Occupational Gender Segregation

For a long time, an argument existed regarding the speculation that more developed Western societies are moving from the era of industrialization to that of post-industrialization. The main characteristics of this supposed post-industrial growth is a shift from the dominance of production of goods to the primacy of delivery of services. This has since caused a great shrinkage within the manufacturing sector. In response to these shifts, manufactures have adopted two major approaches; the new management paradigm and new technologies. Though the incorporation of new technologies may have a connection to occupational gender segregation in post-industrial societies, it is the new management paradigm that has led to the creation of a new work place structure enabling gender-based segregation to thrive.

Overview of Occupational Gender Segregation in Post-Industrial Societies Management

The study will consider occupational gender segregation as a division and distribution of employees transversely and within occupations grounded and founded upon demographic features, especially with regards to sexual category or characteristics. The degrees of occupational segregation vary on a foundation of perfect integration and exclusion. Fernandez (2009) reiterates that occupational exclusion is most probably a result of gender-focused profiling that happens in such forms as horizontal, e.g. across occupations, and vertically, that is within the ladder of occupations. Occupational gender segregation results in gender earning inequality also known as the pay gap, demographic imbalance, and certain features of social culture (Steinmetz, 2012). Presently, occupational segregation can not be entirely explained by human capital or cultural factors. Though new production technology may have a certain effect on gender segregation in post industrial societies, the major factor behind gender differences in occupational distribution is attributed to structural factors.

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Among the descriptive aspects or features of a post-industrial society is its alignment of occupations, which is also known as the division of labour. The proportion of the labouring population who is executing a given job or task in a community is, debatably, the key point when attempting to find the reason for all the changes within a society and cross-national resemblances or disparities (Jarman, Blackburn, & Racko, 2012). Subsequently, the post-industrial era greatly influenced functional structures, encouraging the demand for service-oriented labour which required highly educated individuals. The long-term history of the education sectors in most countries proves that the post-industrial age witnessed an increase in women accepting unpaid or poorly paid jobs which demanded low skills. This encouraged women to seek educational training for specific occupations in order to improve their pay, which is an expected response from a rational human being. In the long run, competition within the labour and specific occupation markets increased, since workers were competing for the few service-oriented and less manually intense jobs and the employers demand for these service-oriented skills increased simultaneously. This competition was additionally characterized by post-industrial era is the new management paradigm that has come with new workplace structure that is gender biased.

The Negative Impacts of the New Management Paradigm on the Quality of Manufacturing Jobs

There were three major negative effects of the occupational structure that came with the new management paradigm on the quality of manufacturing jobs that has dominated the post-industrial era. First, though the post-industrial era created opportunities for women to enter the labour industry, they were still considered to be less important as employees. A study by Stier and Yaish (2014) indicated that most women took up jobs that allow for their dual roles as mothers and workers as dictated by society. Consequently, womens concentration in a number of occupations largely influenced their job quality.

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In addition, a study by Busch and Holst (2011) established the existence of a major gender pay gap among men and women who have taken up same roles in the manufacturing sector. With the onset of the post-industrial movement, women mostly took up low-paying jobs which would allow them the time and opportunities to meet their duties at home, such as taking care of children. This culture developed to the extent that managers were wired to think in that paradigm as they employed and hired workers. This resulted in occupational gender segregation where men occupied the well-paying and highly skilled jobs, while women took the low-paying less skilled vacancies. The ultimate impact was disparity in terms of education and knowledge attainment among men and women. Since the men were required to be highly skilled, they had to acquire the necessary educational skills and know-how. However, with open gender discrimination, the industries were not able to fully benefit from the potential of their female employees.

The result was rationalization by both genders, which if taken too far will continue to limit the ability of women to contribute to workplaces. Women, like any rational human beings, will act sensibly when selecting occupations or jobs that provide them with enough time to accomplish and perform household chores that are still considered to be the responsibility of females. Thus, the main motivation for female employees will be the flexibility of the work that will allow for more time to perform the chores at home. The contribution to improved quality of the manufacturing sector is a less relevant factor. Similarly, it is logical for men to go into occupations that will maximise their main utility for monetary rewards since they are the main providers of families.

Moreover, it is important to note that the outcome referred to here is not only the remuneration package, but several non-pecuniary aspects, such as preferences for different kinds of jobs, the responsibility of the home and children, educational and knowledge level, cultural tenets and beliefs. These cultural tenets provide a fertile ground for occupational gender exclusion that can deny employers the opportunity to benefit from creative women. For instance, employers will select different genders for varying jobs since they think sex can affect the productivity and yields. The implication is that employers put more emphasis on the time available to them and the cultural freedom and peace to perform the specific tasks before looking at the educational or knowledge attainment levels, locking out very competent women. The summation of workers and employers decisions on jobs will result in what is known as men and womens occupational structures or occupation gender segregation.

