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Stereotyping and prejudice in the workplace

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

The whole world urbanized day to day because of globalization. Every person can go one state to another simply moreover the reason of work, or study. While a person from one different environment or nation work together with another people from a different surroundings, that time they both takes their own social status, culture, nature, believes with them, which are dissimilarity between each other (Google question) As a result, discrimination arises within a people in their working place because every people have different attitude towards the person which may be positive or may be negative. The purpose of this assignment is to discover the problem arise in male dominating workplace which especially faced by women and also analyse the issues and build recommendation for taking action by company as well as provide better solution. This briefing paper focuses the case study of Ms. Rosina Chamar, employee of Dynamic Power Supply International Pvt. Ltd. The business of this company connected to not only in Nepal also running in European countries too. After overview the situation of case, SWOT and PEST analysis has been discussed to solve the problem. At last of the paper, outcomes plus forecasts has been granted for better suggestion.

In this briefing paper, to make clear the difficulties on workplace, Hofstede Cultural Theory and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis could support a lot to overcome the problems or to meet the best results. Also external factors PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technical) helps to analyse the Situation and find suitable result.

Terms of Reference

There are many people around the world, who think they are more powerful and superior than other people. This is not result of today’s condition because this happened from the beginning when there were kings and servant, where the very strong people were respected and worshipped while the weak ones were became servant ( Lisa Gayagay, 2009:1). The aim of the assignment is based on the problems which face by the person especially women who are working in place in a male dominating country like Nepal. At first, we all must have to know that stereotypes absorb generations regarding the typical features of the people. Same as prejudice is a manner of the people which can be positive or negative that they show without knowing of the fact. In the case of the sex stereotyping which occurs when persons are judged according to traditional typecast based on gender. Either developed countries or undeveloped counties people have to deal with these types of problems (Prejudice, chapter: 5).

Who I am:

I am a senior counsellor Kritika Gautam. I am working in BK Legal Advice Consultant Pvt. Ltd since 2005. During my working period I have got many knowledge and experience every day. I have got degree from University of Bedfordshire, England in Law and Human Resource Management. So my degree and my working experience help me to get right decision and solve problems. As an advisor, my duty is to take out her in that situation. It’s very essential that an advisor have to solve the client’s problems. During my experience, I have got chance to learn the different problems faced by people because of cultural dominating, traditional dominating. And badly have to say that women are the main target of those kinds of problems.

Who my client is:

My client is Ms. Rosina Chamar. She is working as a financial officer in Dynamic Power Supply International Company in Nepal. She is coming to a multinational company to work from rural community. Because of her talent and graduation level educational certificate she got an opportunity to work with a multinational company. In our Hindu culture, women were blessed as ‘Shakti / Devi’ or power to achieve everything. People were worshipped her vision, sympathy power and even her justice. I have serious difference of opinion with Rosina Chamar’s issues. After hearing her words once, her words struck me. According to my client, in our society we weather treated women like goddess or servants. There are so many examples which show that women have been demoralized, neglected and exploited since the days of caveman. In her case, the first issue is that she has to struggle to stand in male dominated culture where bad languages and sexist jokes which may be norm of man and she needs to consider those types of things. Next point is that a male ego also makes difficult for him to accept a woman from lower cast as his senior even she has the right educational background and credentials (Pushya S, 2009).

What helps my client wishes?

She has come to me for support because she has faced many problems. My client Ms. Chamar, she wishes to get relieve of these problems. To win a male dominating society, she must have to settle in her company. That’s why after facing many difficulties she still working in that company. Either my client is a well educated woman and has 3 years experience in relevant field but unfortunately she has to face problems in her work. And lastly she has to come to me to get idea and advice to solve the problems.

Overview of the situation

In the present situation of our country Nepal, the culture and behaviour of people of town is totally different from countryside. Town become a more modernized and practical. Working in an office is more stressed and have to practical knowledge to do. Also people of the town are totally different from their behaviour, language, outlook and attitude. They have given more priority in group assignment but she has a problem to work together with men. Because she is from low cast and medium family background, her colleagues have negative thinking toward her culture and believe and main thing she is woman. Even town is a place of educated people but the behaviour and thinking of their still same like an ancient period. So, this is a vital problem she has to face. My client first should have to be awake all these situations before taking decision that she will do continue the job or not.

