The Causes Of Discrimination And Stereotypes In The Workplace

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Every day, we all face discrimination and stereotypes. Stereotypes are generalizations made about a group of people that are usually negative. Stereotypes tend to affect some groups more than others; in particular, minorities face the most stereotyping and discrimination. Women face many stereotypes in the workplace that often lead to inequality and discrimination against women and greatly affect their potential in the long run. Prior to World War I and World War II, very few women were a part of the workforce in the United States. The primary focus of many women during these times was to be a wife and mother. During the wars, many positions became available as many men left to join the armed services. Women stepped up and filled the gap …show more content…
In the United States, “less than sixteen percent of Fortune 500 corporate officers are women” (Dodds, par. 6). Women account for only two percent of CEOs in Fortune 500 and 1000 companies (Dodds, par. 6). These low percentages are attributed to stereotypes forced upon women in the workplace. Some of the stereotypes women face are “a woman’s job is only supposed to supplement a man’s,” “women are not aggressive enough,” and “women are not as good at problem solving” (Dodds, par. 6). In “over 40 studies, leadership researchers have found that very little differences actually exist between women’s and men’s leadership” (Dodds, par. 7). Women are associated with these false assumptions and are passed over for promotions. The lack of promotions discourage many women and they often feel stuck in lower positions. Stereotypes lead to men receiving promotions and higher level positions time and time …show more content…
Sexual harassment comes in the form of “sexual innuendos, misogynist humor, physical encounters, and even rape” (Dodds, par. 8). The stereotype that these actions stem from is “women are sexual objects” (Dodds, par. 8). Women who experience sexual harassment are made uncomfortable and are forced to leave their jobs (Dodds, par. 8). Donna Bobbitt-Zeher studied several court case and observed reoccurring stereotypes. One stereotype she observed was “Women first, workers second” (Bobbitt-Zeher 771). Bobbitt-Zeher states, “The discrimination narratives paint a picture of women workers as viewed first as women, second as workers. This appears most clearly in explicit expressions that suggest women’s personal lives and roles as wives and mothers make them less invested and less less reliable workers” (771). Pregnant women face the following stereotypes: “women just want to be moms and don’t want long term jobs” and “women don’t devote as much time to work when they have children” (Dodds, par. 9). Theses stereotypes can lead to pregnant women being passed over for positions. If hired, after returning from maternity leave, women are demoted even if they “wanted to maintain … hours and responsibilities” (Dodds, par. 9). Mothers have to fear losing their job while they are on leave healing and caring for their

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