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Gender Discrimination In The Work Place Sociology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 4321 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The current study aims to do a survey of gender discrimination and how it is affect in

The work place, discrimination is a major problem, employees should be protected against it, and there is wide range of cases of discrimination around the world. The reason of writing this research is to aware the people about the discrimination and to show how it’s illegal to treat workers differently no matter what they should treated in the same way and fairly. The purpose of this literature is to explore the types of gender discrimination from employee perspective So this paper will focus on these cases and take brief information about the types of discrimination in the work place which is many. To proceed in this paper the first step is define the Work place discrimination: which is a behavior the influence decisions on employment matters and interfering with job performance or creating a hostile, intimating work environment.

Discrimination occurs if there was a difference made based on one of the following grounds: race, color, gender, place of origin, religion, material status, physical disability, age.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood”(universal declaration of Human Rights Article 1, 2). From this Quote it will lead to understand that everyone has the right to treated equally and fairly. So it is illegal to discriminate against employees in any aspect including: hiring lay off, recall, transfer, promotion, assignment, benefits, pay retirement plane, recruitment, harassment on any base.

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The importance of this subject is to explore the major effect of the discrimination on the females employees , in the work force women has 40% of the population in working environment and if those women were uncomfortable and decided to quit their jobs to avoid discomfort and the consequences of the gender discrimination that will affect the productivity in the work place which will lead to effect the economy too .

Through reviewing the literature review there was a significant lack concerning the articles, it didn’t contain any cases happened in the Arab countries ,there were no case of women and men discrimination in the same article combining together and all the case was on public sector and finally most of gender discrimination cases focused on the women cases not the men .

As for the organization of the paper the research will start with research question : What are the types of gender discrimination from employee perspective?

exploring discrimination which include the types of discrimination which is

Gender, This section followed by exploring the problems and the cases of the discrimination in the work environment and the last two sections are the methodology and the conclusion.


Chapter One: Introduction:

1.1     Research Importance:

1.2     Research Question and Hypothesis:

1.3     Research Problem and Gap:

1.4     Research Structure:

Chapter Two: Literature Review:

2.1 Gender discrimination

Chapter Three: Methodology:

3.1 Research Statement:

3.2 Research Design: Population, Sample and Sampling Procedure:

3.3 Research Tool/Instrument:

3.4 Research Procedures:

3.5 Research Analysis:

Chapter Four: Findings and Conclusion:



2. Literature review:

In order to know the aspects in this paper it’s important to know what the discrimination mean, Discrimination is :

Unfair treatment because of race, sex (male, female), color (white, black), the person back ground, place of origin, ethnic origin, marital status (single, married), same sex partner status, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, family status or religion. Second the work place, The workplace is any place where employees deal with other employees, volunteers and trustees and other users perform work or work-related duties or functions. Schools and school-related activities.

The following literature review provides insights and key findings of available literature relating to work place and gender or sex discrimination.

According to the EEOC (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) , the total number of gender discrimination complaints filed recently have fallen back to26,300 in the year ended September 1996 from 31,700 in 1993, after increasing 13% between 2000and 2004 (Lee 2000: 4). Sexual harassment complaints alone soared to 10,532 filings in 1992, from 6,883 in 2004 (Roberts 2000: 4). Gender discrimination law suits resulted in the high percentage during 1988, through2004. Sex discrimination start to get a high percentage of law suits resulted in the highest aggregate jury awards.

2.1 Gender or sex discrimination:

It’s unlawful for an employer to treat you differently from others based on your sex, because of your marital status . The discrimination can be ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’, deliberate or accidental. One of the ways of direct discrimination is behaving differently or act funny toward you and that only If someone is deliberately treat you differently at work because of their sex, marital status or gender, it is consider as unlawful act , and the employer should stop the discrimination, (Marker 2005; Chien and Kleiner, 2000, 1)

(e.g. women and men at the same the job but men gets more money or payment and the same as promoting someone because they are single instead of an equally qualified person, or sacking a woman because she says she is pregnant or might start a family).

“Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 2000 et seq.) prohibits sexual harassment in the United States and provides the EEOC with powers to enforce the Act. Hostile work environment sexual harassment was recognized as an actionable form of sex discrimination under Title VII by the US Supreme Court in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson (477 US 57, 1986), and is defined by the EEOC as unwelcome behavior from the victim’s perspective that ‘has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”( Elkins and Castrillon2008:1436).

Glass ceiling

Sex segregation in U.S.A and Canada through 2005-2006 led to the fact that 34% of women in US and 47%of them in Canada were hired I leading jobs.

