School Work

gender and work

short essay
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  MNB211 Gender & Work 712711 1 Please enter your student number and word count on the next page.  MNB211 Gender & Work 712711 2 STUDENT NUMBER: 712711 WORD COUNT: 1947  MNB211 Gender & Work 712711 3 Is Gender Inequality present for Women in the Workplaces of the 21 st  century? The purpose of this essay is to provide a convincing argument as to whether or not gender inequality is present in workplaces in the 21 st  century. Using research conducted into the differences in gender equality in workplaces, not only in the UK but China too, I hope to  present convincing evidence in relation to the initial question. I will research factors affecting main issues such as - culture and historical factors that could have an effect on gender equality in organisations today, gender in management levels and employment discrimination. Starting off with China, I am going to explore the effect culture and historical events have on the workplaces of today. During the Mao era, between 1949 and 1978, China was  part of a planned economy. However, the strength of the communist party at the time influenced the government and so Chinese women went from being considered a family,  private person to a social person. Ruled in the Constitution of the People‟s Republic of China, women were empowered when they announced equal rights with men in all areas of  political, economic, cultural, social, and domestic life.”  (1954.) At the moment, the Chinese economy is operating in a mixed economy and is moving forward into the 21 st  century. The effect that the People‟s Republic of China had on closing that gap of what was previously a male dominated labour market was hugely positive. Employment of women increased significantly and almost doubled within a span of seven years. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China shows a jump from 7.% in 1949 to 13.48% in 1956 (National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2009.) The bureau also commented that by 1980 a third of women in China were employed. The culture change in China had a profoundly positive effect on gender equality in the workplaces of the country. In relation to the question, the introduction of such laws as the Constitution of the People‟s Republic of China encouraged shows that steps were taken in the previous century to overcome gender inequalities in all areas of life. The initial outcome of this was positive for China, but maybe more could be done to ensure such equality is present in workplaces today. Moving onto the same issue in the UK and how the culture and events in history have shaped gender equality in workplaces today. A pivotal turning point in equal rights for men and women in the UK is when all women over the age of twenty-one got the right to vote in 1928. (Equal Franchise Act 1928.) Before this time, a quote describes women‟s rights in the UK, “By marriage, the personal identity of the woman is lost. Her person is completely sunk  MNB211 Gender & Work 712711 4 in that of her husband, and he acquires an absolute mastery over her person and effects. Hence her complete disability to contract legal obligations; and except in the event of separation by divorce, or other causes, a married woman in the United Kingdom cannot engage in trade.”(Levi, 1863.) This demonstrates how little rights women had in relation to gender equality and describes how men had all of the rights in a marriage. Another prominent  point in the history of women working in the UK is during the World War‟s. As all of the men were overseas, women were propelled out of their domestic sphere of work and into the world of male work. During world war one, twenty-four million women were known to be working in the UK. Just before world war two began, the 1938 women in employment figures show 19.75% of women were in work. This rose to 27% in 1945 which was the last year of the war. (Gazeley, 2008.) These changes show the culture of British women, stepping up when needed most. Again, to relate the point back to the srcinal question, the British government put steps in place to enable women to have more power in society. This could be a key influencer of how women have empowerment today. Had it not been for the changes in the la w regarding the vote, how much longer would women‟s views have been ignored? The demonstration of how the gendered role barriers were broken down during war time is significant as it shows that women are able to do „men‟s jobs.‟ The issue of gender equality in management positions first became a popular topic in the United States in the 1970‟s. Since then, research has gone on around the world which allows us to make comparisons between different countries. Regarding the situation in China, in an article called „ An Iron Hand in a Velvet Glove: Challenges Facing Chinese Female Managers‟ , she describes how even though it may seem that the women of China have ample opportunity to climb the career ladder, preconceptions of gender roles still lie and create bias often. (Gow, 2013). A suggestion made by a representative from China Financial Futures Exchange reads, “If there can be more planning and implementation of programmes and policies to offer more opportunities for women, including internships for female students, apprenticeships and promotion structures, this would help women in the corporate hierarchy.” (Hui, 2013.) Activists against gender discrimination in China are willing for it to stop but the main difficulty for women in China trying to reach higher levels of management is the  predetermined view of women causing bias throughout organisations. Employment discrimination in relation to gender still plays a part in economies around the world. A major factor affecting gender discrimination towards women surrounds the topic of children. Concentrating on the troubles in China, there is an obvious problem of


Jul 23, 2017


Jul 23, 2017
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