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Running head: Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 1

Examining Gender Inequality in the Workplace

Peighton A. Corley

First Colonial High School

Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 2

Keywords: gender. equality. creating a platform for a community and economy to thrive. economy. discrimination. Cultural influences as well as the law that contributes the climate of gender inequality that is experienced internationally. The main focuses are how family friendly policies and an effort to pay women and men equally equalize each gender’s value. pregnancy. culture. equal pay.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 3 Abstract This paper explores gender inequality in the workplace and its effects on the economy. workplace. .

a gender wage gap of 20 percent. and even with the substantial progress made in the past decades. 2015). 2011). Even though being pregnant is similar to being disabled in many ways. However. Many parents in Japan find it hard to balance family and work commitments which results in a low fertility rate of below 1. women are given insufficient rights when it comes to maternity benefits. (Babies and Bosses. but a loss of value to the economy which is an issue that Japan is struggling with currently. and even economy. The most concerning issues are as follows: . And even though the American government has been taking steps to grant women equal civil liberties in the workplace. This inequality causes not only violations to their civil rights. Also. female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. there are still rights that women are being denied. (Gelb. Tackling the issue of inequality towards women in the workplace would mean assessing the pay gap and guaranteeing maternity rights so that women can fearlessly contribute to the workplace and ameliorate the condition of society. 2003). 2016). (Effects of Gender Inequality in the Workplace. It is essential that women have equal rights in the workplace in order to have a healthy society and economy. 2009). (Khoreva. “In 2015.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 4 Examining Gender Inequality in the Workplace Women have been denied equal rights to men for centuries.” (IWPR.3 children per women. Understanding the perceived reasons for the gender inequality in the workplace will help people overcome the discrimination that many women face in the workplace. there is still a glass ceiling that women must break through. pregnancy is an essential part of a growing of every society. there is a lack of support from companies in the issue of maternity rights. Defining the Issue There are various excuses to explain why there is still a lack of action to overcome the deep gender pay gap that the world still faces.

and the pregnancy status of a woman is included in the definition of discrimination of sex.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 5 women cannot balance having a professional life with a home life (Harvard Inside Summer. The ideals of each of the religion played a part in how the . while Japan’s central religion was Confucianism. by overcoming the issue of choosing between a career and a family. (Kincaid. women will have to take more leave than men. However. it is expected of them to retire so that she can focus on her home responsibilities. which supports the country. 2016). 2016). (Title VII. It is a widely held belief that women in Japan cannot balance both a home and a workplace responsibilities. Pre-WWII American and Japanese women’s role in society was greatly influenced by religion. women and men should not be denied rights based on their genders. 1991). they will put their children above their work. Cultural Influences Japan’s attitude towards women in the workplace greatly contrasts America’s. 2016). When a women has a child. (Babies and Bosses. This is causing the population to severely decline. (Grossman. men are predisposed to care more about their careers than women do. This has pushed women to remain un-married while they focus on their careers. rather than starting a family which causes problems in the population distribution in Japan. The women that are waiting to have their children and then not having enough to replace both her and the husband. So. Not giving equal pay to women is denying their value to the economy. America was influenced by Christianity. and some women are not having any children at all. the workplace would be equalized for men and women. 2009). despite these differences. Denying anyone pay based on their gender is discrimination. which then affects the economy because there are not enough working people to support the production of the country with the burden of an older generation that is no longer working.

the government is attempting to encourage more women to join the workforce through its “Creating a Society in which All Women Shine” initiative. 2007). But while the government says it wants to help women break the glass ceiling. women’s roles in each culture began to shift. However. rapidly aging population poses a major threat to the future of the Japanese economy. women were regarded as property until 1947 until during WWII the Japanese constitution was amended so that women could have basic rights like owning property and divorcing freely. especially for Japan as they are currently seeing a burden on their economy because of their inability to do so. which is 39 percent less than the international average. Japan is hastily . (Thompson. and only two percent more than the amount of women in managerial positons in 1980.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 6 woman was supposed to conduct herself. its focus seems to be solely on what women can do for Japan— not what Japan can do for women. The primary problem according to Nevin Thompson and many other economists is that: The country’s shrinking. In Japan. Japan has made significantly less progress comparative to America which is made evident because only nine percent of women are in managerial positions. Many Japanese women have been forced out of the workplace because of the demands of work and home and the cultural pressure to choose one instead of having a balance between the two. (Gelb. In order to avoid a potential meltdown. (Thompson. it was a necessity for women to support the workplace so. it is essential to find this balance. 2003). Both created the image of the ideal woman being absent from the public eye while being submissive to the man of the house. 2016). 2016). This is when women first started to gain very basic rights and were recognized and people rather than property but. there was still many privileges that they were denied. 2016). during WWII. (Kincaid. However. (Partners in Winning the War.