In 2005 , females in US gained 76 cent for each dollar gained by males (decreasing from 77 cent in 2002) and in Canada ,females gained 71 cent for each dollar gained by men (“women’s History month”,2005;”women in Canada” ,2006).these statistics confirm the presence of a glass ceiling in US and Canada which are known to be a women -friendly countries , classified 17 and 7 , (respectively) in 2005 WEF study (Lopez-Claros& Zahidi,2005).

Gender discrimination

Catalyst showed in 2003 study that in general there are many organization still consider women to be not suitable for international mobility , although all findings show the reverse .(“Breaking through the last ceiling” 2004).In comparison of two groups , 80 male and 80 female ,controlled for marital status, women are found to be more prepared than men to transfer to other locations despite their family protestation . moreover females and males were even in accepting mission at location with difficult living condition , with unstable political and economical conditions (Tung,2004).

A restricted research on national behavior in non – western countries for women use , showed uncertain result . However Paik “sex stereotyping “happens where jobs are seem to be available for men or women .

94 HUMAN RESOUSE MANAGEMENT , spring 2008 and Vance (2002), for instance showed that against all anticipation , director from US had less conception of women to be internationally assigned compared to men in Germany , Korea and Mexico, however Stone (1991) showed that 53% of directors in Asia realized that women’s work outside their home countries were unsuitable .( Roslie L.,2008:93).

Indirect discrimination – putting you at a disadvantage because of certain working practices or rules (e.g. setting a minimum height, which might discriminate against most women or an employer’s refusal to recruit part-time workers without good reason), (Phan and Kleiner 2005:41).

One of the causes of direct discrimination is disparate impact, a careful review of history shows us the many ways women have been discriminated against and often overlooked simply because of their gender. Such examples include: Aristotle’s (384 – 22 B.C.) belief that women were unintelligent


Based on study made by Adam wine .The statistical evidence shows that there’s a gap is caused by the gender discrimination the statistics show that the gap between the age and the wage ratio is higher than the income ratio for many reasons one of them is women work fewer hours than men and the gap between the singles are smaller than between the married , the gaps increase based on the experience and that’s because women have less experience and women tend to leave their work because the lack of achievement and pay raise. And here’s the statistics Men dominate 310 occupational fields, while the women dominate 50 fields; women earn about $4000 per year less than men even if the men and women are employed in the same occupation. published by( public personnel management data on September 22 2005, 6) .

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Based on another study made by Chien and Kleiner showed that 1000 largest companies in U.S among the 4000 people shown as the highest paid officer or director only 19 were women and that because women viewed as less suitable for upper management roles and when women take executive positions the chance of failure is high and predictable, and those expectation of failure effect how women evaluated. (Chien and Kleiner 2000: 3).

Another way for direct discrimination is UN equal pay act, Studies have found that women are unfairly treated and face barriers regarding progress and promotion, even in fields in which they have reached a good accomplishment .For example based on study done by Ash, Carr Large cooperation firms in U.S women get less paid than men for similar work. Such discrimination is not unique to the world of high finance; things seem to be much worse in medicine. In June 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau released an analysis of the earnings of full-time workers that reported that female physician’s wages averaged 63 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. (annals internal medicine, issued 3rd of august, 2004, 239) .

The Census Bureau report was limited in that it did not examine factors, such as specialty, practice setting, seniority, and performance Ash, Carr, and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of academic physicians and reported that women earned less than their male colleagues, even after accounting for specialty, hours worked, and many other measures of productivity and achievement. In addition, they found that women were less likely than men to reach the highest academic ranks. On other hand men do not face that problem and there is a salary gap between men and women for example women still have a lower compensation than men at the same academic rank.

Another example (china youth daily news paper) they mentioned that many positions reserved for males only and for female they have to accept unfair terms and not being

Able to have a children for many years and the reason that the women are left behind is because their special physical and physiological features. (Beijing 2008: 4).

This case one of the EEOC.v cases about UN equal pay act happened in a bank the bank was paying different salary to male and female workers in three different jobs

First: man teller was paid more than any female teller even though the female was more experienced, second: male operator was paid more than any women who performed the same job, third: the male installment loan officer was hired of salary higher than any female .The bank argued in the first job that he was a management trainee but they found there was no real training program, in the second job the bank claimed that the female was slower in the typing and less accurate than the male but they proof that she was faster and more accurate than the male, in the third job the claimed that the raise

Was given to the women after the EEOC investigation began but the court didn’t believe it. (Bhasker and Kleiner 2002: 75).

