Gender Barriers  (cont)


Job segregation
Unpaid work
Progress of Women
Valuation of Unpaid Work

the U.S., for example, a greater proportion of women enter higher education than men. The trend towards educating women is found throughout the industrialized nations. Indeed, equality in literacy has been achieved in the industrialized nations.

In poorer, less developed nations, the outlook is not so good. Women make up 2/3's of illiterate adults in the developing world. When a family can afford to educate only one child, it is frequently the male child that is educated because he will look after the parents in their old age. For the same reason, male children take precedence over female children in matters of food and medicine.

Education is important for a variety of reasons not directly related to job acquisition. An educated woman, for example, almost always has more allure and status in the eyes of her husband, her family and her community if she is educated. She is likely to have more awareness, more opportunities, more choice and more confidence.

Educated women are also less susceptible to bullying and intimidation.

Education also makes gender conditioning of the next generation so that they are less likely to discriminate.

Types of Jobs

Occupational segregation by sex is extensive and pervasive and is one of the most important and enduring aspects of labor markets around the world. It is estimated that 80% of all jobs
are gender stereotyped.


Why job segregation an important issue?

it has an important negative effect on how men see women as well as how women see themselves by reinforcing and perpetuating gender stereotypes. This, in turn, negatively affects women's status and empowerment and consequently many social variables such as mortality and morbidity, poverty and income inequality.

it has a negative effect on the labor market efficiency and labor market functioning. When most women are effectively excluded from most occupations, human resources are wasted and income levels are reduced

it is a major labor market rigidity, reducing labor market's ability to respond to change.

It negatively affects the education and training of future generations

It keeps many women out of wage employment altogether and affect fertility rates

It is a major determinant of wage differentials
Low pay and incomes contribute to poverty and inequality in society

Interesting Facts

There is a conflict of interests - businesses wanting the cheapest labor and women wanting to be paid more

Many gender differences in pay are attributed 'to traditional job relationships rather than to relative job worth'

the increasing number of women in the European workforce have been relegated to lower paying and less prestigious occupations. Women tend to work in unprotected industries such as out work and work at home

Home-based workers - no estimates but in China it is 40 million and in India 30 million

In US, 36% of women will work part-time at some point in their career

In the U.S., it is in the legal and medical fields women have made progress but not business where corporations are large, authoritarian organizations that can mask pay inequities in a welter of different job titles.

Comparable worth- equal pay for work of equal value.

Wage differentials between male and female workers exist in all industrialized nations, but the size of the wage differentials varies according to country. More recently, countries and companies have been looking at gender equality in employment by examining comparable worth.

When comparable worth principles are violated, there is said to be de defacto discrimination.

3 checkpoints:

  •    large segregated workforce
  •    gross disparities in wage levels of unskilled (particularly entry       level)
  •    many females there are below the lowest paid male

Most industrialized nations have developed anti-discrimination policies and equal opportunity measures to close the gap between the salaries of men and women.

Insufficient quality of child-care (to be discussed in later chapters)

Dual roles

     mothers are in the workplace at a growing rate, from more than 3/5 with children under 3 to nearly 4/5 with children ages 6-17.

     Of all women in the labor force, 40% are mothers of children under 18.; 76% of all single mothers are in the labor force
In the US, 85% of executive mothers employ domestic help and 44% use child care service to balance career and personal lives

Negative stereotypes

Read "Working Parents Get Good Marks From Children" Post and Courier, Sept. 6, 1999.

Pregnancy Dismissals

In the U.S. (and other countries) it is illegal to discriminate based on pregnancy issues.

All of the industrial nations except Australia and the USA now provide paid and job protected maternity leave for employed women. The actual rate of pay varies between 50 and 100% of
salary. In some countries, paternity leave is also provided for.
                   
                                                         
In some nations, the idea of maternity leave alone appears to be becoming outdated. The emphasis is switching, especially in the Nordic countries, to the idea of parental leave, ranging
from 6 months to 3 years at varying rates of pay. The nations listed with a asterisk below guarantee this additional leave, paid and job protected, to enable parents to spend more time
with their children during the early years.

The U.S. has recently enacted a bill giving women the right to 12 weeks unpaid but job protected maternity leave.

Out and out gender discrimination does occur. Despite a number of structural differences, only 12-22% of wage differentials can be explained by differences between jobs.


WHAT CAN A COMPANY DO?
Set up a mentoring program - pair senior men with up and coming females. Females gain exposure to decision making and males get the opportunity to work outside the all male cliques;

Have Succession planning - map out a career path for female employees

Conduct Diversity training