After understanding her all problems, the main problems she faced everyday in her workplace are like the given below and she has to be prepare to get rid from these trouble.

Attitude: – The problem of attitude of men about her is very negative because she is middle class women and she always like to be reserve. That’s why may be her workmates thought that she is unfriendly and self-righteous.

Wages gap: – In every enterprise, women still earning less than their male co-workers. Not only my client, many women around the world had very few rights and also could be sacked from job simply because of their family and social problem like: women had to play a role of mother, housewife. So they have to problem to be a full professional. That’s why even they work hard and active still they get less salary than other equal men. Ms. Chamar also faced same problem of less salary.

Cultural difficulty: – When a woman comes in different society to do something for her future she has to face many problems and the cultural difficulty is one of them. In village most of the families are not allowing to women to work outside the own society, but while coming in town she has to work with different types of men where they have open thinking, culture and environment.

Male dominate: – For better organizational future, company must have to use many type of technique to work. And male and female both are part of good decision making. So my client has to come to work in male dominated society where the male consider as a superior as compare to the female. So it is very hard for man to work with the talented and active female staff. She has a good work experience and knowledge but the man who has top position in the society so they have comparatively hard to follow behind the female.

Social and family connection: – In our Nepalese society women has many social barriers and restricted. She must have to follow social rule and morals. But in city life all have freedom to do anything. And she has problem to accept suddenly this condition in her life because it takes few more time to understand.

Harassment: – The last and serious problem she faced is harassment either sexual or languages. About the cases of sexual harassment (Farler, 1978), it mentions examples of many groups of working women: young/old, professional/labour, and rich/poor. It is endemic but very critical issue to workplace. In the case of my client her co-workers and senior managers wanted to take sexual relation with her and they always try to behave badly and mislead. So she is always afraid from that situation and tried to keep safe self from them.

Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimension:

This prejudice problem is not individual problem because the whole society and world faced these types of problems. Not only had women from Nepalese society, all women around the world directly or indirectly beard this problem. Geert Hofstede recommends a theory to understand the cultural differences between peoples, genders and countries (Prentice Hall-Financial tine, 2002). There are five aspects which help to clear the differences between male and female discrimination in workplace and society.

1. Power Distance Index (PDI)

2. Individualism (IDV)

3. Masculinity (MAS)

4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)

5. Long Term Orientation (LTO)

To illustrate above phases of cultural differences the graph of Asian and European countries show these briefly:

Five dimension theories of Professor Geert Hofstede

Power Distance Index:

PDI demonstrate the imbalanced allocation of power between the people. This is a level towards which the less powerful members of organization have to accept and seniors of company distributed this unequally. In this graph, Asian countries have highest PDI with a ranking of 70% compare to European countries average of 40%.The power distance between Asia and Europe indicate the high of inequality of power and wealth between genders within the society and culture and even in organizations.

Individualism:

IDV depends on self ego. In above graph, Asian countries have 55% individualism where as European countries have 80%. These huge difference figures indicate that European people were free minded and self dependent than others. Asian people and European people both have different culture, believes, ethnic and behaviour. Women have social boundaries in Asian countries.

Masculinity:

MAS represents the space between the men`s value and women`s value. In above graph Asian countries have MAS as the lower Hofstede dimension of culture with a ranking of 60% and European average just slightly higher at 70%. It surprisingly shows that not only Asian countries have more men’s value because women of European countries also faced this situation. There is not a huge dissimilarity between Asia and Europe.

Uncertainty avoidance Index:

UAI deals with a people and society towards patience for uncertainty and doubt. It represents that a traditional program its associates to think both comfortable and uncomfortable in open conditions. Where uncertainty is escaping in people of those countries has full of power. In above graph, the uncertainty in Asian countries is 50% and in European countries, it is in 40%.

Long Term Orientation:

A higher LTO could be indicative of a culture that is economical and perseverant on the other hand the short term orientations are deference for believes, rewarding social commitments. The LTO score of Asian countries is 60% and European is 30%. That’s shows the result is Asian are short orientated and European are long term orientated.