2003). (Gelb. 2009). this reflects how the legislation to equalize women is failing and the public view of women is still not open to women having substantial professional careers. (Assmann. color. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 “…prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill. These assembly members were later forced to publicly apologize to Shinomura but. The goals of these policies that will be discussed in more depth later in this paper. This was an important stride for equality in the workplace for women because it was the first government provision (along with the Equal Pay Act) that gave women the grounds to seek retribution for discriminatory acts. 2014).” (Title VII. Relevant Laws Legislation regarding laws protecting women in the work place are relatively new. are to increase the amount of women in managerial positions so that woman can secure more full time jobs and stimulate the economy. effort . A problem that Japan is facing with implementing these progressive policies is the ingrained cultural attitudes that the Japanese An example of the attitude towards Japanese women in the work place is when Shinomura Ayaka was harassed while giving a speech on the need of gender equality and maternity support legislation and implantation. The most prominent of the laws is Title VII. They made remarks demeaning her for not being married and having children. sex and national origin. which “… prohibits employment discrimination based on race. (Babies and Bosses. dating to only about the 1960s and 1970s.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 7 trying to make amends to their policies towards women in order to erect this issue. religion. (Thompson. 2016). she was harassed by male members of the Assembly. and set guidelines for business when there was nothing like that before. While she was giving this speech. 1967).

Ledbetter claims that on her evaluations that determined whether or not she was going to get the raise. 1963). which is an act that protects women from unequal pay due to their gender. Goodyear. Ledbetter sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Ledbetter could not gather enough evidence to prove that Goodyear adopted its performance based system so that they could discriminate against women. (Equal Pay Act of 1963. it was decided whether or not Ledbetter. (Ledbetter v. the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 overturned this ruling.. n. therefore granting an employee who feels that they were discriminated . Also. the jury granted Ledbetter retribution for Goodyear’s discriminatory acts but. this was a huge stride in civil equality by making it law to allow The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was case law that amended Article VII and overturned the Supreme Court Case of Ledbetter v. as stated before. rather than discriminatively. a female employee.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 8 and responsibility under similar working conditions. But. Goodyear continued to claim that the evaluations were completed honestly. Initially. the appeals court ruled in favor of Goodyear. This is a very important stride for gender equality because.).” (The Equal Pay Act of 1963. it is making it illegal for business to discriminate against an employee on the grounds of the employee being a woman. when Goodyear appealed this decision. However. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. which led her to receive less pay than she deserved. 2007). During the Ledbetter v.d. she was not evaluated fairly due to her gender. The reasoning was that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Goodyear had been paying Ledbetter unequally on the basis of gender. was denied pay raises because of her gender. Like giving women the right to vote in the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution. This Act overturns the restricted amount of time that a person can file complaints concerning their compensation.

United States Parcel Service. there was an increase in professional careers for women. (Gelb. Pregnant women have a huge part in supporting the economy. In this case. gender discrimination in the education system became illegal. 2003). there are not very many laws that protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. her condition was “voluntarily undertaken and a desired condition. So. 2015).” (Maize. For example. (Young v.” (Maize. This opened opportunities for women. 2015). (Young v. in the Education Amendments of 1972 in Title IX. 2015). It is important to support those pregnant women in the workplace for the stability and prosperity of an economy. it is essential to the economy of a society for the birth rate to stay constant so that the age-distribution of a population is not disproportionate. Young’s supervisor would not approve Young for alternate work to accommodate her pregnancy. Even though accommodations are made for those who are disabled. However. Pregnant women were not under the protection of Title VII until after the Supreme Court decision of Young v. United States Postal Service. and as a result.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 9 against more time to file a complaint so that if there is an obstruction of justice on this basis. Young was not allowed a different work regiment because unlike a disabled person. it can be addressed properly. However. United States Parcel Service. This is a difficult issue because being pregnant is unique to women. This law has also set precedents for gender inequality outside of the workplace. . Young was forced to take unpaid leave and her medical benefits were terminated after this. 2015). it is important to create a climate that supports pregnant women. “62% of women with a birth a birth in the previous 12 months are in the labor force. causing a struggle for the working generation to support the retired generation. but being pregnant means that an employee will need accommodations and will have to take a substantial amount of time in maternity leave. as requested by her doctor.

