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A Study on Gender Biases on Hiring and Job Allocations with Contractual Workers

Claveria, Stefan Frederiek


Davis, Kevin Eugenio, Paul Ordonez, Agapiel Vibar, Qahira Rotsen, Jake

To be submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Social Science 3 under the mentorship of Professor Taqueban, Social Science Department, UP Diliman October 5, 2011

I.

Introduction With regards to workforce and social norms Rapid expansion in trade, capital flows and economic restructuring have led to significant changes in work. (Floro & Meurs,2006) While more opportunities have been opened for all especially to women, there is no doubt that some have been marginalized by these developments. In the case of contractual work and gender-biased employment, there is no difference. All around the world men and women are affected by the decline of decent work hence they are pressured to enter the informal sector of the economy while trying to balance their responsibilities at home. With these developments, workers are less likely to have access to social security and other benefits that can be availed when they have security of tenure. However it is still evident that in the labor force there is still an inclination for women to be given more responsibility than their male counterparts. While they may be able to enter the labor force, women are still seen to be caring and nurturing individuals, hence the responsibility for the family is still a realm for women even if they are forced to enter contractual work. The academe, government, religion and culture all have a say in cementing this dominant viewpoint. While there is progress regarding labor issues and gender roles brought about by changing societal conditions, Floro and Meurs warned of a potential backlash of gender equality opportunities. Women still has less participation in the labor force, and while their numbers are increasing they are still limited to certain types of employment. Compared to men, women are more likely to earn less and have less access to social protection, tenure and union representation. A brief history of women and labor roles in the Philippines Pacalamans Sex Matters: A Comparative Analysis of Work Discrimination in Indonesia and Philippines describes the importance of women in pre-colonial times. A rich history of sex roles in society may be associated with the pagan rituals of the Babaylans, which were religious leaders of Bathala (from the Sanskrit Batharra, or god) and other lesser deities. Although the Babaylans were a group open to both sexes, it was generally left to women. When a man was chosen to become a Babaylan, they were clad as a woman. These Babaylan functioned as a medium to the pagan gods (termed shaman by western societies) and healers of the community. The community showed

great importance to their women in society, and most political and social were loosely structured to allow equality among maternal and paternal lineage. This gender equality empowers a woman with leadership and sense of responsibility in a clan. The opportunity for a woman at these times, to participate equally with men, gives them the freedom to engage in trade, become the villages chief in the absence of a male heir and exercise their rights. Although many other accounts of other privileges given for being a woman in a tribal society such as the freedom for divorce, most records were destroyed with the settling of the Spanish colonizers. Pacalaman (2008) also describes the drastic change in womens roles in society with the colonization of Spain, United States and briefly, Japan. Under 300 years of Spanish colonization, the Roman Catholic Church would eradicate most of the pagan beliefs of the Filipino ancestors and would change how society views women. The Spanish relegated Filipino women to a secondary position in society, and the egalitarian society of equality between sexes of pre-colonial Philippines began to disappear. The association of the perfect woman with the Virgin Mary changed the perspective of society to womens roles in the convent or usually at their homes. Ideal dalagang Filipinas or ladies for the Spanish were shy and diffident, very different from the influential Babaylans and the powerful women leaders of the societies they forcibly conquered. Jose Rizal also immortalized the dalagang Filipina through Maria Clara in his novels. During the 50 years stay of the Americans, their ideals of uplifting and civilizing the Filipinos brought new opportunities at education for the women. With the severance of state and church, a lot of Filipinas at this time were able to influence Filipino literature. The equality between men and women seemed revived during the stay of the Americans. However, the Japanese invasions brought forth the sexual abuse of the women, and were drafted as sex slaves that were exploited anytime by the imperial army until the end of the world war. Rapid changes would enable women empowerment in their jobs in society during post colonization. Working mothers were not rare in a community, although they were still expected to subsidize their spouses primary income since the concept of male supremacy and female subordination was still evident. Migrant women domestic workers were in demand in the 80s, and it encouraged many Filipinas to leave the comfort of their homes and provide for their families by homemaking foreigner homes. The Philippine government does not discourage this since ideally the overseas Filipina workers help the economy through remittances (in millions of Pesos monthly). The growing autonomy of the Filipina towards their placement in terms of work status was greatly affected by Western colonization and other influences from the roots of maternally-centered society of the Philippine ancestors.

