Gender discrimination is a phenomenon that is evident when a person is treated in a different way on the basis of their sex. The different treatment mentioned in this paper is to the negative. The discriminated person will therein suffer some sort of discrimination and loss of rights. The number of women workers in the Wall Street has greatly been on the decline since 2000. Many women are reported to have lost jobs on varying circumstances. Most of which are discriminatory. Various sex scandals against women have also been reported. Some company managers have heartlessly denied women chances for employment during recruitments. All these denial of human rights against women can be categorized as gender discrimination.
In the year 2000, research indicates that 2.6 percent of women who work in the finance departments of Wall Street disappeared. In the same duration, reports indicate that more than four hundred thousand men obtained positions in the Wall Street businesses. The affected industries included the finance, banking and insurance companies. Major retain outlets like the Wal-Mart also suffered the loss. It is however yet to be established whether this reduction can be classified as a loss or not. The disappearance could probably have been a plot by some individuals to reduce the number of women in the work places and thereafter replace then with men.
Gender Discrimination on Wall Street
A couple of years ago, in the mid 1980s to be precise, Wall Street was just made up of a bunch of men going about their business. Women, if they were welcome at all, were mostly relegated to the lesser roles of secretaries and cleaners (Vermeulen). There was deliberate intolerance against the women who were courageous enough to become traders (Antilla 160-3). Consequently, courts cases depicted a protracted record of groping, name calling, blocked mobility, and sexual tomfoolery (Blau, Brinton, & Grusky 262-6). Over the years, great inroads have been made by women in their quest for equality on Wall Street. However, they are still struggling with the same issues today (Kopecki).
One of these issues is sexual discrimination. Sexual discrimination happens when someone is treated differently based on their gender (Vermeulen). As a matter of fact, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination (Spade & Valentine 367). Over the past few years, reports indicate that there are a declining number of women on Wall Street (Roth). This is a clear indication that women are not only being treated in a different way, but they are being replaced by men (Kopecki).
Wall Street has increasingly become a boys club with the number of sex discrimination and sexual harassment of women cases rising day by day (Doherty 207). A review of data by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that over the past ten years, about 140,000 women, approximately three percent of female workers in finance have vanished from the sector (Lindgren 163). On the other hand, the number of their male counterparts in the sector has risen by almost 10% (Stock).
It has now become unfortunate that most of the female workers in Wall Street have even stopped complaining about the issue of men taking up their jobs (Vermeulen). Actually, with good jobs difficult to come by these days, women have become very hesitant than ever to even protest (Kopecki). The worst part of the whole issue is that over the past few years, employment law firms have been getting less and less calls about sexual harassment and sex discrimination (Blau et al. 262-8). Women have come to realize that complaints will only work to their detriment by tarnishing their careers without solving anything (Steinberg).
Many women have been reporting that sexism is still rampant on Wall Street, even though less blatant (Raghavan). Most of these acts of sexism overburden the professions of most women on Wall Street in the long run (Stock). For instance, it might not be very easy for a 30-year old woman who is just married to be assigned a lucrative deal in the investment industry (Harding). This is mainly because the managing director might suspect that she will be taking a maternity leave in the near future (Susan 262-6). There are cases in which female workers end up getting lesser windfalls than their male colleagues simply because they cannot golf or pal around with the male seniors (Ottinger).
Salary Differences and Unfairness in Promotions
When women entered Wall Street as professionals about four decades ago, they faced exclusion and ejection from meetings in all-male clubs (Raghavan). In most cases, they would be informed outright that they would be given lesser pay than their male counterparts (Vermeulen). There was an obvious blocking of their promotions including underpayment in comparison with their male colleagues (Harding). Over the past few years, women in the financial services industry have faced it rough (Natalie 35-41). This is because apart from losing their jobs, these women have also witnessed the worsening of the pay disproportion (Bravin & Zimmerman).
This has mainly affected women who work as managers in finance, including bank tellers and executives. On the basis of median remunerations, they have put up with the largest pay disparity of any industry (Rampell). For instance, for every dollar a man earned in 2007, these women went home with a paltry 58.8 cents. According to experts, an industry like finance, which is dominated by men, will definitely have increases in gender disparity between men and women (Stock).
It goes without saying that most Wall Street firms allocate women to less prominent trading desks and divisions with the least bonuses (Powell 175). As a result, women are today struggling against the same previous encounters, albeit in a novel ambiance higher up the ladder. As a matter of fact, the percentage of female managers is lower at senior levels (Bravin & Zimmerman).
How Diversity Impacts Managing a Multicultural Organization
Over the past decade, there has been a delicate but nonetheless considerable change in so far as improving gender and cultural diversity in multicultural organizations is concerned (White 469-93). The changing accent on gender differences and diversity has led to new and budding schools of thought (White 469-93). This is especially so when it comes to the management of people in multicultural organizations. This has been as a result of the challenges and occasions that are brought about by a more and more diverse culture with regard to gender issues (Selden & Selden 303-29).
In most cases, individuals with different ethnic backgrounds have diverse mind-sets, ethics, and customs. Therefore, an increasing cultural diversity is effective in focusing attention on the peculiarities and performances at the workplace. It is usually common to notice variations in gender and cultural norms in different work-related behaviors (White 469-93). This is very evident like in the case of nontraditional personnel having different ideals from those of the Anglo-dominated companies in which they work (White 469-93). It is therefore of utmost importance for policy makers and leaders to understand the dynamics of a multicultural workforce (Harding). This must be done while putting into consideration the needs of women, work and families (White 469-93).
