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Gender Inequality in the Workplace (Globally)

Gender inequality continues to be an on-going issue in the workplace on the global level. The difficulty lies in precisely pinpointing the reasons for this inequality, as the authors for this unit attempt to do.

Consider both gender-related articles and find common threads that may help explain this multifaceted problem in contemporary society.

What does it mean to define motherhood as a lower status that is judged more harshly in the workplace?
What are some of the cultural reasons given for the presence of the motherhood penalty?
How is this different from the tension between the roles of father and employee for men?
What is your critique of this—does it seem legitimate in your workplace experience?
Why are social conditions or changes important to consider in conjunction with economic changes when discussing inequality?
What links would you make between increasing service sector employment, high unemployment rates for men, marriage, the motherhood penalty, and income inequality?
What is your critique of this domino effect?

Solution Preview

The following article will be useful for you:
http://gender.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/motherhoodpenalty.pdf
Shelley J. Correll, Stephen Benard, and In Paik. Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty? American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 112, No. 5 (March 2007), pp. 1297-1339.

The following article provides a view of mothers being the sole caregivers for their children:
http://www.princeton.edu/futureofchildren/publications/docs/21_02_02.pdf
It will provide you with a different view of the social status of mothers.

What does it mean to define motherhood as a lower status that is judged more harshly in the workplace?
The first article above reveals that mothers are "penalized on a host of measures, including perceived competence and recommended starting salary. Men were not penalized for, and sometimes benefited from, being a parent. The audit study showed that actual employers discriminate against mothers, but not against fathers." (Correll, Benard, Paik, p. 1297).

The disadvantages in the workplace that mothers face are similar to those associated with gender discrimination, their perceived competency and their commitment level to the workplace.

What are some of the cultural reasons given for the presence of the motherhood penalty?
The first article above states that "the laboratory experiment evaluates the hypothesis that the 'motherhood penalty' on wages and evaluations of ...

Solution Summary

This solution will assist the student in addressing gender inequality in the workplace particularly surrounding the issue of motherhood. The student will be guided through several questions relating to motherhood and why it is judged more harshly in the workplace, some of the cultural reasons for this, why fatherhood is viewed differently, and some specific social conditions that are linked with this.

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