In this study, we focus on the biases of contractual employment in shopping malls, and how it has been affecting the lives and how it has influenced social norms towards gender roles at contractual work. II. Review of Literature On apparent female segregation at work There was a case study conducted last June 1997 to December 1998. This was done by Trond Petersen, a professor in the University of California, and Thea Togstad, from the University of Oslo. The study was about the hiring process on one of the largest Scandinavian banks, the Norwegian Bank. The conductors of the study observed the hiring process of the bank in 15 different positions. It observed how the recruitment was done, who gets hired and who gets turned away, and the conditions offered after hiring. Of all the applicants, 37.9% are females and 3.5% were offered the job. The most popular position applied for was the secretarial position with 32.3% and only 1.1% of the males applied for this position. Females are more likely to be offered a job rather than they applied for it. With these, we can see that sex segregation rather than unequal pay for the same work is likely the central cause for the gender wage gap. The study that there is even evidence that women are at an advantage in getting offers, and no evidence of pro-male bias. It appears that the female appointments are actively sought in many of the position, particularly in the secretarial position. Even in the Philippines, we can stereotype that secretaries are almost always females. The hiring process is almost the same just like in the study, and the ones offered the job are females. On descriptive and prescriptive gender-typing Performance appraisal is the most heavily litigated personnel activity in equal employment opportunity law involving decisions such as terminations, lay-offs and promotions. Research has clearly established the effects of job-sex typing on employee selection decision processes which continue to impact modern work contexts, including the legal, financial and scientific professions. In a recent meta-analysis, male job candidates were preferred over females and females over males applying for female sextyped jobs, although the discrimination was less for female applicants when additional job-relevant information (e.g. education, experience) was provided. Over the years, researchers have investigated different organizational hiring strategies such as shifting standards and criterion choice in an attempt to better

understand the persistent nature of job-sex typing. Recent research has differentiated between two types of gender bias- descriptive and prescriptive. Descriptive gender bias in organizations is present to the extent female colleagues are described in stereotypical terms such as nurturing, caring, warm, etc. It is making assumptions about the characteristics of individuals based on their group membership. Recent research has not found evidence of descriptive gender in organizations (Gill, 2004; Hardin et. al. 2002). Gill suggests that prescriptive gender bias originates from the fact that a majority group to fulfil certain roles. Changing selection criteria may be an attempt to maintain the status quo, thus supporting gender job-type congruity. Therefore, employee selection decision-makers increasingly exhibit behaviours associated with prescriptive gender bias by using different criteria in order to support their preferred candidate (Uhlman and Cohen, 2005) Although hiring decisions are often fraught with ambiguity, prescriptive gender bias occurred in the current study despite the fact that the decision-makers were clearly instructed to consider only three objective criteria. These findings suggest that managers should be mindful during discussions of candidates in the selection process and should watch for changing criterion justifications, especially when discussing candidates whose demographic characteristics may be incongruent with traditional job-sex typing. Organizational training for employees involved in hiring selection should emphasize ways to reduce prescriptive bias and resulting erroneous hiring decisions. Training should assure that assigned objective criteria are consistently applied in the selection recommendation and the post-decision rationale. Reducing prescriptive gender bias should result in hiring and promoting more women in nontraditional female jobs, thus creating more gender balance at higher levels of organizations. This then should temper deleterious effects of traditional masculine cultures and enhance organizational effectiveness (Bilimoria, 2006; Jandeska and Kraimer, 2005). On transgenders disadvantages and ingroups advantages Different genders are also treated differently when it comes to their jobs. For example, a male employee will have more advantage than his female, or tibo competitor because of his capabilities, and his versatility in work. He can almost do everything, just to earn and have a higher position in the wok. Females on the other hand are more fragile when it comes to other physical work. Another example is when a gay and a lesbian applies for a bagger, obviously, the gay will have more advantage because he has the physical strength to do the job, while the lesbian will have a hard time, especially when she has her period (Fernandez, 2008).