On the whole, there is ample literature with the view that diverse groupings and organizations have performance benefits over homogeneous groups (Rosado 1-7). This is due to the fact that multicultural organizations have the benefit of drawing the best male and female talents (White 469-93). In fact, the exceptional capabilities of women and minorities have the effect of presenting an affluent pool to be tapped by organizations (Rosado 1-7). Attracting, retaining, promoting, and utilizing individuals from diverse gender and cultural backgrounds allows organizations to achieve competitive advantage (Lindgren 163).
Gender and cultural diversity in an organization enables it to adapt to change in a better way. This is mainly because such an organization demonstrates more managerial flexibility (Selden & Selden 303-29). For instance, most women are known to have higher tolerance for uncertainty than men (White 469-93). Additionally, bilinguals have a superior level of divergent judgment and cognitive agility than monolinguals (White 469-93).
Finally, it is worth noting that gender and cultural diversity in a multicultural organization will not only tolerate diversity, but also value it (Selden & Selden 303-29). This is because in its management, pluralism is used as an acculturation process in which a lot of emphasis is put on mutual appreciation. Additionally, interdependence, adaptation, and two-way learning are upheld (Rosado 1-7). Eventually, a multicultural organization puts in place a system in which there is recognition and respect for all diverse groups (Selden & Selden 303-29). As a result, an acknowledgement of the values of the socio-cultural differences takes effect which empowers all stakeholders in the organization (White 469-93).
Survey is the best data collection tool. The sample consists mainly of the working people of New York State of the United States. New York is the second largest state in the US in terms of both the area and population. The state is on coordinates 30.305N, 97.750W with an area of 696200km2 and a growing population of about 25.1 million residents (Raghavan 4). There are 254 counties in NY. About 70% of this population consists of the working population. Interviews and questionnaires are other viable data collection tools that were used.
For the questionnaire option, the study consisted of 2000 subjects below years of age of 70. 1000 women and 1000 men were engaged. Gender balance was observed in the selection of subjects from each county. A cross sectional study survey was undertaken to ascertain the level of discrimination in the Wall Street. The interviewed people included those working in the companies within the Wall Street as well as those in firms outside. Men and women were very instrumental in delivering the data require for this course (Louise 2). Some court staff and attorneys were also approached to help deliver this mush needed data.
Questionnaires are a very good data collection tool because they eliminate biasness. Interviews have always produced biased results because the interviewee can sometimes try to please the interviewer. The interviewer can also try to manipulate the responders to deliver verdict in some particular ways (Sally & Selden 87). Such cases of discrimination can always be eliminated through questionnaires.
The issue of gender discrimination is a very sensitive case and for this reason, very few people would be willing to tell the actual truth due to security reasons. A respondent may fear to be exposed especially when they tell about the evil taking place in big companies. Despondence in a questionnaire case does not have face to face touch. The questionnaires can also be delivered through online means (Spade, Joan & Valentine 3). In such a case, the respondent could be miles away or even in another continent. Such levels of confidentiality create room for delivery of accurate information.
The interview questions used during this data collection process included:
- Where is your place of residence?
- What is your highest education level
- Where do you work?
- What other professional qualifications do you have?
- Do you work at Wall Street?
- Have you ever worked at Wall Street?
- Do you have any of your friends of relatives working at Wall Street?
- What is your feeling about working at Wall Street?
- Have you ever been discriminated against in your live?
- Have you ever heard about discriminations in places of employments?
- What forms of discrimination do you know?
- Have you ever been discriminated at your work place?
- Have any of your friends of relatives been discriminated against?
- Have you ever heard of gender discrimination at Wall Street?
- If yes, what has been your experience?
- Do you know of any companies that discriminate against women?
- What could be the reasons for such discriminations?
- What in your opinion should be the fine for such companies?
- Have you noticed any kind of discrimination against workers at Wall Street?
The collected data was then analyzed and assembled. Relevant conclusions were made in line with the discrimination at Wall Street,
The respondents delivered a verdict that indeed discrimination exists in the Wall Street. The people interviewed were from both genders (Steinberg 76). The men testified of how their women counterparts’ were discriminated upon. There were cases were jobs were lost just because one was a woman. In such cases, the bosses practiced discrimination against gender for reasons well known to them. Many company managers have voiced opinions for low employability of women in the Wall Street. Maternity leaves and family commitments have often topped the list of reasons for low women employment (Kyle 76). Many companies claim that the firms lose a lot of time when their women employees are on compulsory maternity leaves.
The results obtained from the interview reveal that great levels of gender discrimination exist in the Wall Street. This region was once known as a neutral ground from where people of all creeds could have their needs satisfied. Many female employees have since departed from Wall Street. Various cases of violence and harassment of women have often been reported in the Wall Street. Some companies have also developed a trait of setting the salary level too low for women employees (Pinker 65). This discrimination on salary basis is very sad. The lowly paid women could even be having the same job description as other men. The men in the same job category however enjoy higher pays compared to their female counterparts.
Sexual violence and harassment is yet another form of discrimination that has badly affected the image of Wall; Street. Some company bosses put pressure to women on the grounds of sexual favors (Vermeulen 2). Some have even demanded for sex in order to effect an appointment for vacancy. These are but some few generalizations obtained from the data collection mentioned above. Promotions have also been attached to gender orientation of a person. Women employees are rarely promoted in many Wall Street companies. This is another very sad fact.
Gender discrimination is an injustice that has so much affected business in the Wall Street. Many companies have reportedly hit the global headlines for such negative publicity. Wal-Mart is one big company that has had legal suits in court in relation to gender discrimination. The legal and Judicial system should work so hard to avert this vice in the soonest time possible (White 78). Many deserving employees have been denied opportunity for promotion because they were female in gender. Government and civic groups should rally support to enact policies that will eliminate Gender discrimination once and for all.