Analysis of the situation

SWOT Analysis

After the overview of the situation, it is better to analysis the case through strength, weakness, opportunity and threats condition of my client. Starting from analysis of internal factors:

Strength(S):

– Positive sense on skills and attitude

– Work hard in any situation and strong emphasis on decision

– Power to choose own career path

– Experience on work and optimistic

Weaknesses (W):

– Lack of patient

– Weak communication and fearful mind

-Too trustworthy and always shy

-Soft hearted and never say ‘no’ to others

Other external factors:

Opportunity (O):

-Power of leading staffs and company

-Promotion in very high position

-International working

-Possibility of being example of successful women in society

Threat (T):

-Dissimilarities between genders

-Traditional mind of people and social cultural barriers

-Criticism and prejudice in work

-Issues of cast and fear of self identity

All above mention points clear that she has a good opportunity to take defence on prejudice but her weaknesses stopped her to face challenges. Lack of power and support affect her. That’s why after analysis her internal and external weak points and possibilities, she has more positive points which help to support in her future success and stand for defence of imbalance condition of workplace.

PEST Analysis

It is usually used to build the strategies to search external environment. It helps to evaluate the problems created by external surrounding issues. PEST identifies Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors of macro environment.

Political area has a huge influence upon the regulation of business, society and countries as well. Government has many policies regarding the case like more information and awareness about harassment, gender gap, wages facilities in workplace. Government reinforce and upgrade the systems for monitoring equality in employment (Eurofound, 2009).So, my client has to clear knowledge about government policies and rules.

Economic Factor (E):

In present, women are a large part of the employment. They are involving in every kind of work same as men. Either they both work same kind of work or also women do better than men but women get less benefit and wages than men. But today many human rights- national and international agencies and government policies came aware of that situation. They made rights against discrimination and also granted other minorities protection in the workplace. Therefore, she has to talk with her directors about her problem.

Social Factor (S):

In our Nepalese society, women has treated like second class citizens in work and most those people who are from lower caste. Many people either educated or illiterate have same thinking that the community of ‘Dalit’ (Lower caste) which is not considered part of human society. That’s why these community members generally perform the most menial and degrading jobs. My client Ms. Chamar, she is also from Dalit community. Stereotyping about this cast is they must handle dead animals and also consume their flesh. So this is very critical for her to faced bad thinking of people about her and her caste. Under the Nepalese constitution act (1990), caste discriminations were made a criminal offence and there are many rules about stereotyping and discrimination.

Technological Factor (T):

In worldwide, women tend to have less access to education, training opportunities so prejudice and stereotyping still placed in our society. In the case of Ms. Chamar, she has to develop her communication skills more and try to interact with other social literate persons also developed consumers relation. Because of science and technology covers the entire world so she must has to get more information about universal achievement in science, politics, economy and society.

Solution and Recommendation

After analysis all situation, it could be said that this is not a very big problem to solve. Her internal weaknesses and outside issues, cultural differences in society as well as differences between Asian and European culture, after discussing all these areas I would like to suggest to my client to move towards these recommendation. As an advisor, I came to the solution of her case like these ways:

Improve interpersonal skills and power to face challenges.

It is better to make a union of co-workers for equality rights at workplace.

Planning before taking every action regarding safety and power.

Try to avoid behaviour of tolerance everything.

Interact with diverse professional contacts which help to learning about different culture in company.

Try to know about office policies to determine how to handle harassment.

Ensure that the area which create around you help to keep safe in workplace.

Never tackle the harasser. If they threaten and you fear for safety, go directly to management and directors.

Expand your sensitivity and keep an open mind to diversities.

Make it your goal and exercise commitment and patience to remove stereotyping and type casting in workplace.

Apply effort to challenge to learn from things that hard to understand.

Forecast and Outcomes

Stereotyping and Prejudice is a norm of every people in our culture. It takes still more time to move bad thinking about faiths, castes, cultures, and believes of peoples. It would not be change from effort of one person whole society and nation has to do full exercise to keep safe self from stereotyping and prejudice case.

Here in the case of Ms. Rosina Chamar, she is either well skilled and broad minded but after facing these problems she become more weak, frustrate and helpless. These all happened not by her mistakes because these all came from society, government’s weak policies as well as people’s ancient thinking. There is also fault of Management of Dynamic Power Supply Co. because if they take her problems seriously, she would not be in trouble now. If she will try to be bold and motivate self to avoid her challenges, these problems will be no more. Her threats will decrease automatically. There are so many opportunities she has, so she has to develop her strengths more. And it is better for her if Dynamic gets her problem seriously and take action regarding her problems. If she will get positive support from management no doubt that she will obviously do better work for company.


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