If you think that women’s work and men’s work only crop up in the domestic realm, think again! You know, who does the dishes versus who picks up the kids, however, gender roles are also showing their ugly heads in the professional world too. For those who believe that only women are at the receiving end of this, they are wrong because men too are paying the penalty of sexism at the workplace across the boards.
There’s gender discrimination in both blue-collar and white-collar jobs
You know the story, a woman wants to make her dreams come true, however, that dream lies deep in a male-dominated sector and she is turned down only because of her gender. Familiar story? This can happen to men too when applying for female-dominated jobs said a new study carried out by Jill Yavorsky, assistant professor of sociology and organizational science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She and her team sent over 6,000 résumés from fictitious men and women interested in working in both blue-collar and white-collar jobs and found that there was discrimination against both men and women in various industries. From working-class jobs like manufacturing and janitorial work which have been considered as men’s work, to housekeeping and customer service which are typically considered women’s work, the research team also submitted résumés to top tier jobs like sales, financial analysis, human resources, and administrative support.
People feel uncomfortable when men are doing female-dominated work
“This study points out that there are still many stereotypes about women and their abilities, and men and their abilities, that continue to impact hiring decisions, in ways that harm both men and women,” said Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. There are stereotypes that affect both men and women; a woman might not be considered for a job that requires strength, while a man for delicate work. Yavorsky added, “People feel uncomfortable when men are doing female-dominated work because female-dominated work could be potentially demeaning because we devalue that work more.” However, most of all, leadership roles are the most gendered out of them all, since leaders are traditionally held to be aggressive, decisive and assertive, all of which are expected from men, most of the time.
Therefore, companies must be deliberate in the hiring practices to ensure that both men and women are given equal treatment when they apply for jobs so that there is a balance in workplaces across sectors.
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