Feminisation of the workplace

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The feminisation of the workplace is the trend towards greater employment of women, and of men willing and able to operate with these more 'feminine' modes of interaction. It is a response to the pressure from feminism and cultural trends highlighting characteristics in workers which have culturally been associated with women.

Abstract

Feminisation of the work industry is the pressure created from the cultural turn where the issues of fairness, opportunity and redistribution in society overcome economic inequalities and find more balance to combat income inequality, social exclusion and cultural imperialism.[1] The issues of sexual differences, gender roles and employment and services inequalities are questioned, abandoned and demolished.[2] Feminisation of the workplace links to the Marxist approach where everyone has the ability to sell their labour power to own the means of production. Women were able to work in ‘spatial reach’ jobs with flexible and family-friendly working hours because of their childcare responsibilities.[3]

The feminisation in the workplace desensitised the occupational segregation in the society.[2]

"Throughout the 1990s the cultural turn in geography, entwined with the post-structuralist concept of difference, led to the discarding of the notion of a coherent, bounded, autonomous and independent identity... that was capable of self-determination and progress, in favour of a socially constructed category defined by the constitutive outside. The earlier distinction between gender as socially created, resting upon the biological distinction of sex, was abandoned, creating room for research that highlighted how gendered subjectivities, far from being based on a stable content, were produced, performed, destabilised and redrawn in complex ways, drawing meaning from routine interactions with others in specific historical and geographical contexts"[2]

Women are tackling any forms of profession and feminising labour forces that were restricted and were dominated by men in before. From exporting personal labour, entering the labour market, challenging the field of science and engineering, and participating in sports environment, the power and role of women in the society have dramatically changed.

Feminisation of survival

In 1888, the government of Canada decided to invite skilled Chinese men to work in The Gold Rush and the Canadian Pacific Railway to reduce the cost of labour wages and to make these projects affordable. They were motivated by desires to leave China and to earn higher wages.[4] Although these immigrants were earning a higher compensation in Canada compared to China, they experienced exclusion and occupational inequality. Even though the issue of racial exclusion is currently desensitised, there are workers who encounter violence and abuse in their working environment and now, a majority of them are women.[5] Exporting labour to developed countries are still booming since it creates economic growth and diversity. The globalization of labour eases the government debts and unemployment rates to developing countries and women, especially in Southeast Asian countries are attracted to this money making opportunity.[6]

In a traditional patriarchal family, the father holds the authority of property, women and children. The father has the role of providing sufficient budget for the family by working and the mother stays at home to look after the children. Nowadays, it is perceived in the society that the dominant culture portrayal of work and family classifies women as either work oriented or family oriented.[7]

The mostly poor and low-wage women were often considered a burden rather than a resource, but now an increasing number of women are earning a profit and securing government revenues.[8] Several developing countries in Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines, have seen the emergence of exporting labour to developed countries due to high foreign debt and unemployment.[6] Filipino women working overseas in the United States of America have sent home almost $8 billion a year in 2003 and most of these women tackle the fields of health care, domestic service and child care.[6] Filipina overseas workers have earned the title of "migrant heroism" for self-sacrificing themselves away from the family and to normalise migration remittance-sending to their motherland. Not only do these women hold a higher responsibility in their family and country, but they are faced with racialization, violence and abuse.[8]:503

Feminisation of the labour market

In the new era, women restricted the 'spatial reach' of their job searches due to childcare responsibilities.[3] The open employment for middle class women catalyzes the growing use of domestic workers for household cleaning and childcare. There has been a complexity in the modern economics with women's responsibility at home and at work.[9] Cultural theories maintain that lower wages in female-dominated occupations are the product of societal bias against the work typically carried out by women and that the sex-composition of occupations affects wages directly. In contrast, recent human capital theories maintain that the wage-penalties associated with working in female-dominated occupations result from different requirements in specialised training and that the effect is indirect.[10] Many feminist scholars insist that sexual difference is the primary reason for differences between both sexes in the labour market outcomes.[11]

Women face discrimination in the workplace, such as the “glass ceiling,” female participation in the labour market has increased markedly during the past 20 years.[12] However, even with the increased participation in the labour force and the high levels of commitment women give to their workplace, women’s work is still undervalued.[13] Additionally, many times a woman’s work schedule is structured in such a way that it conflicts with her caregiving responsibilities.[13] The women who are also union members at work feel “side-lined” and “downgraded” about the workplace issues they face that are apart from the union’s agenda.[13] Furthermore, high levels of unionization strongly correlates with a lower wage gap as well as lower gender gap.[14] One way in which people have tried to help working women is through legislation.[15] In late 2003, Norway passed a law that advocated for 40% of representation of gender public board companies.[12] The main objective for this was to increase the representation of women in top positions in the top sector and decrease gender disparity.[12] The result, however, had very little impact on women in business, especially those who made it into corporate sectors.[12]