Also.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 10 Young sued because she was being discriminated against because she was a pregnant woman. (EEOC. n. even though this law is in place.). n. Essentially this act defines any pregnancy discrimination as a form of gender discrimination and it puts emphasis that pregnant women should be treated like temporarily disabled employees. These cases will be discussed in a later section of the paper. discrimination against an employee because they are pregnant is now considered illegal and discrimination against women. there is still discrimination against pregnant woman that goes unnoticed. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is an act that defines discrimination against a pregnant woman as an act of gender discrimination under Title VII. An employer must also grant a woman the right to change the work duty she is doing when presented a note from the doctor.). affirming Young’s claims on the basis that pregnancy was a part of the Title VII’s description of gender.d. The Supreme Court overturned a decision.) This proves to be problematic because it is difficult for women to take essential time off when they have just had their child because many people need the income.d. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also prohibits hostility or harassment because a woman is pregnant. So. They must hold their job for the woman just as they would with a disabled employee. they must keep the same coverage that they had. n. (EEOC. (EEOC. forcing many pregnant women to leave the workforce.d. Because this covers women under Title VII this means that an employer cannot refuse to hire or terminate a woman because she is pregnant.(EEOC. However.d. An employer must treat a pregnancy like they would a person with a disability or a medical condition and they are not allowed to prohibit the employee from returning to work after her leave. employers are not allowed to take away benefits because of a woman’s pregnancy.). This amended Title VII and ensured more protection for women against discrimination in the work place. The employers are not required to provide the employees taking leave any paid leave. Additional . n.

pay.000 cases each year. and any other term or condition of employment. The EEOC finds that about 60% of those cases brought to them have enough evidence to prosecute. sex (including pregnancy. The government agencies that make sure that the laws above are being followed are the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.d. The EEOC will bring cases on behalf of the victims of gender discrimination.).). for the purposes of this paper. lay off.). disability or genetic information. age (40 or older). promotions. (Gelb.” (USOECD. 2003). prosperity. but on a much smaller scale. This group internationally compares post-industrial nations’ .Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 11 rights of pregnant woman can be found in the Family and Medical Leave Act. But.” (Sex-Based Discrimination. n. and sustainable development. color.000 to 80. The OFCCP oversees contractor compliance with the executive orders and sees that there is no discrimination in future government contracting. job assignments.” (EEOC. a person can make a claim to the EEOC if a company policy that applies to everyone negatively affects a specific sex unnecessarily. Due to the EEOC’s enforcement of these regulations. n. fringe benefits. training. nation origin. firing.d. and sees about 70. religion. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a group “…of 34 democracies with market economies to promote economic growth. only the EEOC’s role in gender equality law enforcement will be examined. The EEOC looks at claims regardless of the state or local laws and will assess claims made that regard any aspect of employment which includes “…hiring. 2003). The EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws that ban discrimination against “… an employee because of the person’s race. Also. especially laws protecting the leave of new parents. there has been an increase in female representation in higher level managerial positions. (Gelb. n. It does what the EEOC does. and sexual orientation.d. gender identity.

This law states that Japan will not discriminate against people based on their race. it will lower poverty and help grow the economy. Japan is making legislation to secure an end to gender discrimination. By equalizing women’s status to men. saying that it presented great set-backs in the 20th century. local government. including its citizens. and prefecture (state) government. 2009). America is significantly less than that but. (The Basic Law for a Gender-equal System. (Babies and Bosses. Japan proposes that by condemning gender discrimination as a government. which is far below the OECD’s international average. There is a strong correlation between a declining fertility rate and a high pay gap. and one of the lowest in those statistics. is still above the average of international pay gaps. Even though there are many working women in Japan. While the US and Japan have a similar amount of women in the workplace. Japans’ equivalent to Americas EEOC and Title VII is the Equal Employment Opportunity Law. Japan believes that they will be able to be a more productive country. which is why the government plans to include women in the process. 1999). The data presented showed that Japan and America are some of the highest pay gaps between men and women. This law requires the cooperation on every level of Japanese society. the fertility rate is approaching one child per female. Japan’s equivalent to the 14th Amendment.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 12 economic data to gain better insight and encourage economic growth by gathering and displaying data. The EEOL was passed in 1985 and it prohibits discrimination against women . This law is realizing the disadvantages of not recognizing women as equals. Japan’s pay gap is over half more than the OECD’s average pay gap calculation. This law also recognizes that this law implementation will cause hardships for some women. Japan’s fertility rate is well below the replacement rate which is problematic for this country. Japan has a much lower fertility rate.

She sued and the court case went to the Tokyo District Court. job assignment and promotion. it is very possible that without the proper support and legislation. as women are having children later in their lives to accommodate their career. fringe benefits. It also urges employers to ‘endeavor’ to treat women equally with men with regard to recruitment. The company demanded that she lose weight in order to better represent the fashion company. America has yet to face a problem in this way however. America could face a very similar issue. As seen in Japan. but her compensation equivalent to around $500. (Assmann. Japan is experiencing a population crisis. lost her job as a retail manager of Prada Japan because she accused the company of harassment and discrimination based on age and physical appearance. (Gelb. as a post-industrial society with a flat lining population (Babies and Bosses. . 2014). 2009).000. This is very similar to America’s Title VII policy however. 2014). they are experiencing a declining birth-rate.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 13 “… in vocational training. where the new generations will be unable to support the older generations that do not work. For example. which ended in the loss of not only her job. Even though the EEOL was in place. 2003). it failed to prevent workplace discrimination. Rina Bovrisse. in 2010. The company had been known to transfer employees who were too fat or ugly to geographically remote branches. the EEOL does not have the means to be enforced like the EEOC in America.” (Assmann. Balancing Work and Family It is important for the government to understand the necessity of balancing family life with work life for it is important for a growing community that women are not only confined to one sphere. retirement and dismissal. And with the sharply declining birth rate. The EEOL relies on voluntary compliance considering there has been little evidence of consequence for not abiding by this law.

