Equal Rights Outline – Gender Issues in the Workplace

I. Introduction
A. Sexism and gender discrepancies in the workplace have been a problem throughout the years
1. Women suffer due to stereotypical views of their roles
2. Men suffer due to stereotypical views of their roles
B. The problems run the gamut from lower pay to closed doors to outright abuse
II. The issues, challenged, and opportunities experienced by this group in the labor force
A. Historically, only certain parts of the labor force were open to women
1. Women were often not given access to the education that would have allowed them to enter various segments of the workforce.
2. Economic dependency on men also restricted a woman’s access to the workplace.
B. The subordinate view of women was also a difficulty
1. A woman required the permission of her ‘guardian male’ to enter the workforce
2. Often, a woman’s pay was given to her ‘guardian male’
C. Women were expected to quit if they got married or had children
III. Society has constructed an identity for women
A. Women are socialized to be ‘nice’
1. Women are not permitted to set up and defend their personal boundaries
2. A woman’s body is often viewed as public property instead of subject to her governance
3. Women who step outside of their societal gender roles or refuse to conform to the ‘norm’ are often degraded, abused, or even attacked in attempts to ‘put them in their place’
B. Society has particular notions of masculine and feminine traits
1. A woman who seeks a leadership role is viewed as emasculating and unfeminine
2. Women are expected to be emotional and judged as such even if they are not
C. Gender essentialism arguments are offered as psuedo-scientific justifications for the discrimination
1. Gender essentialists claim men and women are inherently different from birth
2. Gender essentialism is essentially short-sighted nonsense
D. Religious groups teach that women belong in the home, caring for the children
1. Some religions outright bar women from seeking employ outside the home
2. Additionally, some religions actively discourage women from seeking higher education
3. Several religions also specifically bar women from seeking leadership roles within the religious organization itself.
IV. There are some laws in place to help women
A. Being a woman is often not considered a protected class in many situations
1. A woman’s recourse when she is discriminated against is often limited
2. Companies that choose not to address sexual harassment cases in house often get away with allowing the behavior.
3. Recourse is often limited to a lawsuit, putting the burden on the victim
B. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act in an attempt to remove wage disparity based on gender
1. No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
2. Women now earn 80% of what men earn instead of 62%, due to loopholes such as not actually allowing women to advance into or even take positions that pay higher.
3. Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in an attempt to close many of the existing loopholes that still allow gender discrimination to occur in the workplace.
V. The issue is widespread, with a few nations being better in this regard than the US and many being much, much worse.
A. The UK passed the Equal Pay Act in 1970 which was influenced by the US Equal Pay Act of 1963
B. Many nations, particularly those heavily influenced by various religious groups, have laws in place to prevent women from working or seeking higher education
1. Some of these countries go so far as to ban women from driving or leaving the home without a male escort
2. Women who seek to campaign against this mistreatment are often arrested, killed, or disappeared.
VI. Various groups have different solutions for the gender disparity in the workplace.
A. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) addresses the issues of sex discrimination in the workplace
1. The ACLU often provides low cost or pro-bono legal services to those seeking redress in cases of sexual harassment and discrimination.
2. The ACLU also addresses other systematic forms of discrimination against women that undermine women in society, such as reproductive rights
B. NOW (National Organization for Women) also addresses the issues of sex discrimination in the workplace
VII. There are other options available to address the root causes of the issue
A. Discovering the root causes of the issue is a vital part of improving the situation
1. There are several groups dedicated to addressing the issues of privilege that allow systematic gender discrimination to continue unabated.
a. Groups of bloggers such as the Hathor Legacy attempt to address the public social conscience
b. Many women are banding together to support and educate each other on their rights and responsibilities towards all other women in attempts to redress these issues
2. Even the subtle forms of discrimination must be addressed in order to prevent condoning the more strenuous forms of discrimination.
B. Ongoing education and networking opportunities will provide women with a stronger, more equal voice in the workplace and in society
VIII. Presentation format for Week Five Equal Rights Proposition Presentation
A. Presentation will be in PowerPoint format
B. Presentation will consist of 16 slides, with 2 slides for each of the seven segments, 1 slide for the conclusion, and 1 slide to contain the references

ACLU. (2011). American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/
Harvey, C. P., & Allard, M. J. (2009). Understanding and managing diversity (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
NOW. (2011). National Organization for Women. Retrieved from http://www.now.org/
Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Racial and ethnic groups (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
The Hathor Legacy. (2011). The Hathor Legacy: Breaking Down Gender Roles, One Role at a Time. Retrieved from http://thehathorlegacy.com/
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n.d.). Laws & Guidance. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/epa.html
What Privilege. (2011). What Privilege?. Retrieved from http://whatprivilege.com/

© 2011 – 2012, Within this mind. All rights reserved.

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About Kinda Strange

I am a student at the University of Phoenix majoring in information technology. This is where I come to babble incoherently…err…make notes, talk about things that catch my interest, share ideas, etc...
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