Despite these setbacks, women have been performing their jobs well. Women make up almost half, 40.9%, of the American workforce, and they are CEOs of some of the best companies such as PepsiCo, Archer Daniels Midland, and W.L. Gore.[13] Women also earn almost 60% of the university degrees from America and Europe.[12] They make up the majority of the professional workers in many countries, for example, 51% in the United States.[12] Even with this high percentage, women’s earnings are far less than what men are paid on average. They are also intensely under-represented at the top of their organizations. Surprisingly, feminization of the workplace has been driven by the relentless drive of the service sector and the equal decline of manufacturing. More women than ever before are willing to work outside their homes. Even after having children, 74% of women in the workforce managed to return to work, and 40% returned to their full-time jobs.[13]

Feminisation of science and technology

According to the American Association of University Women, young boys' and girls' capabilities and interests in science, mathematics and engineering are equally well; however, most girls begin to lose their interest in their high school years because of the gender gap science and engineering is perceived.[16]:94 As a result, women are underrepresented in science-related occupations due to the gendered interactions early in life.[17] Researches claim that the segregation of men and women into different occupations is the principal reason for earnings differences between men and women.[11] They argue that occupational segregation restricts people's choice of career.[11] Researchers also observed both gender's general behaviors that can represent preferred profession and they found the boys are encouraged (and assumed) to be outgoing, analytic, and aggressive, while girls are encouraged (and assumed) to be passive, dependent, and nurturing.[17]

In the last quarter century, increasing involvement of women and minorities has prevented a severe shortage of science and engineering workers; but if current rates of gender and ethnic participation in these bachelor's degree programs do not change, the number of qualified workers will soon be inadequate to meet the science, technology, and engineering needs of our society.[18]

There is an underrepresentation of women in the STEM fields.[19] According to a study done by the U.S. Department of Commerce, in the United States women account for approximately twenty-four percent of the STEM workforce, while making up forty-eight percent of the overall workforce.[19] There are a variety of factors that contribute to this discrepancy such as lack of female role models, gender stereotyping and sexism in hiring.[19] The roots of underrepresentation being in grade school, where girls fall behind boys in math because they are lead to believe they are not as smart as boys, and therefore incapable of being good at math.[19] Other influences include teachers, family, culture, stereotypes and role models throughout school.[20] Women are earning the same number of bachelor degrees as men, but only account for thirty percent of STEM degrees.[19] Women who earn these degrees are more likely to go into healthcare or education rather than STEM professions.[19]

The wage gap with in STEM jobs is smaller than in non-STEM jobs.[19] Women earn thirty-five percent more than females in non-stem careers.[19] They also earn more than men with non-STEM jobs.[19] Female engineering majors match their male counterparts in number who go into the engineering occupation, but physical and life sciences majors turned toward a broader range of careers outside STEM.[21] Within these career fields there is a pattern of sexist hiring that leads to less women being hired in these fields.[21] The lack of women in these fields create a cold work environment, which causes women to quit.[20] In the life sciences, women are earning more docorates than men, but only one third are hired as associate professors after completing their Ph.D, but once hired they are more likely to prosper in the STEM profession.[21] Women who have a family are more likely to switch to a non-STEM major or work fewer hours than men in the same fields.[20]

Feminisation of sports

In the United States, women were seen as 'ill-equipped' to participate in sports, and their involvement was viewed as unfeminine and undesirable.[17]:155 The reasons why women experience less academic advantage from sports than do men focus on the clash between the expectations for women, athletes and the stigma for female athletes who are seen to be unfeminine.[16]

Today, women represent forty-one percent of high school athletes and thirty-seven percent of college athletes. Increasing numbers of women are participating in sport at the professional level as well. The passage of Title IX sparked the increase in women participating in sports throughout high school and college in the United States. Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments prohibits discrimination based on gender to any educational program receiving federal funding. Since the passage of Title IX, women in collegiate sports has increased dramatically.[22] In 1981 the number of women participating in collegiate sports was 74,329 and by 2001 that number increased to 150,916. In addition women have increased from only making up about twenty-five percent of the student athlete population to forty-two percent.[23] Before 1972 and the passage of Title IX, women were, for the most part, absent from sports in high school. In 1972 only one in twenty seven women participated in high school sports, but by 1998 that statistic became one in three.[24] Following the passage of Title IX the number of girls participating in athletics rose from 294,015 to 817,073. After only six years that number increased even more to over two million girls getting involved in high school sports. Prior to 1972 girls only made up seven percent of student athletes and that number rose to thirty-two percent in 1978.[23] This was a momentous time for women in sports because there was finally more representation across the board. Compared to women, one in two males participate in high school sports.[24]

