Problems & Challenges Facing Women in Achieving Executive Positions
GB520 Strategic Human Resources Management
Prof: Susan Pettine
Are women still facing challenges of achieving executive positions? Although there seems to be a shifting in numbers in the workforce this question is still relevant. When looking across the number of companies that exist in the U.S.A. and the makeup of the workforce there still seem to be an imbalance in number of women in executive positions. Women make up 47% of the workforce, however less than 15% are in executive positions (Starvish, 2012).
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Although it is something that is not necessarily defined in an organization’s mission and vision statement the truth of it is there is still the proverbial glass ceiling that exist. In various situations companies have been in the position of possible gender discrimination class action law suits because the of the unspoken rules that exist around hiring or promoting women into senior level or executive roles due to various reasons, such as a woman of childbearing age could potentially get pregnant (Wolfe, 2013). Additionally, women pursuing or currently in executive positions are sometimes the victim of what is considered to be passive gender discrimination, making it very difficult to identify or substantiate (Wolfe, 2013).
There is also in some cases a cultural difference that makes it very difficult or even prevents women from being in senior level or executive level positions. One case that stands out in most recent past is one of where an woman executive level manager who worked for Computer Science Corporation in Los Angeles, CA were many of the executives were of Indian decent. The woman executive was constantly berated and told that she should be at home taking care of her husband and children. When she complained she was demoted and consequently fired because she refused to stop speaking up about it.
Another case that has been in past news that speaks gender discrimination is the case where Walmart was sued by women workers. This particular case was in brought to the forefront by women working for Walmart claiming there was a bias in promotion and compensation against women that worked for Walmart. There have been several attempts at class action suits against Walmart where current and former women employees claim Walmart has practices that don’t allow for women to be promoted or compensated the same as their male counterparts. Walmart has stated that they have not such policies in place and they are a company which values diversity and non-discriminatory practices. However in the case of Walmart each time the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the group of women filing the class action suit have no basis as a group in one state other states have come to the forefront stating the same claim that Walmart is practicing gender discrimination relating to promotions and compensation.
While gender discrimination is a practice that is known to be illegal it is one that is difficult to pinpoint, but is a practice that is still alive and kicking in many organizations. There are also other factors that are playing into why there are very few women in executive positions. The gender gap in the number of women executives as opposed to men goes deeper than the proverbial glass ceiling that has been established. There are also disparities in compensation as well. Although it appears when looking at sheer numbers the growth of women in top executive positions have increased compared to 10 years ago...