Dec 11, 2018 in Informative

Glass Ceiling and Social Ally Essay

Glass Ceiling

There are many reasons why sex- and race-based discrimination exists in the society. Scholars have tried to find the basic explanations for the underrepresentation of women in some industries and some employment roles. Some argue that the inequality is rooted in the divergent levels of human capital such as education and training which amounts to inequitable results in the attainment of salary and positions. Others argue that the sources of inequality emanate from social and structural barriers that are manifested in discriminatory practices in hiring and promotion. This brings in the glass ceiling debate and its role in contributing to this inequality. 

The glass ceiling is considered as a set of obstacles to career advancement for women and minority groups such as people of color (Baxter &Wright, 2000). These barriers span a collection of variables that regularly emerge in discriminatory practices that are conscious and unconscious. Thus, organizational practices and policies that unequally and negatively affect women. They effectively bring about a hidden discrimination system. Glass ceiling is, therefore, an indirect, transparent barrier that hinders the advancement of women in the labor force.  The reason I chose to write on glass ceiling is that I am an Asian woman and his is one of the problems that they go through in the labor market. I know after I graduate, I will have to experience the impacts and elements of glass ceiling.  The issue of glass ceiling is spread worldwide even in Korea or in United States where I would like to work. 

Glass ceilings are demonstrated within an organization vis-à-vis its effects.  The types of discrimination commonly associated with glass ceiling are inclusive of disparities in job positions. These types include also promotion and responsibility levels as shown through discretion and control of budgets.  Glass ceiling effect occurs where the wage of level men may be higher than that of women with similar characteristics. They may include qualification and training and the wage distribution rises.

Studies have shown that the difference in gender earnings is because of gender differences in the job market features. Also, the gender differences in rewards for those features may lead to these differences (Cho & Cho, 2011). Economies that are developed such as the United States of America have been studied showing that there is a lot of glass ceilings. Contrarily, in South and South-East Asia, studies have shown that there are sticky floors. Glass ceiling in Thailand is shown to have disappeared in relation to counterfactual disintegrations but there exists a strong sticky floor effect. 

In Korea, a study has shown that the number of women workers in the informal market regularly find themselves employed in jobs that are low-paying. They also have poor working conditions and scarce opportunities of advancement into the formal market. Furthermore, the harshness of dualism may differ among the gender groups. For example, the core market is dominated by men while the peripheral market is filled with female –dominated jobs. 

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Some studies including quantile regression and counterfactual decomposition have been carried out to show the variation in the wage levels between the two genders. The outcome for the counterfactual decomposition showed that the total wage difference between females and males goes up as the wage quantile rises. The increase of the gender wage difference may be accredited to discrimination and less likely expounded by individual characteristics as the wage quantile rises. Consequently, even though the presence of glass ceiling is felt in the whole job market, it is less likely to be openly supported by the existence of the glass effect. This is because the unsolved gap goes down in accordance with an examination through the use of the counterfactual decomposition. To further examine the wage gaps in genders within the job market segment, males are separated from women within each sector and a quantile lapse for each wage quantile was conducted. It was revealed that the gender wage in the women sector which the most peripheral sector in the labor market of Korea is four times bigger than the men sector, which is the least sector. This means that he discrimination that female group suffered that are the group with less compensation and protection is bigger than the one suffered by the male core worker group.  This phenomenon may be assumed to be the direct and indirect discrimination that female workers go through in the workplace which is known as glass ceiling effect. This shows that female workers I the labor market’s peripheral sector go through more challenges in wage increases on the basis of career length in comparison with the men in the core sector. 

The causes of these results may be said to include unequal application of institutions that are gender-related, gender self-selection and practices of the human resource management. The institutional unequal application can be used to tell the difference in the labor market’s glass ceiling degree. An affirmative action program is only applicable in companies with over 50 employees in US and over 100 employees in Canada. In Korea, however, the gender affirmative action program is designed to be applicable in workplaces and companies that have at least 500 employees. The workplaces that have less than 500 employees are grouped in an institutional blind spot in relation to the monitoring and the improvement of glass ceiling (Cho & Kwon, 2010).