Secondly, in response to the gender disparities created by the neo-classical approach, organizations, unions, and programmes focused on facilitating and championing for the labour force participation of women. However, they may be opposed by most manufacturers. This ideology is based on the labour market segmentation theorem, which states that welfare-state arrangements, institutions, and unions have a significant impact on labour outcomes and occupational structure. The implication is the non-acceptance of the perception that the public pledge and responsibility to gender parity and full employment are an established attribute of the Scandinavian welfare-state arrangements. The result of selective implementation of such programmes not only creates varied jobs for women but enhances their prevalance in certain occupations. According to this theory, there is a segmentation or clustering of jobs so that the good jobs are given to one gender, either male or female, and the bad ones are held by the other gender. Williams, Muller, and Kilanski (2012) used the theory of gendered organization to explain why gender inequality in places of work has persisted. They found that the good jobs in the main section are first given to the men because they exhibit a more continuous and steady labour market performance or behaviour, which is the one thing that attracts most employers who desire qualified workers and the assurance of permanence. Unfortunately, the structure prevents women from contributing to manufacturing firms the ideologies of which supports segregation.

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The third negative impact of the new management paradigm on the quality of manufacturing jobs may be a result of factors outside the labour market, promoting occupation gender segregation. The factors include cultural beliefs, practices, and tenets that define a society or community. In most, if not all communities, women are viewed as lesser or weaker creates whose responsibility is to stay at home. To the contrary, the male gender is perceived to be the one who provides for families and ought to take a higher position in society.

The ideology presented above is referred to as the feminist gender theory. The primary tenet of the theory is that womens disadvantaged place in the labour market is a result of patriarchy and womens lesser and inferior position in family or community allows them the flexibility necessary to continue with the house chores as expected if they try to fit in the traditional gender roles (Steinmetz, 2012). The significance of the ideology presented above is the gender profiling of women and men and their jobs, which in turn results in the grouping of men into specific jobs and women into female specific occupations. The following occupational structure is a critical institutional filter by which macro-level transformations and changes influence interpersonal associations. Therefore, the ideology can affect the viewpoint of potential employers in the manufacturing sector, especially by defining which jobs or occupations are appropriate for men and women.

The fourth impact of the new management paradigm on occupational gender segregation is the polarisation hypothesis, which presents a dual labour market, where post-industrial development results in a coinciding growth in the proportion of occupational and professional employees and unskilled service workers, presenting an occupational structure or gender exclusion based on sex (Goldin, 1992). For instance, in most post-industrial societies, men hold the professional occupations while women serve as unskilled workers, a practice that has failed to exploit the potential of women in the manufacturing sector.

A study by Hesmondhalgh and Baker (2015) found that more women took up marketing, coordinating production, and public relations roles, while men dominated prestigious, technical, and creative roles. This is a clear manifestation of the negative effects of the new management paradigms. The study discusses the need for new strategies that can help guide labour division and occupation integration in developed countries. First of all, it is debatable whether there should be global development of the world of employment, because complicated societies encounter similar functional constraints. In order to address occupational gender exclusion in post-industrial developments, multifaceted societies should become more and more alike and comparable in their division of labour and embrace labour integration.

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The second new management paradigm related to occupational gender segregation can help manufacturers mitigate negative impacts. It requires individuals, both male and female, to be highly educated so that they have the same chance to be hired and employed (Blackburn, 2009). This paradigm is based on a proposition which is based on the premise that superior or progressive services given by educated workers will continuously control the number of workers and firms in the post-industrial community (Osberg, Van den Berg, Fur?ker, & Johansson, 2010). The proposition was referred to as the upgrading hypothesis, and it suggests a new management paradigm where individuals, both male and female, are provided with equal access to education, skill training, and knowledge attainment.

For employers to be able to increase the competition in the labour market and tap the potential of women, measures must be taken to ensure occupational gender parity and integration. For example, supporting projects focused on enhancing and developing the human capital and expertise of women who are vulnerable will be highly effective. This effort will decrease the possible negative impact of trade liberalization on women in the manufacturing sector and simultaneously enhance occupational shifting whenever there is a policy change or trade transformation. The second recommendation would be to integrate women into new and expanding sectors by using skill development projects and on-the-job training. The third component would be to incentivize gender mobility across the board to mitigate female clustering in low-skilled manufacturing jobs, introduce women to technical occupations, and close the gender gap. Developing human rights projects focused on protecting women, creating awareness, and empowering females to respond to any form of gender discrimination at places of work. With all these measures in place, the negative impact of the new management paradigm on the quality of jobs in the manufacturing sector can be prevented.

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