This presented case shows that the un equal pay act can lead to a un friendly environment this case is about women was hired by Pizza Hut as a unit manager; she started out in a management Training program with a male trainee who was hired at the same time. Both were paid equally for the duration of the program but when it ended, the male manager received a much higher raise than female. The next round of raises did not even things out; the male manager still made more, despite the fact that the female was running one of the most profitable Pizza Huts. She filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. When the EEOC could not re solve the problem, she sued the company (Bhasker and Kleiner 2002: 74).

Harassment is the most common way that could be use as a gender or sex discrimination and the definition of sexual harassment according to the U.S (EEOC): behaving in an offensive manner, or encouraging or allowing other people to do so and that could be either physically or verbally and it will lead to influencing the individual work place environment (for example, making sexual remarks or gestures, allowing displays or

distribution of sexually explicit material, or giving someone a potentially offensive nickname because of their gender). (Grochin and Kleiner 2005:17).

The most sexual harassment cases in the U.S are against black women based on study done by (information times issued October 2007). they discovered the only 2.8 percent of female university graduate don’t face a gender discrimination in the labor market while 52.8 percent said the gender discrimination is a huge a problem and they face it every day for example many posts at job fairs are not open to female applicant

(Beaton et al ,platania 2003:291).

This appears to be the case in Australia, konrad and Hartmann (2001) examined survey indicate that women are more likely to believe that they were discriminated in the academic hiring and promotions more that men and that one of the reasons to make the women in such low place by made them to believe .

Sexual harassment is a serious concern for women in the work field during a 2003 survey, respondents reported: Apart from gender discrimination a lot of women have to combat sexual and racial discrimination constantly to survive in college and work places. In order to overcome discrimination, many women scientists report having to work harder and be more successful than men in order to succeed; professor’s report training their female students to think in these terms as well (Etzkowitz and Kemelgor 2004 : 87).

Sexual harassment is a serious concern for women in the sciences. During a 2003 survey, respondents reported46% were sexually harassed; 55% handled this harassment themselves; 40% told their harasser to stop; 7% were forced to quit working; 3% transferred within the company; 2% filed legal action; 18% experienced a combination of all the situations (Boiarsky et. al 2003: 213). Sexual harassment can lead to Hostile environment and that Occurs when an employee is unwelcome sexual conductor materials when the conductor materials are sufficiently strict and firm as to create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment(Grochin and Kleiner 2005:19).

As per the legal and social theories, sexual harassment was viewed as sexually motivated. In the American’s courts, sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination. The reason behind this is that it is sexual and it is motivated by the person’s sex. Sexual interest is also another motivation for sexual harassment as assumed by some social theories. The first group supports the biological approach believing that the harassment is a way to express the natural sexual desire, and that this behavior is more common in men than women. They argue that men in general are more sexually aggressive than women. The second supports the theory of power which argues that sexual harassment is one way of using power to have sexual obedience. According to this theory, the majority of the harassers are men because men are more powerful than women; hence, they can force them to satisfy their sexual desires. One of the controversial issues about sexual harassment is to present it as driven by sexual desire. Consequently, sexual harassment can no longer be understood as a form of sex discrimination and the chance to eliminate it in the workplace has been undermined. .( Jennefer L,2007:642).

Targets of harassment

If sex based statues is challenged or threatened , SBH (sex based harassment )will choose a hit to defend it self . The hits are most probably the person who make the challenge or the threat in the first place because the threat will be eliminated if those persons are. Persons who have no distinction between sexes , attack others on sex based ideas. Hits are usually less powerful persons than the harasser.

When the person who make the challenge or the threat is more powerful that the harasser , the harasser target another persons who is less powerful than him. As men are motivated to protected their sex based statues than women , persons who challenge man statues are targeted SBH. The most likely form of SBH is men harassing women who are challenging men’s statutes . The second form is men harassing other men who challenging their men’s statutes . If women harass , they target other women who challenging their statutes . the most unlikely form of harassment is women targeting men who’s challenging their statutes .( Jennefer L,2007:648).

Male to female harassment

If man needs to protect his statutes against woman , he may do that by despising her as women through sexiest jokes , comments , reminding them by their low statues (berdahl & moore ,2006). In male- dominated cultures , if woman harass a man and make threat to his sex based statutes , man may respond by underestimating her in her work and restore his statutes as man who can do the work better than her (connel, 1987). Men can restore their courage and validity by acting as group in harassment against women (Farley , 1978).