The glass ceiling in companies that are small or medium sized may be increased by the strategies of the human resource management. The costs of these companies may increase if the companies come up with long term contracts with female workers who are married. This is because the company may have to provide maternity leave, child facilities and child leave at the workplace as the law requires. These companies will, therefore, prefer a strategy in which women are more probable to be employed as short term workers or outsourced workers. This increases the glass ceiling effect in these companies. 

Glass ceiling effect in the peripheral labor market may be heightened as a result of gender self-selection regarding the quality of jobs. Companies that are within a core sector mainly put regular workers at the core jobs and irregular workers in unskillful jobs or even outsource unskillful jobs to other companies. If there were any gender discrimination during the entry level of the core jobs, only female employees with moderately high productivity would get the opportunity of acquiring core jobs within such sector. As a result, the glass ceiling effect would not be very serious in the core jobs. This is because they are taken over by many male workers with average productivity and few female employees with high productivity. The glass ceiling effect may, however, be worse in the peripheral sector as there would be a direct comparison between female and male employees with average productivity (Cho, Lee & Jung, 2014).   

For a better precise analysis, there should be a careful examination of the gender pay gap and take into account the sample selection bias. This is because non-employment may play down or exaggerate the result of the analysis.

Social Ally

The term ally means a person who is in association with another person as a helper. In such a situation, both persons coming into the association must have a common purpose and interest. In my view, becoming an ally for social justice means that one person, being a member of a social identity group, becomes associated with persons of another group in order to support members of the society. These members of the society are those members who are being discriminated against. It basically means the forming of an alliance by persons who have the aim of speaking out against forms of discrimination and prejudice. The result of such an association should be a positive one instead of one that is detrimental to the same group facing oppression and discrimination (Brown, 2004; Edwards, 2006).

Becoming an ally for social justice entails more than just bearing sympathy for those being oppressed or facing discrimination. It is also more than just being a believer of equality. For one to become a social ally for social justice, they must have the will to act together with and for other people in the search for an end to the oppression and create equality (Edwards, 2006). 

As a social worker, I would endeavor to become an ally for social justice. I would work towards the fighting for and ensuring that there is a proper and lawful observance of the rights of women and people of color. I would fight to end the discriminations faced by these two particular groups as a result of the hindrances they experience in trying to attain self-fulfillment in a place where they are looked down upon. Firstly, I would initiate and propagate a number of campaigns against the discrimination against women and persons of color. I would use part of my resources such as money and human resource and also seek for further support from other people. These persons include my friends, other social organizations and local authorities. The assistance I would seek from them would be funds, human resource and the quick propagation of my campaign, for instance, through the media (Brown, 2004). Secondly, I would rile up legal support in the form of instituting cases against perpetrators of discrimination against women and people of color. 

There are several benefits that would result from the incorporation of the role of being an ally for social justice for me, personally and professionally. In my personal sphere, the role of a social justice ally would lead to a personal satisfaction from the initiative. It becomes an accomplishment of one’s humanity when they help other people. This is further accentuated by a fruitful fight for social justice (Brown, 2004). By being an ally for social justice, I would get to interact with a varied array of people and issues. These persons and issues are critical in helping one be grateful about the lives they lead instead of focusing on the negative elements of their lives. I would, consequently, learn to appreciate my life even more. New interactions and issues such as challenges faced would help me to develop a stronger personality. 

Moreover, being a social justice ally would help me in my profession. Firstly, it would help to acquire a wider concept of the social elements in society. Such a wider societal concept would result in me having a rich base of society’s issues and, therefore, place me at an advantage over other people in the social work field. Challenges are bound to be faced by any ally for social justice. These range from personal challenges to those that are imposed on one by the society or particular groups. These challenges would help strengthen me in my profession since I would readily accept challenges and also learn to deal with them as they emerge. This is a crucial element in social work due to the dynamics of society (Edwards, 2006). 

The obstacles I would encounter would mainly be the inadequacy, or lack thereof, of funds and the lack of proper support from the people and groups I would be supporting. A major and common challenge would also be the oppositional from the perpetrators of discrimination against women and persons of color (Brown, 2004).

These obstacles may be addressed through seeking more funds from family and friends. Funds may also be sought from existing social organizations, politicians and companies in support of my campaign. The lack of support from the group and people may be tackled through educating them on the intensity of the issue, importance of their support. Additionally, they should also be educated about the feasible positive results of the campaign (Edwards, 2006). 

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