Issues that Lead to Gender Inequality in the Workplace

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • United States
  • Saudi Arabia


Did you know at least one-fourth of women in the US are sexually harassed in the workplace? In some places that number even goes up to eighty-five percent. It mainly occurs in jobs that are male-dominated and professions surrounding the restaurant and hospitality industries. Gender inequality in the workplace is a very unfair way of behaving towards women all over the world. Several reasons lead to gender inequality in the workplace and there are countless irreversible consequences because of it. This mainly happens due to the lack of respect men have towards women, therefore, it leads to unfair treatment from men to women. In this essay, I will focus on gender inequality in the workforce in the US and Saudi Arabia. I’m going to dive deeper into the details of all the causes and consequences from a global, national and global perspective I am going to talk about all the possible solutions concerning that matter.

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United States

One huge global issue surrounding why gender inequality happens in the workplace is that women don’t receive enough support from business companies. It says that “Companies report that they are highly committed to gender diversity. But that commitment has not translated into meaningful progress. The proportion of women at every level in corporate America has hardly changed. Progress isn’t just slow. It’s stalled.”(12). This means that companies have good intentions but they are not willing to take any actions towards that matter. This shows how self-centered companies are as they aren’t willing to accept gender diversity and this damages the global society as a whole. Companies need to set a good example for others to look up to. Companies can influence each other therefore we need more companies to take a step forward and promote gender equality so others can follow. In addition, this might also affect their productivity and quality at work, businesses companies should be very concerned by their lack of action towards promoting gender diversity. Companies lack support towards women in the workplace, companies have to take action rather than just saying it.

Women are being harassed throughout their whole lives, at home and even at the workplace. According to the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment survey, 38 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, and 81 percent reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, including verbal or physical assault. (6) This demonstrates the lack of respect and decency men show towards women. One of the main reasons why women are being assaulted in the workplace is that they often have a more vulnerable and weaker physique than men, therefore, men use that fact to benefit their satisfaction. If men don’t show any respect and fairness towards women, this may result in numerous life-threatening consequences. According to data compiled by Equal Rights Advocates, a women’s law center in the U.S., 90 to 95% of sexually harassed women suffer from some debilitating stress reaction, including anxiety, depression, headaches, sleep disorders, weight loss or gain, nausea, lowered self-esteem, and sexual dysfunction. (13) This means that being harassing can also damage a woman’s mental state as they might experience more anxiety and depression. This can result in using alcohol and drugs of women and it could lead to bad performance in the workplace. Worst case scenario, women might even take their own life. Sexual assault is another very serious problem that leads to gender inequality in the workplace.

In my opinion, the first step to achieving gender equality is reducing the gender pay gap as much as possible. It says “Women earn just 79 cents for every dollar men make in 2019.”(15) I believe closing the gap between men and women would boost women’s confidence and men would not look down on women anymore. We can close the pay gap between men and women by eliminating all the biases within the company. We can ban any bias and unequal treatment from men towards women in the workplace and vice versa and we could have serious consequences for such behavior such as salary penalty, get fired, and so on. By building such discipline workers and managers would have no problem with accepting a closed pay gap between genders. It is very likely to be completed only if the workforce all put some effort into it. We also need to take action in educating people about the serious consequences people face when experiencing mistreatment in the workplace. In other words, we need to teach people to put themselves in other people’s shoes. If we could be able to get the point through people’s heads then this solution is very likely to succeed.

Saudi Arabia

One huge issue of why gender inequality in the workplace occurs in Saudi Arabia is because women don’t receive the same support and rights as men. It says “King Fahd, responding to complaints about applications for women to work in offices, sent out a widely-published circular reminding Saudi and foreign businesses that no women would be allowed to work in any establishment, public or private, where they may come in contact with men.”(10)Women are still experiencing a lot of limitations and restrictions set by the government and society. The government still treats men as superiors, therefore, it influences the citizen to believe that it is fine to treat women like that. Men get more opportunities to prove themselves than women, whether it’s education, sports, or work. It says “Back in Saudi Arabia, though, the sports ministry effectively bans girls and women from practicing sports. The government refused to approve a privately organized women’s Ramadan sporting competition, although organizers said that women participants would be modestly dressed, have their male guardians’ approval, and not mix with men – conditions the Saudi National Olympic Committee imposed for female participation in the Olympics.” (Human Rights Watch,2012) This clearly shows how much women are restricted in the workplace and society in general. Women don’t get enough support and opportunities as men from the government.   

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