Womens Difficulties And Perceptions At Work


The gender defined by the differences in human physiological structure and the gender defined by the social norms of the day are the two major axes of gender issues. Theory of Gender Roles is one of the theories that are often used to explain why such distinctions are made. Due to the social and cultural norms combined with the depth and long-term effects of socialization, men and women are separated by education, family marriage, personal safety, workplace, and even the legal level. Besides that, to improve the work inequality in the workplace, we also have a focus on how to learn from social theory. Generally, the current society creates gender bias, identity, and inequality. In this paper, I will further demonstrate female’s contradiction in workplace with social examples, how we should alter the mindset of gender identity between family culture and working environment, and how gender role impressions affect the perception of both sexes. Because genders have different attributions to the success of work or academic achievement. Which is closely relate to our daily lives.


 Gender Bias has not yet become a past tense, true that it still happens in different work places. The basic meaning of bias is unfair and unequal treatment. It can be intentional or unintentional, or it can be caused by an individual or organization. According to Ilo.org (2011), it mentions, “Women were overrepresented in several industries and underrepresented in others” (ILO 2011), ILO (2011) positively reflects that a certain group has been treated unequally. For instance, in the ground services at airlines industry, we often see more women than men. This industry requires a more thoughtful mind because customer services and message delivery are more likely in their top priorities. Compare to male, female know how to grasp each other’s differences to promote teamwork, they also like to share new ideas in the team, so to maintain a close working relationship and let them focus on listening to the needs of the customers; According to Bohnet (2016), “Firms seemed most explicit about the preferred sex of their ideal candidates when the size of the labor pool meant that they could afford to do so” (p. 149). As summarized her saying, gender bias can be divided into two categories: Institutional intentional, which means the companies prefer to hire certain gender. For instance, most men pay more attention to independent work and with a better analysis skill. Therefore, in some industries, such as the construction industry, hiring men are becoming the mainstream, because they believe that women do not have the masculine strength and they are more emotional when having certain immense decision. So, in some level of labor, men will help more; Another category is unintentionally discriminate. It means the consistent practice of an industry, and this practice unwittingly contains bias. Actually, it is very unusual to see women working for miner and parking valet, because most people believe women cannot handle the heavy duties and not able to drive luxury sport cars. Additionally, women won’t usually gain trust from customers.

 In effect, the women job became a stand by in the workplace. Nowadays, more women are stepping into the society for a higher position, however, the proportion of men who being a constructor or a parking boy are constantly low, because women are still not being commonly accepted. In family wise, Heilman and Caleo (2018) state that “Gender stereotypes appear to generalize to some degree across cultures” (p. 24). In fact, because of the culture or family values, in order to take care of the family, many women need to sacrifice a lot and step into the workplace. In other words, throughout the workplace, most of the work that women do is satisfying the society. Women tend to pay attention to precision in their work. Moreover, in terms of work attitude, women and men are also very different. Women are reluctant to work in another city, but in the eyes of men, money and success are imperative. In contrast to the norm in today’s society, women are often seen as having other satisfaction through work. This is also why women still have difficulty in mastering their power. Such norm is implying a positive discrimination in gender bias. Although the data shows in the reading are showing significant variances in the comportment between men and women, gender discrimination is actually depending on the reasons for these differences. As for the types of work listed above, the number of the two sexes is so large that it may be just because there are no women who are willing to operate the machinery and less boys like to do paperwork. The Government’s report also pointed out that factors such as the different industry and occupational distribution, education level, work experience and job nature of women and men in employment may cause these differences.


 Gender is not only used as a category name to describe men and women. It is also used as an analytical tool to analyze social phenomena. The difference between dominance and obedience is also reflected in the gender, as well as inequality in power. Although the concept of gender identity in the workplace has gradually become popular, it must be acknowledged that sometimes people often think that women are not qualified for certain jobs because of the influence of gender stereotypes. Gender self-concepts are generated through social interactions, and in the past, men are mostly in supreme status. So, recognition of gender identity is the key driving force for developing gender typing. In Ely’s (1995) journal, he states, “Research has demonstrated that underrepresentation of women is associated with increased performance pressures, isolation from informal social and professional networks, and stereotyped role encapsulation for women” (p. 589). To briefly explain, when we talk about the social status of women from anywhere, we will simply think of their Born talent. In the ancient time, women sacrificed their families and started to work just for a better living. Being pulled by various cultures has caused them to struggle between the conflicts of cultural conflicts and form a unique phenomenon. But, society and norm are still dominated by big families. Women’s status has considerable influence at different levels, Ely’s (1995) entitlement can give a well elucidation on women’s identity; On the other hand, today’s workplace still has serious hostility towards gender differences. In Kelleher, Miller, Sandler and Rao’s (2016) book, they use different case studies to show the strategic change and its reflection for women workplace. This process shows that any individual living in society has apparently been dominated by identity politics, gender identity. As stated in one of the cases, “women were able to access greater power within their families and communities” (Kelleher, Miller, Sandler and Rao 2016:66). The authors have a tendency to the other set of women’s values, work is imperative, but women also emphasize the importance of healthy family, rather than money and status as the only indicator of success. On the whole, cultural identity and other various identities are also true. Identity is never built on a certain essence, and any essentialized identity discourse is an uncompromising identity politics.



