Occupational Gender Segregation Accounts for Gender Inequality Free Essay

Introduction

While occupation gender segregation does not essentially translate into a disadvantage for any of the two sexes, it normally has negative impacts on women. In many countries, women tend to earn less as compared to men since the occupations they work under are undervalued than those of men. Moreover, businesses that are run and managed by women appear to possess less capital value as well as profits. Literally, at work, gender income inequality is capable of discouraging the significant women’s participation within the labor market, mostly suppose costs associated with child and elder care are taken into consideration (Moore, 2009). In this regard, mostly female heads of the households tend to specifically impact and as well as the children’s education and welfare. Efforts to narrow the gender income gap have been slower regardless of the majority of the countries subscribing to equal opportunities along with treatment of men and women, plus equal work remuneration of equivalent value, via international conventions and also national legislation.

Many have reported that gender-segregated labor markets make a significant contribution to income inequalities in various occupations, especially the management department. For instance, recent research determined that women’s remuneration in Singapore Exchange-listed (SGX) boards is lower than that of men in all work categories (Tomaskovic-Devey et al., 2006). Averagely, female directors in organizations listed under SGX tend to earn 56.8% of the men’s remuneration. Similarly, a recent report shows that in Australia, male managers are earning more than female managers in the base as well as total remuneration. Additionally, in female-dominated companies, the gap is wider as full-time male managers earn 22.4% base remuneration exceeding that of women managers (Tomaskovic-Devey et al., 2006). However, it appears that increased representation among women on boards contributed to reduced gendered pay gaps. This paper, therefore, supports that occupational gender segregation still explains the gender inequality that exists in workplaces. 

Women Moving into Men’s Jobs and Fields of Study

Devaluing and underpaying the predominantly female occupations is a vital institutional reality providing incentives for men and women in choosing male over female occupations as well as fields of study leading to them. Recent research has exhibited that predominantly female occupations tend to be paying less than jobs that have more men. Essentially a bigger part of the gap is associated with sex composition since it sticks to statistical models guiding the educational requirements, unionization, and skills required for the occupations (Smyth & Steinmetz, 2008). This is a type of gender discrimination that still exists at workplaces whereby employers tend to see the worth of female occupations in a biased way, therefore, leading to the setting of amounts paid to men and women in primarily female jobs which are quite low that it would have been supposing the jobs have more male composition.

Even though the sex gap has generally declined since more women have shifted into the male field, there lacks evidence proving that the devaluation of occupations since they are dominated by women has diminished. The United States courts have considered interpreting the law, stating that this form of between-job discrimination is legal, but it is illegal paying women less as compared to men in the same job, except based on aspects like performance seniority as well as qualifications (Campos-Sernab et al., 2013). Concerning this, men and women progressively obtain monetary incentives to opt for male-dominated occupations. Therefore, it is not surprising that occupational desegregation has significantly taken a different lane whereby women are shifting into male-dominated fields, instead of men shifting into female-dominated fields of study. This still shows that there is gender inequality. 

Gender Segregation Social Change

Currently, it appears that social change associated with gender segregation has significantly occurred and tends to be significantly one-sided since women seeking accessibility to join male-dominated jobs are quite more due to the less compensation offered by the female-dominated jobs. Therefore, alteration in the occupational distribution among women has been prevalent compared to those for men. Nonetheless, the motivation for women to strive for upward mobility is limited by the progressive perspectives of the gender essentialists holding men and women to be distinct with regard to aptitude and preferences (Mandel & Semyonov, 2014). Essentialism drives women towards job opportunities inherently done by women like care-related jobs, nursing, and teaching, whereas men influenced by essentialism opt to retain their positions in male-dominated fields. Essentially, women could be having a higher earning potential, mostly those who attended college and their parents went to college too since they tend to seek to incorporate male-dominated jobs. According to them, upward mobility might need crossing the gender line (Blackburn & Jarman, 2006). Alternatively, women having less accessibility to high-status jobs only have the potential of pursuing an upwardly-mobile path that incorporates female-dominated work. According to them, they prefer joining a white-collar administrative job, nursing job, or even teaching which tends to present upward mobility although their desired career appears to still be female-dominated. Consequentially, gender integration has significantly advanced mostly among high-status occupations. 

Moreover, gender segregation is gradually being narrowed down because the college completion rate among women has significantly increased faster than that of men. Meaning that more individuals holding college degrees are women whom employees have to choose from. Contrary to this, the pool of workers lacking college degrees seeking employment has attracted fewer females and has little pressure in hiring women to work in traditionally blue-collar jobs (Estevez-Abe, 2006). This shows that there is still gender inequality that arises due to occupational gender segregation. According to the employer’s view, as much the workers’ supply has turned out to be more integrated, there is some sort of gender segregation that forms promoting gender inequality. 

It appears that our understanding of the dynamics of occupational gender segregation explaining gender inequality in the workplace is hindered due to data that is normally only recorded for individuals who are already employed. The current occupations cannot be ascertained to be measuring just occupational segregations but instead represent the outcome of the employees’ and workers’ interactions (Gauchat, Kelly, & Wallace, 2012). Nonetheless, even individuals who attend college, are still pursuing gender-type courses, paradoxically exercising their increasing freedoms through means reinforcing traditional gender divisions as well as intercepting occupational integration. Consequentially, gender segregation in various professional fields stays strong both at work and in areas of study. This upholds, gender inequality. 

