GENDER ROLE PERCEPTIONS
How gender role perceptions affect women of business
Trinity International University
In an ever-growing world, you will find more women empowered to pursue careers in what were previously considered male dominated fields. Business is one of these fields, and this increase of women into the field provides us with an opportunity to examine the unique challenges many women may face. Gender roles and the perceptions of these can be considered a catalyst in many of these challenges. From the way that women are treated in the workplace, to how they are represented in forms of media, all impact how society views women and how women view themselves. A gender role is defined as a set of behaviors or characteristics society deems appropriate for that certain sex. An examination of these gender roles and the challenges that they may bring, is paramount in our search for equality for women of business.
When considering how femininity challenges women in business one must discuss gender bias, the double-bind theory, and a woman’s perception of masculinity. Gender bias can be described as any prejudice towards a person based on their sex, and any characteristics that may be perceived to a specific gender. When making hiring decisions, gender bias is a potential factor because of the cultural perceptions of women and their lack of masculinity (Gaeddert and Horn, 1984, pg.9). If lack of masculinity is a problem, you would assume to solve this, a woman should just adopt masculine traits in the work environment. The double-bind theory expresses why this wouldn't be a viable solution. This theory suggests that women would be judged no matter which behavioral traits they choose to exhibit (Clovis,1991, pg.3). A woman’s own perception of her femininity and how to properly express this in the work place could be considered an additional self-created challenge. In an article examining gender bias Miller and Sisk (2011, pg.17) stated:
“In fact, women often perceive their own ambition in a
negative fashion, classifying it as being unfeminine and therefore undesirable, and tending to attribute any successes to luck, rather than acknowledging them as results of their own accomplishments or efforts.”
The challenges of a woman’s femininity in the work place will be difficult to overcome based on the perceptions of gender characteristics, the double-bind theory about these characteristics and a woman’s own self perception of her femininity.
When considering glass ceilings and how they present challenges to women in the business sector, networking, the chosen field, and wage gaps must be examined. The term “Glass Ceiling” refers to an unseen barrier that prevents women and minorities from obtaining advancements in their career despite accomplishments and qualifications deemed sufficient for promotion (Dingell and Maloney,2002, pg7). Networking is considered one of the key means of obtaining employment,...