Women in Management and the Glass Ceiling

In the last 20 years, women have shattered the glass ceiling that once kept them out of senior management positions in business, politics, and the military. In the current modern world, women have attained more career opportunities and legal rights than men have. Throughout the history of women, motherhood and wifehood was regarded as the most significant profession of women. However, in the 20th Century, women in the U.S. won the legal right of voting and increasing their job and educational opportunities. Women in the 20th century fought to a large degree accomplishing to re-evaluate perceptions towards the role of women in the society (Persons, 1915).

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During the colonial period, women earned a living by working at boarding houses and tailoring centers. However, some of them were employed as in jobs and professions that were mostly available to men. Women occupied positions such as singers, writers, teachers, preachers, lawyers, and doctors. In the early 19th century, there limited occupation positions availed to women such as domestic work and factory labor. Women were not allowed to hold professional positions apart from teaching. In the 20th and 19th centuries, attitudes towards the roles of women changed with the medical field being a key example. Some fields were regarded as not suitable for women. Before 18th century, medical schools did not exist; anyone was allowed to practice medicine. In fact, women dominated the obstetrics area (Bullard & Wright, 1993).

In the beginning of 19th century, the requirements for enrolling in the practice of medicine rose. This prevented many married and single women from pursuing the practice, especially those who engaged in early marriages and pregnancies from pursuing professional careers. Conversely, nursing was highly regarded as an occupation for women, but men exclusively conducted nursing in all the hospitals. Women began to be discriminated. For instance, the American association of medics barred women form being members. This association also barred women from attending medical colleges meant for men and women had to enroll in their own. However, women began to attend various leading medical colleges and by early 1920s, they began to be admitted at the American association of medics (Smith, Caputi & Crittenden, 2012).

Most women who are still working are employed in factory work, clerical positions, service jobs, and retail sales. Accountants, typists, bookkeepers, and secretaries were large positions reserved for women. Women working in factories often held positions of inspectors, assemblers, and machine operators. Women working in service jobs were employed as hairdressers, cleaners, hospital attendants, cooks, and servers. In times of war, women worked in the armed forces (Bullard & Wright, 1993). During , most women served in the U.S. Navy and Army performing non-combatant jobs such as nurses, typists, and secretaries.

Many U.S. women fought in the World War II as underground resistance. Along with men, women were employed in the U.S. army and were given combating training. They constituted 50% of the employees of the U.S. army, even though they had limited choices with respect to decision making in the army (Burke & Vinnicombe, 2006). In the recent centuries, the percentage of women hired as administrators, managers, and officials has been on the rise. In deed, there is a slight difference between the number of women and men employees holding similar positions. Despite the fact that the equal pay act advocated for equal pay to people who did the same job, men were paid 50% higher than women for the same job were. Professional women were not given important promotions and assignments accorded to their male counterparts. Women recorded many cases of sexual discrimination at the workplace (Leeming, 1993).

In the 1980s, men who had working wives spent less time on household work than men whose wives spent all their time at home. Maternity was a vital issue for most women, or even some time off to rest after childbirth. According to the federal law, a full time employee was entitled to his/her job after a time off. However, by 1990s, very few states held the requirement that employees were to be paid for their time off. Countries such as Australia, Brazil, German, India, and Mexico required that employees must be granted three months maternity leave with full salary (Eddleston, Veiga & Powell, 2006).

III. Physiological differences between men and women

The female body prefers energy derived from fats while the male body obtains energy from burning high amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. When a woman trains for size and strength, her body grows aerobic muscle fibers while a man who engages in Wight lifting develops power fibers in a disproportional manner. Similarly, a man who is involved in working out similar to a woman is likely to show sign of catabolism and muscles breaking down after completing the exercise (Bell & Nkomo, 1992).

Such physiological variations are necessary in determining the exercises that are effective in producing maximum results concerning women. The chosen exercise listed covers the entire body with no order applied. Female weight trainers use it in training women. Such exercises are responsible for recruiting maximum levels of fibers and muscles, as well as put emphasis on fibers responsible for gaining strength. and fibers can be attained in men through emphasizing on the use of heavier loads (Smith, Caputi & Crittenden, 2012).

The above physiological differences between men and women are vital when making decisions on what jobs women should do and what they should eat. They make great impacts on everything including cardiovascular intensity, the amount of protein and carbohydrate people need and how long they can spend at the workplace. For instance, since women do not easily develop type b fibers, they tend to be fast in responding to movements such as explosive plyometrics, sprints, and power moves. Additionally, differences in hormones between women and men imply that men are capable of performing strenuous jobs while women cannot. Research indicates that women are incapable of performing heavy work because they do not have strong muscle, as men (Burke & Davidson, 2000).

