Men and women have different roles to play in society. In eastern countries, usually men are responsible for earning livelihood, and women are just to take care of domestic matters. No doubt, exceptions are there, but still tendency is as discussed above. In western countries, this trend is diminishing by time, as women are also financially contributing a lot in running the vehicle of a home, by offering their professional services to society, that is still absent in majority of eastern countries.
Women are also expected to take care of children, cleanliness of home, cooking of food, shopping of grocery, etc. These different societal roles also affect their roles in business. Women, throughout the world, face a lot of difficulties in managing business responsibilities along with their personal ones, so these difficulties change their roles and expectations in business world as compared to those of men.
Gender differences in the workplace typically stem from social factors, which influence the behaviors of men and women. Some organizations welcome gender diversity and encourage the inclusion of both sexes when making company decisions and offering promotional opportunities. Other organizations discourage gender inclusion and promote bias in the workplace. With most companies, gender differences add value and varying perspectives to an organization.
It may seem like improper business practice and certainly does nothing to help in retention and recruiting of employees, but gender differences in the workplace is more commonplace than you might think. Men and women are sometimes paid for the same work at disproportionate rates of pay and often have different value to the employer for which they work. Understanding gender differences within a workforce can aid you in resolving them and producing an innovative and unbiased group of employees.
Description Gender differences involve both physical and emotional factors. They are essentially the characteristics that influence male and female behavior in the workplace. These influences may stem from psychological factors, such as upbringing, or physical factors, such as an employee's capability to perform job duties. Differences may also stem from gender stereotypes related to men and women. For instance, a stereotypical assessment is that women belong in the home while men work and provide support. Stereotypes often lead to sex discrimination in the workplace.
Business Communication Style A good business proposal can be rejected if not communicated properly, an application for enhancement of pay can be perceived as greed if not written properly, and a casual compliment can be perceived as personal if the method of communication is not proper, so communication is very important in business scenario. No doubt, men and women have different psychologies, and these different psychologies result in the shape of diverse communication styles. Usually, women are not considered as good communicators as compared to men, but still exceptions are there. Men become more successful in business as compared to women just because of these communication skills. Men are, usually very confident communicators, and their words show this confidence.
In contrast, most of the times, women tend to use words that show lack of confidence even when they are confident. Also women tend to be more possessive as compared to men, as they are reluctant to stand in meetings and to offer someone to sit when they are sitting. Men use good humorous and sports examples to make their point clear, while women lack this ability, and fail to grab the interest of the audience most of the times. Everything is not negative about women’s communication. Researches has shown that women are very good listeners as compared to men. Men can only focus on one thing at a time, while women can even notice that someone is interested in their dressing style when they are attentively listening to someone else.
Gender Perception Men and women experience differences in perception in the workplace. According to the book, "Managing in the Age of Change: Essential Skills to Manage Today's Workforce," by Sophie Hahn and Anne Litwin, an employee's gender can illustrate differences in perception related to organizational structure, problem-solving style and view of work-related conflict. Also, differences in individual working style is notable. According to the book, women perceive that individual work styles should be collaborative, where everyone works as part of a whole. Men, on the other hand, perceive that work should be completed independently without the assistance of others. Women also tend to be more supportive managers, where as men are more direct.
Legal Issues Many legal issues stem from men and women being treated differently or unfairly in the workplace. Several employment and labor laws govern sex discrimination and prohibit workplace practices that treat a particular sex unfavorably because of gender. For example, the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination, such as hiring, firing or refusing to promote an employee because of sex or gender. Employers must also provide special accommodations for gender-related issues, such as pregnancy and nursing. Other laws such as the Equal Pay Act ensures men and women receive the equal pay for performing the same job in the same company.
Disproportionate Pay One of the main differences among gender in the workplace has to do with disproportionate pay. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, there continues to be a gender gap in rate of pay. According to the NCPE website, as of 2008, women's annual earnings were just 77 percent of men's, which means women are being paid 77 percent of the total salary made by men for the same work.
Gender differences exist in the workplace despite your best efforts as a company to treat everyone fairly. There are steps you can take, however, to ensure greater equality. From conducting sensitivity training to instituting policies about sexual harassment and derogatory jokes and maintaining an open door policy for employees to approach you with issues of gender equality can all contribute to bridging the gap on this issue.
Employment conditions Men and women have different roles to play in their social and personal lives, so it is easy to understand that these roles affect their professional lives as well. Due to different roles and duties in their personal lives, their demands regarding working conditions also differ. Usually men are more comfortable in long working hours, unexpected meetings, overwhelming work-pressure, and flexible timing issues as compared to women.
The fundamental gender difference in working conditions is the fact that women continue to shoulder the main responsibility for running the home and looking after children, even when employed full-time. •There are major gender differences in working time patterns, especially in the volume of hours worked: women are more likely to be in part-time work. •When differences in men’s and women’s working conditions and occupational position are controlled in the analysis, we found that women were more susceptible to work-related ill-health than men.
Solutions Misunderstandings between genders often cause conflict within the workplace. Men and women perceive information differently, which could lead to feelings of exclusion or allegations of harassment or sex discrimination. Managers can combat this problem through training and development initiatives that focus on increased awareness of gender-related issues. Managers can also encourage change in employee behavior to strengthen the working relationship between men and women, and lead by example.