After the passing of Title IX, the number of women managing and coaching sports in general has decreased.[23] The number of women in administrative positions within sports declined seventeen percent from 1972-1987. It was also found that in Texas schools women only made up six percent of the athletic directors and in Florida only thirteen percent were women. In addition to administrative positions, women coaches have seen a significant decline after Title IX was passed.[23] In 1973, women coaches were at an all time high of around eighty percent, but over the next ten years that number rapidly declined to around forty percent despite the increasing opportunities for women. Ever since Title IX was passed, women head coaches have been harder and harder to find especially from 1977-1982 when there was a thirty-six percent decrease. This issue has still not improved much since the 1972, even though Title IX was implemented to prevent this from happening.[25]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Jones III & Smith & Pain & Marston 2010, p.54-78
  2. ^ a b c Peake 2009
  3. ^ a b Pratt and Hanson 1995
  4. ^ Hui 2005
  5. ^ Barnett & Schmidt 2012
  6. ^ a b c Rodriguez 2005
  7. ^ Dillaway and Pare 2005
  8. ^ a b Sassen 2000
  9. ^ Watson 1988
  10. ^ Perales 2010 p.2
  11. ^ a b c Hakim 2006
  12. ^ a b c d e f Bertrand, Marianne; Black, Sandra E.; Jensen, Sissel; Lleras-Muney, Adriana (June 2014). "Breaking the Glass Ceiling? The Effect of Board Quotas on Female Labor Market Outcomes in Norway". NBER Working Paper No. 20256. doi:10.3386/w20256. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "Female power". The Economist. 2009-12-30. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2017-11-15. 
  14. ^ Cooper, Rae; Parker, Jane (2012-04-01). "Women, Work and Collectivism". Journal of Industrial Relations. 54 (2): 107–113. doi:10.1177/0022185612437844. ISSN 0022-1856. 
  15. ^ Smith, Susan (2010). The SAGE Handbook of Social Geographies. SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781412935593. 
  16. ^ a b Hanson and Kraus 1998
  17. ^ a b c Hanson (2007)
  18. ^ Cabrera, Colbeck and Terezini (2001) p.173
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i Beede, David; Julian, Tiffany; Langdon, David; McKittrick, George; Khan, Beethika; Doms, Mark (2011-08-01). "Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation". Rochester, NY. 
  20. ^ a b c Kahn, Shulamit (June 2017). "Women and STEM". NBER Working Paper No. 23525. doi:10.3386/w23525. 
  21. ^ a b c Williams, Wendy M.; Ceci, Stephen J. (2015-04-28). "National hiring experiments reveal 2:1 faculty preference for women on STEM tenure track". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112 (17): 5360–5365. doi:10.1073/pnas.1418878112. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4418903Freely accessible. PMID 25870272. 
  22. ^ Stevenson, Betsey (2007-10-01). "Title Ix and the Evolution of High School Sports". Contemporary Economic Policy. 25 (4): 486–505. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7287.2007.00080.x. ISSN 1465-7287. 
  23. ^ a b c d Whisenant, Warren A. (2003-08-01). "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX". Sex Roles. 49 (3–4): 179–184. doi:10.1023/A:1024417115698. ISSN 0360-0025. 
  24. ^ a b Lopiano, Donna A. (2000-04-01). "MODERN HISTORY OF WOMEN IN SPORTS: Twenty-five Years of Title IX". Clinics in Sports Medicine. 19 (2): 163–173. doi:10.1016/S0278-5919(05)70196-4. 
  25. ^ Heishman, Mary Frances; Bunker, Linda; Tutwiler, Roland W. (1990). "The Decline of Women Leaders (Coaches and Athletic Directors) in Girls' Interscholastic Sport Programs in Virginia from 1972 to 1987". Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport. 61 (1): 103–107. doi:10.1080/02701367.1990.10607486. 

References

  • Barnett, A and Schmidt, M. (2012) "Effects of Domestic Violence on the Workplace" p. 22
  • Bergmann, Barbara (1974). "Occupational Segregation, Wages and Profits When Employers Discriminate by Race or Sex" p. 103-110.
  • Cabrera, A. and Colbeck, C. and Terenzini, P. (2001) "Learning Professional Confidence: Linking Teaching Practices, Students' Self-Perceptions and Gender" p. 173-191.
  • Dillaway and Pare (2005) "Staying at Home" versus "Working": A Call for Broader Conceptualizations of Parenthood and Paid Work"
  • Jones III, Marston, Pain and Smith (2010) "The SAGE Handbook of Social Geographies" p. 54-78
  • Hakim, Catherine (2006) "Women, Careers and Work-Life Preferences."
  • Hanson, Sandra (2007) "Young Women, Sports and Science" p. 155-161.
  • Hanson, S. and Kraus, R. (1998) "Sociology of Education" p. 93-110.
  • Hui, Vivien (2005) "Contribution of Asian Migrant Workers in the 19th Century to Development of British Columbian Mining Industry" p. 48-56.
  • Peake, Linda (2009) "Gender, Race, Sexuality" p. 59
  • Perales, Francisco (2010) "Occupational Feminization, Specialized Human Capital and Wages: Evidence from the British Labour Market" p. 2
  • Rodriguez, Robyn (2005) "Domestic Insecurities: Female Migration from the Philippines, Development and National Subject-Status."
  • Sassen, Saskia (2000) "Women's Burden: Counter-Geographies of Globalization and the Feminization of Survival
  • Watson, Sophie (1988) "Accommodating Inequality"
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