regular basis.

Arti Khanijo, a parent to a two-year-old, was askedinappropriate questions about future family plansduring a job interview by a“renowned MNC”,showing the stereotypical image prospective employee possesses.“If that wasn’t enough, they went on to ask if I was planning to have kids in the next two years. I didn’t want to join a company that takes such promises from an employee before joining,”she says firmly.

The CEO of the Indian subsidiary of a global IT corporation explained how he found that his male colleagues were told to go for meetings after 6 pm that would often go on late into the night. This practice can’t be formally called harassment or even discrimination (at least in India) but it is, since itleaves out women professionalswho often need to go home to their children or to household duties.So a rule was set: no meetings after 6.30 pm – and the gulf was bridged. Sure, working from home is an option for the multi-tasking women these days but the advantage of face-to-face meetings remains unmatched.

Wage Gap

The degree of the problem intensifies and becomes more evident as we further narrow down thewage gapon the basis of classification of women in accordance with race, age, and location. In the state of Utah in the United States of America, each woman earns a mere $0.55 for each dollar earned by a white man. Furthermore, in the United States, black women, Hispanic women, and Native American women earn less than 50% of what men earn. Moreover, the gap has widened over the last 10 years between men and women above the age of 65 years.

Sexual Harassment

The issue remains the same when it comes to sexual harassment faced by women in workplaces. Recently,a man working at SoFi-a $4 billion startup reported a case of sexual harassment to help protect a woman from becoming a victim of “lewd, sexual gestures” and “explicit sexual innuendo”. The result of this was the retrenchment of the employee; making a strong statement and the lengths companies are willing to go to in order to protect the image of their corporation.

Solution

Such incidents simply pressurize employees into complying with the administration, irrespective of the level of propriety in their language and tasks. It is essential to ensure stricter regulation by HR departments, by making it compulsory to employ women in HR departments to ensure a fairer result. It is imperative that women are given the opportunity to take up stronger administrative and production roles, as their work ethic, intellect, and experience would, in fact, lead to greater productivity and would help strengthen the economies of countries and lead to socio-political stability. Another solution to this problem is a greater investment by the government into breaking the gender bridge through the introduction of education and training policies designed to increase the productivity of women. This will increase the value women offer to a workforce, thus increasing their bargaining power, and would allow a greater number of women to compete for white-collar professions.

This blog post is written by Pulkit Bhasin, who is a part of Safecity's Writer's Movement andwas first published onhttp://safecity.in

Pulkit Bhasinis currently in 11thgrade. He thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and playing cricket. He has volunteered at other organizations as well where he has taken up a plethora of roles from database management to teaching underprivileged children. He relishes the opportunity of public speaking and has participated in various debating competitions. He holds some experience in computer programming as well.

Comments 7

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Jill Langhus
Sep 29, 2017
Sep 29, 2017

Hi Safecity. Thanks for sharing Pulkit's blog post. It does seem like there is still a lot of inequality globally for women in the workplace, but I think it's slowly improving, at least in the U.S. during the time that I worked there. I think there is more of a push for more organizations and corporations to embrace diversity, including having more women in more senior positions and more policies and procedures in place that ensure that women have the same opportunities and pay, although I'm sure there is still a gap that needs to be reduced/closed. As for sexual harassment, a lot of policies are in place, but it seems like it still exists. It just isn't as prevalent/blatant as it was when I first entered the workforce.

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Oct 08, 2017
Oct 08, 2017

Hi Jill,

It's great to hear of improvements. We hope the situation keeps getting better.

Regards,

Safecity

Jill Langhus
Oct 09, 2017
Oct 09, 2017

Me, too:)

Beth Lacey
Sep 30, 2017
Sep 30, 2017

Safecity, thank you for your important article. I worked in corporate America for 25+ years in an "enlightened" company and even there the progress is very slow.  There are so many imbedded norms and lack of acknowledgement from men as to the important role women play in business. 

Beth 

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Oct 08, 2017
Oct 08, 2017

Dear blacey0925,

Thank you for reading our piece. It's true that progress is slow. All we can do is make more people and workplaces aware of the inequality to change their policies and urge women to fights for the rights they deserve.

Regards,

Safecity

leila Kigha
Oct 01, 2017
Oct 01, 2017

Beautiful write up  Safecity!

thanks for sharing with us.

I agree with Jlanghus! The problem is being solved gradually though a lot more could be done. I think another solution will be for us women to stop waiting for everything to be given to us and maintain the same old story. We need to take our destinies in our own hands... Make our selves indispensable! 

Safecity- Elsa D'Silva
Oct 08, 2017
Oct 08, 2017

Hi Leila,

Thank you for reading our piece and sharing your thoughts on the same. They are so true! You are an inspiration to other women and women need to support and stand by each other in this fight for equality.

Regards,

Safecity