According to Fernandez, there is a wide competition of genders when it comes to jobs. The reason for this is because when you have the physical attributes of a man, you are strictly assigned to the jobs that your fellow men will do, the same follows when you are a woman whether you are a gay, o a lesbian (Fernandez, 2008). We can say that social ingroups are at the advantage because they receive preferential treatment, and to boost their self-esteem. They also would have a low error cost, and somehow a bias in hiring employees. Lewis also said that when making hiring decisions one must often consider applicants who share some ingroup with the decisionmaker. The reason for this is because social ingroup favoritism is a robust one, meaning it is a solid reason when it comes to considering an applicant. The reason for this is stated earlier that there is an impact to the perceivers self-esteem (Lewis, 2003). Identity Theory proposed that individuals attain some aspect of their self-esteem from the groups to which they belong. It is also said that individuals are motivated to see their ingroups in the most favorable light possible in order to maintain a positive social identity. The reason for this is because they would be with their friends, and would have time to do work and have a great time (Lewis, 2003) Reviews on wage differences due to discrimination The journal on Sexual Orientation Discrimination in Hiring by Weichselbaumer (2003) was about the impact of lesbian sexual orientation and gender identity on the chances of getting invited to a job interview while the journal on Gender bias in employment contexts by Hoyt (2011) was about employment-related gender bias from a role incongruity perspective. Wage regressions have documented lower incomes for gays but repeatedly showed higher incomes for lesbians. However, there are no enough proofs regarding this and there are reasons that can be associated with it like selection bias, insufficient controls for occupations, etc. So by conducting an experiment (increasing masculinity, indicating lesbian identity) the result of the study shows that lesbians are not a relatively privileged group, but instead they are discriminated since it shows that indicating lesbian identity reduces ones jobs invitation rate. It also shows that unfavorable treatment off lesbians might be due to co-workers and employers discrimination (Weichselbaumer, 2003; Hoyt, 2011). III. Method

Participants and Sampling Procedures Participants were chosen among different contractual jobs available in different shopping malls. Contractual jobs were chosen to simulate a study that would involve a supposedly unbiased employment and a temporary work contract that may enable applicants to choose another job or career once their contracts expired. The group also chose this group due to the puzzling thought of seeing most females in this line of work take up the job of cashier while baggers seem to be always male. Other jobs such as security were also thought to be mostly of male guards, but recent developments have led to women guards as well. Most gender biases are also evident with such contractual workers due to the fact that gender differences are not always taken into account. The population surveyed varies among data collection due to the fact that the group was unable to obtain full clearance for interviewing. The limit of the scope remained various as well among the five shopping malls surveyed with the number of participants per contractual job taken into account. Working age of about 25 to 35 years old of both male and female sexes would be a viable approximation for the population. Highest education attainment was not taken into account since the study involves gender biases and not education-related objectives. In addition, an interview was conducted with Ms. Sabrina Nikki Ramos, a faculty member of the UP Diliman Sociology Department. The objective of the interview was to be able to present a supported case for gender biases at contractual work and the how it may affect employment. Data collections Personal interviews were done on the spot by members of the group as each surveyed their respective shopping malls. No surveys were allowed to be distributed; however the groups initial intentions were to hand out questionnaires to participants. The timetable was through the span of two weeks, or whenever each member was able to interview an ample amount of participants for the study. Due to the high demand for clearance with the human resource department and work agencies, our group was unable to provide written data from participants. All participants were kept anonymous throughout the data gathering and in writing this research paper. Limitations The study aims to gather data among usually stereotyped contractual jobs such as cashiers, security guards, baggers, janitors and sales representatives. Although a lot of

other studies may be taken from our existing data, the group aims to direct the objectives to showing how gender-biased are each of the previously stated line of work. The group will not be including education issues to application for contractual work, although this may be another basis for further studies. The study aims not to generalize as the scope of data gathering is very limited, but instead must be able to provide an overview to the current status of our contractual workers and evident gender biases in hiring or job distribution. The group will also be providing only a general observation in accordance to the data gathered as there was no extensive pattern, other than the norm of females being cashiers and males being baggers. IV. Findings Personal Interview Findings Four questions were asked from every participant in the Filipino language. They may opt to answer or not, but we strongly encouraged their full consent for as much information as they can provide. The questions were as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Male or female? Gaano katagal nang nagtratrabaho sa ganitong trabaho? Gaano katagal ang kontrata? Nag-apply ba para sa trabahong binigay? Ano ang nais na trabaho nila?

