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Discrimination, Harassment, and the Glass Ceiling: Women Executives as Change Agents
Researchers have tried to explain the relationship between gender discrimination harassment and the glass ceiling. Due to which women are not able to occupy top level positions in the organizations. According to researchers point of view by increasing number of female executives in organization can be helpful to reduce the sexual harassment, discrimination and glass ceiling effect. They have put up a model in which describes the relationship between gender and sexual harassment stressing the pressure of gender on sexual harassment. Researchers suggested that when the ratio of female workers with male workers at top level increases the female workers encourage and help other female workers to reach at top level positions of the organization and reduces the sexual harassment in the organization.
“Discrimination, harassment, and the glass ceiling”
In literature review researcher identified three types of gender discrimination:
1. Overt discrimination (Open biasness).
2. Sexual harassment
3. Glass ceiling
Overt discrimination means that when job and career related decisions are made on the basis of gender not on the basis of their qualities, education, experience and other characteristics. In this type of discrimination the employee may refuse a women to hire or pay them less on the basis of their sex and force them to go for women job.
Sexual harassment is one of main problem for female workers at their workplace and it is all over the world. Sexual harassment from male peers may be result of individual appetite rather then organizational culture and it is very little in control of organization. Though previous researches have found empirical results that these three psychological dimensions that are found all over the world (in all regions)
1. Sexual coercion
2. Gender harassment
3. “unwanted sexual interest by the research of Fitzgerald and Gelfand in 1995.
Sexual harassment can be a main reason for the occupational sex segregation. Due to sexual harassment female workers are decisively pushed to those occupations where ratio of female workers to male workers is high. These professions are mostly under paid and very low chances of growth in career. O'Farrell and Harlan (1982) found that female all over the world faces the glass ceiling effect specially those who are working in non traditional jobs.. Korabik from China (1992, p. 204) found that "As we move vertically in the hierarchy the number of female workers decreases.
“The glass ceiling”
This is third important factor which hinders women to access the status and authority with in the organization and in society. The term "the glass ceiling" is used to unseen or artificial barriers which stops the women or people from any region, religion or color from achieving a certain level in the hierarchy of the organization (vertical level). These barriers mostly result in differences which are often slight, and include stereotyping, scarcity of opportunities for women to grow in the job, or even some times to get the job at initial level.
“Relationship between Women executives and harassment prevention”
During the research it is found that (1) women who are working under male boss face greater harassment and they think that their organizations are more tolerant to sexual harassment, (2) women are less responsible for harassment, (3) there is difference between the perception of men and women related to the harassment (4) women executives faces more sexual harassment then man.
“Relationship between boss gender and organizational policy for sexual harassment”
Role of leader in the organization related to organizational acceptance for sexual harassment is vital. Top management can take such actions and make such policies which can prevent harassment, gender discrimination and glass ceiling. Hulin et al's (1997) found, those female who are working under male supervisor feels that organizations are more forbearing of harassment. In another study on women employees who are working under male supervisors by, Piotrkowski (1998) found that those female workers which were working under male boss were frequently harassed as compare to those who are working under female boss. Same is the case with other forms of biasness.
“Supervisor gender and harassment perpetration”
Manager's gender is a key factor in sexual harassment. Female manager rarely commit sexual harassment; According to the study of EEOC it was found that female to male of harassment is only 9% of total harassment cases on the other hand male to female harassment is 90% of total harassment cases, and rest of 1% is same sex harassment (Keyton, 1996). These results shows that by increasing in the number of women at top level positions will result in decrease in sexual harassment and especially in sexual coercion.
“Gender differences in perceptions of harassing behaviors”
There are few gender differences which are other then experience and perpetration of sexual harassment which determines the behaviors of employees. These differences are less distinct with sexual coercion; because both male and female workers thinks same and perceive it as harassment.
Regardless of being at higher level and status majority of female employee, as noted earlier, women executives are ignored by men executives for decision making and other factors which is also a form of sexual harassment. Women at higher posts are not only harassed by their peers and their bosses but also by their subordinates. Benson, 1984; Grauerholz, 1989; McKinney, 1990, 1992. Executive women in a Women were also harassed. Found that there is no, sexual harassment and low occupational status.
Those women executives who have experienced the sexual harassment during their career can batter understand and sympathize harassment targets as compare to men executives. Apart from a women executive have faced or not, but she will be likely to observe harassing behaviors as same by other female workers and they will behave differently from male executives. Due to above reasons the female executive will be more effective in policy making against harassment as compare to men.
“Increasing women executives: equity and policies”
During the study in above stated topic researchers have tried to find the relationships between harassment, and glass ceiling, which results that all these factors creates barriers for the female to achieve managerial positions in the organizations. Gutek and Morasch in 1982 concluded that in those organizations where men and women are equal in numbers there are less chances of sexual harassment. Female workers are more concerned about the harassment policies as compare to the male workers.
Sexual harassment policies
Strict sexual harassment policies and their implementations can be one way to reduce the harassment at work place. Dekker and Barling, 1998; Pryor et al., 1993 during their research found that if top management make such policies which strongly ban against sexual harassment will result in few cases of sexual harassment Dekker and Barling in 1998 have found in their research that some times women belief that their complaint against harassment will not bring result that's why fewer policies are make for glass ceiling.
An unexploited benefit for women executives
Importance of Female leadership styles
A nominal presentation of women at top level can result in unwillingness of management to create and establish policies against the sexual harassment. As compare to male workers female workers take harassing behaviors more negatively and become upset with this that's why they are more interested in reduction of it.