 In fact, today’s workplace still has serious hostility towards gender differences. The female image in the advertisement is just one common example. We must also admit that there are indeed many female public figures who can appear in the media, one of the major reasons is to rely on them to bring visual stimulation. In Heilman and Caleo (2018) journal, they use encouraging strategies to combat the gender inequality – to reduce the perception that women work in male-typed positions, and to prevent negative performance expectations. In reality, many companies tend to think that gender or racial inequality is a costly problem. However, this journal brings readers an insight of companies that value internal management, build a friendlier workforce, and assist employees in their development. More importantly, gender inequality is definitely worth bearing in mind in today’s society, which to assist the company in achieving important issues of better competitiveness and attracting talent. Consequently, this shows one of the solutions on how to improve the gender competition in workplace. Heilman and Caleo (2018) have also positively show readers the aspect of gender discrimination and prejudice, it is necessary to correctly reposition people’s social identity and do a good job of impression management. Here with an example of technology industry, it is often considered a field of men. Such social identity is an aggressive development to affect others’ perceptions and evaluations of their social identity. Although the proportion of male in large-scale technology companies is much higher than women, does these mean women are not interested in learning how to write programs and other technologies? In contrast, their points can be linked into Brown’s (2017) journal, he allocates a story of an African American leadership who is named as Slaughter, how she felt separated working in a company and how she was treated because of her gender and race. It can also be called as profiling in sociological term. In order to solve such profiling in society, the three main processes that Heilman and Caleo (2018) deliver is first impression, which can affect others’ perception and evaluation of themselves, and secondly, impression towards different gender can be attuned with social profiling, at last, the appropriate identity can relate to occupational environment. It is true that the book once mentions “[Companies] now focus both on the deep structures as well as discriminatory norms that are manifestations of structural hierarchies and inequalities” (Kelleher et.al. 2016:144). Authors bring a good argument that, we now focus both on the discriminatory norms that are manifestations of structural hierarchies and inequalities. More and more women are entering the work force. However, given the physiological differences between men and women, women often encounter more problems in the workplace. In addition to family factors, although many companies aim to help strengthen women’s leadership ability, companies should focus on the most fundamental problem of reducing prejudice and inequality.


As a conclusion, from the industrial society to the modern society of today, the inequality between two sexes is still widespread. To solve the most significant variance between men and women at work, people should be complementary from the two sexes. In addition, companies should make full use of the proficiency of men and women to achieve a mutually beneficial approach. As this paper has demonstrated, in order to eliminate gender contradiction in workplace, we should understand what the concept of gender bias is, then alter the mindset of gender identity from tradition norm, as well as to find the best guide in put an end to gender inequality.


  • Brown, K. F. (2017). The Unfinished Business of Race and Gender at Work. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society42(2), 545–547. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1086/688190
  • Ely, R. J. (1995). The Power in Demography: Women’s Social Constructions of Gender Identity at Work. Academy of Management Journal38(3), 589–634. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.2307/256740
  • Heilman, M. E., & Caleo, S. (2018). Combatting gender discrimination: A lack of fit framework. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 21(5), 725–744. https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430218761587
  • ILO. (2011, November 23). Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/washington/areas/gender-equality-in-the-workplace/WCMS_159496/lang–en/index.htm
  • Iris Bohnet, What Works: Gender Equality by DesignWhat Works: Gender Equality by DesignBohnetIrisCambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2016. Journal of Sociology,54(1), 160-161. doi:10.1177/1440783317721994
  • Kelleher, D., Miller, C., Sandler, J., Rao, A. (2016). Gender at work: Theory and practice for 21st century organizations. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.



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