d.). in 2008 high ranking employee Kerry Colicchio of Merck. or the appropriate amount of bathroom breaks that would allow the women to continue to work safely. (Covert. Many times pregnancy discrimination cannot be tried in court because of the subtlety of it like not allowing changes in work duty. 2012). did not take leave for either of the two children she had. more specific and clearer laws so that pregnant women can continue to participate in the workforce without facing discrimination forcing them out. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was created to ensure that families who needed to take parental leave would not be punished for doing so. 2016). Subsequently Colicchio was fired in 2007 and replaced by a woman who Colicchio said was “less qualified” but. Many women still face punishment for taking maternity leave. the person does not have to be paid for their leave but. the jury did not believe there was enough reasonable cause to determine that this situation was without a doubt discrimination based on Colicchio’s pregnancy. One way to help women balance their work life and family life is to create legislation to support pregnant women in the workforce. However. a drug company. For example. even though pregnancy is a form of gender discrimination under Title VII (EEOC. where women are punished for their pregnancy and the time that they take off for maternity leave. However. There is a need for stronger. it can be combined with paid . (Rochman. claimed that she was denied a promotion because she was about to depart for a six month maternity leave. 2016). The FMLA allows a person who is disabled to take 12 weeks of unpenalized leave. n.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 14 There are thousands of cases in the United States each year that deal with pregnancy discrimination in the workplace even though women are protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. (Covert. There are a variety of other cases like this. She claimed that her boss often discouraged her from coming back to her job before taking her leave.

and business that do not have to abide by this act. there is an issue getting more people to become daycare providers in Japan because of how low paying it is. America has only recently become a country that mandates paid medical leave but. In Japan. However. Also. forcing the mothers to stay at home instead of going into the workforce. on top of that. and mothers are often penalized for having to take this time off for their family. it discourages Japanese couples to have children when the population of Japan is severely declining. 1993). (John. But. Business under five employees. 2015).000 children on the waiting list to enter a daycare. the amount of time given to mothers and children post-partum is very limited. However. which means they rank within the top 10% of the companies salary. a large issue that is putting many women out of work is the lack of child care. they have to be notified that they are a key employee and that they are not going to receive the same benefits and pay upon returning for leave. and most families visit 20 to 30 daycares before they can find one that will take their child. This means that the employee who takes the leave may come back to the job position they were in with equal benefits and pay.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 15 leave such vacation or sick leave. Women are many times penalized for having children. This is adding to the issue of women not being able to enter the work force to help the Japanese economy that is in dire need of their presence. the company does not have to ensure their job security when they come back. which is a large part of the economic turmoil the Japanese people are facing. “Pregnancy discrimination charges have jumped by 35% in the past decade. even though Japan is in desperate need of women in the workforce. (Family and Medical Leave Act. It was estimated by BBC that there were around 72. There are tens of thousands of children each year who are rejected from child care. if the person is a key employee. 2016). (Reynolds. .

” (Rochman. 2012). 2016). Conclusion Women have gained significant rights with the help of legislation pushing for progress. “…the United States appears to be falling behind democratic nations. around the world there is are significantly more women holding managerial and administrative roles comparative to the previous generation. 2003). there is still more progress to be made.” (Gelb. However. This shows that legislation such as Title VII and the adoption of basic gender equality laws in countries around the world have been working. With the help of family friendly policies. there is progression being made even if it is not hasty.Eamining Gender Inequality in the workplace 16 1 in 5 discrimination charges leveled by women is associated with pregnancy. 2003). Even with Title VII helping American women gain equal pay and benefits. to an overwhelming 46 percent of women in management and professional careers. there are new policies being created that are being implemented in both America and Japan so. “Women’s representation increased from 19 percent in 1970. . As a result. But.” (Gelb. (Thompson. and women have been gaining equality. Many women are forced to take part time jobs that do not offer benefits. The glass ceiling prevents many women from going into high-paying white collar work. all cultures can overcome the pay inequality and other gender discrimination in the workplace. or lower paying jobs with more flexible hours because of the lack of support the government offers when having a family.

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