Gender Defender: Roles within the Workplace
My research opened my eyes to the struggle of women in the job market. The differences range from how we speak, what we wear, to where our priorities exist in business. One of the first books I came across was Managing Like a Man by Judy Wajcman. The title alone highlights the severe psychological separation of men and women in the workplace. Everyone faces difficulty at some point or another in a working environment. Unfortunately for women, workplace issues can range from not getting along, not keeping the job, or simply not getting the job. ‘Bust through the glass ceiling’ is a term coined in regards to women and the seemingly impossible climb up the ladder of success. Multiple books and studies about women seeking leadership roles give the theory a legitimate hype. The female gender has to fight for their role in the workplace, even when they have more education, more experience, and a newly found focus on equality for women. Extended research is still being done because the issue has not been completely eradicated; even now in the 2000’s.
Women are under constant scrutiny when it comes to the organizational world of work. Looking at the start, this type of wary behavior begins at the job interview. From experience, the moment an interviewer views a person’s application they have already begun their assessment of the person. The interviewee has less than a minute after introduction to give a good initial impression. However, the traits of two applicants who are male and female vary in expectation, “women are expected to be dependable, cooperative, intuitively perceptive, and exhibit ‘soft’ skills of management. Men, on the other hand, are required to be intelligent, analytical,‘dynamic’ and to excel at ‘hard’ skills in the management arena.”(Davidson 5). Ironically, the display of these particular feminine qualities does not guarantee women will excel to a higher placed leadership role. The continued social thinking is that men possess the organizational skills in line with success in a high-paying position.
Women have to display themselves with a much higher sense of awareness to assimilate during the interview process. Unfortunately, this may only result in a lose/lose situation. The backlash from a woman attempting to adapt manly-like traits makes them seem less desirable or too disagreeable. Negative results can be split into two problematic categories: either appearing too feminine for a position, or not exhibiting enough ladylike traits. Regardless, the situation is ripe with discrimination of sex. Currently, the feature of both males and females competing for a job that is technically neither feminine nor masculine, that’s still utilized is the act of self-aggrandizement. During an interview it wouldn’t make sense to downplay your worthiness of a position. However, when a woman projects this type of behavior in the meeting, “it decreases women’s likability ratings, and...