An Occupation Of Equal Just Won’t Do

1716 words - 7 pages

Nursing is predominantly a female occupation in a male dominated culture. This fact is one the fundamental problems that women face in most occupations, not only in the nursing profession. Nursing does however; provide an opportunity to examine the extent and causes of gender-based inequalities in the labor market. Women live under a structure of power known as patriarchy, a social organization, in which a male has supreme authority. Every social and economic force supports this patriarchal system. The power of patriarchy is the most invasive because of its universality and prolonged existence (Cleland 1542). Women experience difficulties because of this structure of power through sex discrimination in job recruitment, promotions and salary. Title VII of the 1964 federal civil rights act, which prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin in hiring, upgrading and all other conditions of employment. This means that any type of discrimination, including sexism, is against the law and should not be taking place in the labor market.
Although Title VII addresses discrimination, there continues to be a need for equal employment opportunity. There seems to be a confusion of the sex role and professional role in job recruitment. The application process is where sex discrimination first begins in the workplace, because it asks one’s marital status. A personal relationship should have no professional significance. It should not make a difference if a nurse lives alone, with a spouse, or even with another male or female. The marital status should not be considered a symbol of success or failure (Cleland 1546). Along with the marital status, the application asks whether or not the applicant has children. In the nursing occupation men are more likely to get hired over women, because men have the availability to do the extra work and their partners are the ones caring for the children and tending to other issues on the home front. These are personal decisions that people make for themselves and they should not affect one’s professional life. Employers need to focus on hiring leaders who will insist on being involved in decision making and other priorities of the institution rather than their gender, marital status or whether they have children or not.
Nancy Edwards began her nursing career as a floor nurse. She has been working for thirty-nine years and is now a charge nurse at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Georgia. She is responsible for making rounds with the medical director, admitting and discharging patients as well as caring for many bed patients. Nancy stated that she worked with many women but only four men. She experienced an inequality in the workplace when she had been working for almost fifteen years. A senior position became available and a male who worked under her received the position. She did not see this as an inequality at the time; she simply believed that she...

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