Effects Of Family Responsibilities And Discrimination On The Career Progress Of Women

1814 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Writh noted that despite women becoming increasingly active in economic activities they are still under-represented when it comes to senior management position. She supported this argument by pointing out that 40% of the labour force comprise of women. However, when it comes to top management position; only 20% are women (Writh 2001). This is as a result of a number of barriers which prevent women from function effectively. Family responsibilities, stereotypes that have led to gender discrimination, are perhaps the most notable factors. Despite this negativity women can still perform exceptionally well as senior managers; especially if effective work/life balance initiatives are undertaken.
Family Responsibilities
Family responsibilities-such as childbearing, rearing and other common household duties which have traditionally been place on women- play are major role in hindering their career progress. These responsibilities reduce the competitiveness of women by adding to them other unpaid responsibilities that men usually do not face (Writh 2001; Adler & Izraeli 1994). This has had profound effect on the ability of women to pursue their career ambitions. Similarly, most employers have resulted in perceiving women as incapable of giving their employment full attention. Actually, evidence point out that women exit the workforce and/or accept part time job at higher rate than men in an effort to balance between the paid (employment) and unpaid (family responsibility) (Kochanowski 2009). Based on Kochanowski (2009) argument, this inability of women to consistently participate in career without breaking off to attend to other family responsibilities hinders them from gaining the necessary skills and experience needed for a senior executive job.
Stereotypes
The issue of family responsibilities and the extent to which it has been overburdened on women is so pronounced that it has led to certain stereotypes believes. For example a certain set of literature challenges the notion that all women are charged with family responsibilities. Evidently there are women who are more career focused and therefore have restrained themselves from attaining any family; at least until a future date. Yet still, even this group is categorized as most women who have great family responsibilities that can greatly hinder their capabilities of performing the complex duty of managing organizations (Kochanowski 2009; Branson & Wellignton 2005).
The diverse leadership style between male and female has also resulted in a stereotype believe that women do not make good leaders. This is because more often than not, the criterion used to measure good leadership style is by observing the current leaders whom most of times are men. Accordingly, they will male leadership styles which are somewhat different from those of their female counterpart. When a woman tries to apply an interactive and a less direct and masculine leadership approach, they are prone to...

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