IV. Psychological differences

Men are more aggressive in different settings; in addition, men are more aggressive than their female counterparts are. Studies reveal that men are somehow aggressive in the intention of hurting other people. In turn, they end up hurting themselves or controlling other people by means of arousing fear. The degree of hurting other people varies from physical violence to vindictive (Leeming, 1993).

Researchers have argued that women and men may be equally aggressive in their motives of hurting other people at the workplace. However, they may have different ways of showing their aggression. This hypothesis has been explained in two distinct hypotheses. The first hypothesis has addressed the reinforcement of different aggression forms. Women employees are allowed to use subtle ways in showing hostility towards other employees (Eddleston, Veiga & Powell, 2006). On the contrary, men employees are likely to use physical aggression; they believe this is the most appropriate form of showing aggression towards other employees. Men and women have different behaviors while socializing at the workplace. As the second approach, anxieties related to aggression re put into perspective. Female employees are hired with the expectation that they will not behave in a certain manner. When they engage in aggressive behaviors, they are punished as a way of discouraging other employees form engaging in similar aggressive behaviors. This suggests that female employees have built great aggression anxieties and they have great inhibitions against showing aggressive behaviors. Studies reveal that when non-physical and indirect aggression forms are evaluated, the results do not show compelling evidence of the variations between men and women aggression at the workplace. Nevertheless, men have displayed more verbal and physical aggression at the workplace (Burke & Vinnicombe, 2006).

With the aforementioned psychological variations of aggression, these behaviors affect the structuring of working relationships. Men are more likely to be violent at the work place while women are more expected to respond with violent imagery to cues of achievement in the workplace. These variations are based on the concept that men are incapable of perceiving social relationships at the workplace while women are good at inhibiting assertion and aggression. Researchers have speculated that aggression and competition are intertwined at the workplace; working women fear that men are attempting to dominate and hurt them at the workplace thus they see men as opponents (Persons, 1915).

At different places of work, men are likely to project achievements based on their level of aggression while women are more likely to project achievement based on affiliation. Achievements associated with affiliations involve close relationships at places of work. Women and men have different perceptions regarding danger. Men having close relationships with other employees are likely to engage in violence while the reverse for women is true. These variations are associated with how in intimacy while women view danger as isolated working relationships. as betrayal or rejection by other employees, which elicits feelings of hostility. On the other hand, women view danger associated wit achievement at the workplace, as being left alone or isolated by other employees (Wirth, 2001).

VI. Turning point in history

From my point-of-view, I see that much has happened on the changing role of men and women at home. Both women and men can be found doing the dishes, laundry, cleaning (these were regarded as female work by tradition), and it is their responsibility to maintain vehicles, the lawn and appliances (in the past this was man’s work). Marriage has lost its original meaning and nowadays it is more to do with partnership. This is the case because women have made their way to the workforce, the great education and affluence of society, rate of divorce, and the movement by the feminist. Men still top the charts as they still have domination at their places of work in terms of higher degrees for education, higher pays, and leadership. Childrearing is being performed by both men and women something that has never been witnessed in history. Many men find interest in spending most of their time with their children instead of focusing on bread winning and figure that commands authority. The traditional duties are still persistent and dominate the society with people who are poor and uneducated. There is still a call of more male and female duties from television and culture (Burke & Vinnicombe, 2006).

Working class women were discriminated on the basis that they were likely to get married or were married; they were not potential permanent employees. Nevertheless, married women continued with heir jobs and were not undependable, transient, and temporary workforce. From the early 1970s, the traffic of married women employees consisted of half of the total workforce. In addition, married women stayed at the workplace for more hours before they started their families. There was a remarkable increase in the number of elderly employed women. From 1970s, more married women have been increasing in the workforce. This has been a dramatic change especially for married women who have children. African-American women who have children were more expected to work rather than Hispanic or white women who had children. Fifty percent of African-American families who had children were maintained by the mothers, which were not seen in the families of white Americans with children. Despite the increased presence of women in the workplace, the primary responsibility of women remains to be family care and household

World War II

World War 2 significantly changed the American society. Different from Europe this had a positive impact in America. The pressure that faced America to engage in more production of goods made the country opt for women and minorities to fill the employment gaps. During this era, there was a belief that women were not supposed to work elsewhere apart from home. This was the case when it involved denying a man employment because these jobs were to help men fend for their families. Many of the employed women were single, young and held positions traditionally meant for females. Women became very significant and cultural icons in America during the World War 2. Many of these women were employed in the manufacturing plants producing raw materials and munitions. They were a substitute of the males who had gone to participate in war in European theatres and pacific regions. This character has been termed feminist icon in America, and an indication of the power of women’s economy in the near future. The “we can do it” slogan was very popular to the women of America and was on magazines, posters and other forms of print media. Women mostly migrated from the homeland to towns in the era of world war. Women were involved in many activities. The then government of America allowed women to feature as stars in films, advertisements, and posters (Bell & Nkomo, 1992).