Economic transformation 

Currently, the world economic transformation has a substantial impact on gender integration. Growth within the service economy has altered several unpaid tasks which were initially undertaken by women within their homesteads, specifically in the sector of food service, health, education as well as childcare. This has established a substantial employment opportunity in aspects that are culturally reserved for women to work (Barón & Cobb-Clark, 2010). Therefore, several women have moved their efforts from the unpaid labor force at their homes to paid workplaces, whereby paid work provides them with independence as well as creates dependence on the market but still stimulates some form of occupational gender segregation. Alternatively, occupational ghettos have also been established by the growing service sector whereby a high population of women undertakes labor attributed to their family roles historically. Much of the increased employment opportunities have been and still are evident in gender-segregated occupations (Kaufman, 2010). Nonetheless, the general impact of shifting women’s labor away from household to the paid labor force has been geared to words creating employment and independence among women but this consequentially takes the form of occupational gender segregation due to work categorization that attracts women and eventually leads to increased gender inequality. 

Employer practices

Some employer practices such as discrimination against women in the hiring process as well as promotion allocation at workplaces are still practiced placing some women and men in different jobs. This form of discrimination tends to be obvious and intentional, whereas some practices tend to be consequences of unconscious stereotypes as well as biases. Even though the general contribution of these practices to occupational gender segregation is hard to determine, a better apprehending of the social mechanisms occurring at workplaces can be gained (Bobbitt-Zeher, 2007). One major type of discrimination that is still prevalent up to date is statistical discrimination which is regarded on the expectation or assumption of the employer regarding the way workers will perform with regard to the groups they are belonging to. For instance, hiring managers tend to consider that female employees will have to have maternity leaves and even walk away suppose their husbands obtain better job opportunities in other areas. Assumptions like these are normally incorrect though it may be strong drivers in decision-making since managers have to act on restricted information regarding prospective workers. The existence of such assumptions has promoted occupational gender segregation leading to increased gender inequality. 

One recurring factor of occupational gender segregation is the mandate of formalized employment practices, particularly in hiring. Up to date, it has been shown that the replacement of discretion with formal human resource practices by managers contributes to increased gender segregation (Blau & Kahn, 2007). Despite greater regulatory scrutiny on employers to force them to adopt gender-equity practices, through lawsuit threats, occupational gender segregation is still widely practiced. Most governments have put more focus on anti-discrimination efforts on companies employing professional workers than those hiring blue-collar workers. Therefore, you will find that occupational gender segregation is less practiced among professional workers while it is highly practiced among blue-collar workers. 

Moreover, occupational gender segregation which is accompanied by gender discrimination remains prevalent because civil litigation to tackle gender discrimination needs a lot of money as well as other resources that professional women tend to have (Williams, 2013). Contrary to this, as the college completion rate among women has risen, the accessibility of women to training needs for work among non-college skilled workers such as plumbing and carpentry has been limited. Research has also found that managers’ role as being inspired actors with regard to gender segregation regime, whose choices, as well as actions, can be compelled by their gender as well as their related experiences (Mintz & Krymkowski, 2010). Concerning this insight, it is clear that the managers’ gender impacts occupational gender segregation since workplaces that have more men in positions of authority denote high rates of occupational gender segregation characterized by increased gender inequality. This shows that gender inequality is still prevalently arising from aspects such as gender discrimination and occupational gender segregation. 

Gender wage gap

Occupational gender segregation still makes a significant contribution to gender inequality in workplaces. This is noteworthy to the gender wage gap. Segregating men and women into different jobs has various consequences, entailing job satisfaction and employee turnover. In most workplaces that exercise occupational gender segregation, the gender wage gap tends to arise from three mechanisms (Cohen, 2013). Firstly, suppose women are averagely paid less than men, then female-dominated occupations shall consequentially have low average pay. This is plausible though it does not warrant the whole impact of gender inequality; essentially, the average pay is quite small in workplaces that have more women. Secondly, women might be categorized into job groups that attract low expected earnings. This arises from the hiring practices by the employer, from the low level of skills as well as experience among women, or even from women’s act on their occupational preferences like the urge to opt for a flexible job so that she can care for her family members (Hakim, 2006). Therefore, all these are contributing to the propensity of women clustering in jobs paying less than men or specializing in low-paid job categories. Moreover, gender inequality is achieved through occupational gender devaluation occurring whenever occupations having a high concentration of women get paid amounts that are lesser since women unduly crowd these jobs. 

Conclusion

To sum up, to date, occupational gender segregation is still prevalent and remains to account for gender inequality at work. It is evident that, at work, gender income inequality is capable of discouraging significant women’s participation within the labor market. Essentially a bigger part of the gap is associated with sex composition since it sticks to statistical models guiding the educational requirements, unionization, and skills required for the occupations. It appears that social change associated with gender segregation has significantly occurred and tends to be significantly one-sided since women seeking accessibility to male-dominated jobs are quite more due to the less compensation offered by the female-dominated jobs. Some employer practices such as discrimination against women in the hiring process as well as promotion allocation at workplaces are still practiced placing some women and men in different jobs. Concerning this insight, it is clear that the managers’ gender impacts occupational gender segregation since workplaces that have more men in positions of authority denote high rates of occupational gender segregation characterized by increased gender inequality.