In general, all cashiers were female, while all baggers, janitors were male. Sales representatives showed variety and mostly were observed to be in the appropriate area or section according to sex (male sales reps at mens apparel while lady sales reps at makeup, etc.). No security guards were interviewed, unfortunately to the groups dismay due to the high security kept in toleration during mall hours (over passed weeks, reports of shooting in the malls have been a menace for security companies and the population alike). The range of their work experience varies as well starting from as low as a month, to as long as seven (7) years. It can also be observed that female cashiers and sales representatives were among the longest to be at the same line of work which may imply that females do not progress over their respective jobs. Also, it may be an implication of contentment for the women to be where they are working at present. Forty-three (43) respondents out of fifty-six (56) participants wanted the job they were given. Only two (both cashiers) out of every respondent who answered Question 5 were satisfied with their current job; the others wanted mostly higher-paying jobs. Five (5) out of fifteen (15) baggers wanted a different job; three, 3, of which wanted to become a janitor, another contractual work. Seven (7) out of fifteen (15) cashier ladies wanted a different job. None

of the sales representatives interviewed wanted their current job. This may imply that there is very low self-satisfaction over their line of work, for most are wanting another job, which were supposedly mostly unbiased ones (office work, architect, engineer to name a few). Most also were forced to take upon a job they didnt want to apply for, a possible indication for gender-biased hiring. Interview with Ms. Sabrina Nikki Ramos An interview with Sabrina Nikki Ramos, faculty member of the UP Diliman Sociology Department was scheduled to give us additional insights on the research topic. In the interview, she highlighted different cases in which gender roles affect people in employment. She explains that contractual work was originally conceptualized for women, especially singles, so that they may work on their free time. But due to increased competition in the job market, males and females alike are both pressured to enter contractual, low-paying jobs. For her, society always has certain biases or stereotypes when it comes to different occupations. Female security guards or gay engineers may be an unfamiliar sight for most people for they are used of the stereotypes of these occupations. She also cites of different evidences of gender biases in the workplace, such as the dominance of men in top management and the stigmatization of gays entering the military. She further explains that this may be attributed to the normative characteristics people associate with different genders; that men are aggressive and women are nurturing. People to a certain extent choose careers depending on their gender but this could only be evident if other factors enter the picture, Ms. Ramos explains. If a person lives in a community that emphasizes gender roles at work, he or she may be persuaded to go with the flow, as in the case of gays who are stereotyped as beauticians. An interesting example that she noted is female prostitutes (who chose to work as such not just because they are females but to become socially mobile) and female "barkers" (in which even they may be defying norms they still bow to follow the norms of the job they chose, such as having short hair and a macho attitude). Institutions exert a lot of influence in strengthening or questioning gender roles. Family has the biggest impact, so as education (as highlighted by pictures of the different professions in school textbooks and reservations of some Tech-Voc subjects to specific genders).

She even highlighted how the images media feeds us influence this gender roles; in the case of dramas "100 Days to Heaven" and "Munting Heredera" which feature accomplished women who became miserable later on; as if equating that women do not deserve being successful without facing trials and misery. Even religion for her has an impact in shaping these gender roles, but she explained that in the Philippines women effectively used the power of religion to further women's causes. A male-dominated clergy for one cements power relations among the church and the laity, as if women or gays are not holy enough to lead the church. Finally, she emphasized that the state has a defining role in shaping gender roles in the workplace. In the States which sees people as "commodities", there is direct relation of women having larger participation in contractual or overseas work. She gave a critique on social protection policies, such as why is there no such thing as paternal leave. For her these policies for its part shapes the responsibilities the state give for the people, in itself confirming normative, "scientific" views on what men and women can do. Conclusion and Recommendation Gender biases in contractual work are very evident according to our interviews and data gathered. It can be implied that contractual workers are not in control of what job they would be undertaking for instead, it is mostly through their gender that they are segregated for social norm purposes. The issues of other forms, such as ethnicity, race, age, gender preference and educational attainment would be recommended for future similar studies on contractual workers. Most part of the study may be subjected to statistical errors and time-frame limitations which are parts of the study that can be improved upon by future researchers.

V.

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