A. Women in the military

The situation that came after the war slowly transformed; women got admission to the armed forces but still their duties were limited to some functions that include medical, logistics, or administrative support units. For the past years, in other states, women have their recognition, payment, and training and are members of the military fully fledged. They have worked hard and attained top ranking positions that are considered to belong to males. Women have had increasing roles in the military. This is accompanied with the demand more personnel highly qualified as countries are transforming from conscription and become more of volunteering. The progress of technology, sophisticated arms systems development, and organization of management demands the increase of support personnel needed in the armed forces. The recruitment of women is seen to be rising as they continue being exclusively occupied in support functions. The lack of skilled male personnel has forced the army to fill the technical positions using women who if compared to male are well educated (Smith, Caputi & Crittenden, 2012).

B. Women in political roles

Since 1920, women have been given the right to participate in the voting process, but their roles politically were minimal. This continued until 1984 when a woman ran for the post of vice-president. The first woman being elected who was a member of the house of representative of United States was in 1917 (Burke & Vinnicombe, 2006). She went by the name Rankin Jeanette. The first ever-black woman to be elected into the House of Representatives was Chisholm Shirley in the year 1968. The first woman senate elected in the United States was Caraway Hattie in 1933. A female senate named Margaret Chase served in office for 24 years. Others that filled the list include Neuberger of Oregon, Landon Nancy of Kansas, Hawkins Paula of Florida, and Mikulski Barbara of Maryland. Women were engaged more in politics. In some cases, they performed well compared to men who were very corrupt (Persons, 1915).

Women became cabinet members in the federal government while other held the positions of secretary to cabinet ministers. For example, Hobby was the first female secretary of health, welfare, and education. Carla Hills was the secretary of urban development and housing while other held positions of women representatives in the cabinet. These women were the first women to hold elective positions in the U.S. presidential cabinet. Under the reign of George Bush, Dole was appointed as the first secretary of labor before Martin Lynn succeeded her in 1990 (Eddleston, Veiga & Powell, 2006).

C. Women in business

Apart from women being viewed as wives and mothers in the United States, they were still considered the primary producers of products. Many women ventured into entrepreneurship and made positive impacts on the economy of America. Not only did women generate products but they also created job opportunities for the people of America. The number of businesses owned by women grew rapidly. This saw the spearheading of the economy of America by women. From the eighteenth century up to the current day, women have been major players in the growth of the economy of America (Daft & Daft, 2007).

D. Shifting attitudes from new found women’s roles

Many business companies nowadays are supporting the efforts of women to become entrepreneurs. In addition, it is not just entrepreneurs but successful entrepreneurs. Other business organization offer a platform for exchange of ideas and offer support to those women who own businesses. Other business associations produce effective and new adjustments to be adopted on the existing business culture whilst promoting sustainable growth sustainable. Women have played a significant power in the shaping of the economy. Currently, it is estimated that businesses owned by women contribute 7.7 million towards the country’s economy; and the other 2.7 million come from firms that are jointly owned. Up to now, women have are making great impacts on shaping the economy and influencing business (Klenke, 1996).

VIII. Conclusion

Women have sustained their way into boardrooms. They are expected to exhibit similar representation like their male counterparts. They cover a third of seats in the meetings held in boardrooms for companies that are top ranked among the 100 best companies. This has enhanced the expansion and renewal of directors who were heads of many companies. Although there is a large increase of women in the business world, they have not yet managed to claim the top most senior positions. Among the 100 best companies, only four of these companies have women as their chairpersons while the remaining are chaired by men. A research conducted by Australian Council of superannuation Investors that revealed that 15.7% was the increase on the average wage for the non-executive chairperson. The average director got a relatively modest 3.6% to assist them conform to the increased workload. The number of women who work with the 100 leading corporate moved drastically from 73 to 93. In terms, of percentage, 12.2 up to 15.4%, is in accordance with the research done by ACSI, and is supposed to release a report of the same in the near future. One can never doubt progress has been significantly achieved. Women have done a lot of hard work, and it is paying because as we speak they have started earning the same wages as their male counterparts breaking the glass ceiling, which had been imposed in the places of work (Persons, 1915).


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