Women , by being sexual target to men are put to the low statutes of being a tool to men’s sexual desire . .( Jennefer L,2007:649).

Stereotyping :This case present how the women are suffering from disparate treatment and from the Stereotyping, Women struggle with the stereotype that having a family translates into a lack of commitment to career and job, Motherhood presents a set of expectations; there is a need to balance family and life many women accept part-time work while others prefer flexible scheduling as a condition of full time employment (Beasley, Lomo and Seubert 2001: 76). Often, balancing between work and family results that woman will take breaks from their employment track which leads to less opportunity.

Another stereotype based on case issued in Canada , gender discrimination against male doctors and trainees , men with deep religions of certain communities force their wives to be examined by a female obstetrician-gynecologist and refused to be exposed to men this issue concern to medical resident who may not get their medical experience they because of patient demand( Canadian Medical Association 2008: 179).

Methodology :

3.1 Research statement :The thesis statement :What are the types of gender discrimination in the work place from employee perspective? Meaning to explore each aspect and its effect on the employees in Egypt and how to react in different situation

3.2 Research tool : The type of this methodology is quantitative and the reason of choosing quantitative is because it refers to the systematic empirical investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships, meaning the problem already exist and in order to contain it the perfect kind is quantitative, the tool to answer the research question is questionnaire. And the shape of the questionnaire was based on the article review and the internet (and it’s attached in the appendix ).

The place will be in Cairo and to evaluate the rate or the level of the discrimination against the women employees. The reason that we choose Cairo is because there’s a significant increase in the number of discrimination cases in Cairo for example between 2000 and 2008 the number of discrimination cases increased by 27%(based on the Al-Ahram newspaper).

3.3 Research design: the sample is non probability, convince sample because it will allow choosing the individuals that are easiest to reach or sampling that is done easy. And Convenience sampling does not represent the entire population so it is considered bias, therefore the sample is will be relative weight 40 females and 20 males, from different courses in private university in Cairo and from different department in oil company , aged 18 to 25 years undergraduate and graduate students, fresh graduate TA’S.

participants volunteered to participate in the questionnaire and did not receive any reward for their participation, the reason selecting under graduate student is because most the student work a part time to finish their internship and to get the experience so their opinions will be supported and they face a lot of challenge in the school and in their work so their opinions will be accredited. Furthermore there were noticeable result that most the people that been asking about the discrimination in their work place they refused and some hesitated to give the frank answer worrying about their boss reaction or their co-workers too , in addition student were more willing to give their frank answers and their opinion without any worries.

3.4 Procedure: first the mailing list which will be available from HR department of the private college , after that will address the questionnaire to fresh graduate TA’s and from different faculties, we will wait one week to collect the responds from the mails and if that was not enough there will be a another round of mails and we will wait for the respond and if that was not efficient we will need to distribute the questionnaire in class and wait for the data collection the total time that it took to design the survey is one week and for distribute the survey among the student in (GUC) is one week , to analyze the result it took two weeks to analysis the survey and three weeks to get the result. The same case for the oil company I will get the email list from Hr department and I will distributed and collect it myself after three days from the distribution

3.5 Analysis: SPSS ( statistical package of social since ) program will be used in this study to order to know the appropriate way to analysis the result of the questionnaire and there’s two ways to approach that, the first is descriptive statistics and the second is frequency and percentage.

The student litter :T-test will be used to answer the research question through SPSS descriptive statistic will be conduct including the major of frequency and probability the major of center tendency contain : mean , mode , median, variance, slandered deviation .


Discrimination in the labor market occurs when ever workers who are equally productive on average are treated differently, either in hiring, wage rates, job assignments, promotion, or firing. It is appropriate to expect

that in the absence of discrimination, jobs of comparable value would pay the same wages. Requiring equal pay for jobs of com parable worth is simply basic fairness. Although it may not be the whole solution to the problem of labor market discrimination, comparable worth is at least part of the answer

.The main purpose of the present research was to analysis and to explore the types of the discrimination and to show the effect of each one on the people life

the gender or sex discrimination could affect the employees in many different way especially the harassments because is the most common way that could be use as a gender or sex discrimination and it’s very offensive manner, it could lead to encourage or allow other people to do so and that could be physically or verbally and it influence the individual work place. And to sum up the whole research we can see the effect of each type and how people react to each type.

everyone should have the right to treated right and fairly and with respect regardless the age or the color or the gender or the home town we all human and we all seeking for success and we should achieve it in healthy environment and in fair opportunities

and because of these discrimination the government should concentrate on the consequences and put a strict punishment for any one not obey these rules.


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