In modern times, discrimination in the workplace continues to be universal, as it was in ancient society. This discrimination on gender pay occurs as a result of workers being treated by their sexual orientations. This gender discrimination is seen in InfoMa company, where women are given less professional responsibility characterized by low wages. Gender discrimination applies to the number of men versus women employed in the company. This is because, despite the current increase in the number of women with professional qualifications, the company still prefer to use or hire men as opposed to women. As a result, this paper discusses the cause of this gender discrimination in the company from the conflict theory social perspective, and how the social structure of the company may have contributed to the problem. Lastly, it discusses the possible solutions to the problem from a different social perspective.
In the perspective of Conflict Theory, society is seen as the struggle for power and dominance between various groups that compete for available scarce resources. In connection to gender, the theory explains that gender inequality came to exist because the men are trying to remain in privilege and power at the expense of women's benefits (Rossel & Collins, n.d.). This can be seen throughout history, where the source of livelihood was hunting, and gathering and men were hunters while women were mainly gatherers. This gender role indicates the capabilities and powers of men relative women who were mostly gatherers. This allowed the man to be considered as the critical "breadwinner" in the family because he was in a position to provide meat to the family. The meat was seen as important compared to fruits and vegetables gathered by women. This gender discrimination, however, does not only affect the company from the micro level but also at the macro level.
In the InfoMa Company, the same gender inequality continues to exist, but only in a different form from the hunter-gather systems practiced centuries ago. The hunter-gather systems as thus been replaced by professional discrimination in the role of men and women in the company, and therefore, the ideology of conflict theory still holds. Men in the company are seen as the dominant (bourgeois) while women are seen as the submissive (Proletariat). This is due to the prevailing ideology that women depend on men for wages because men are mostly the breadwinners who provide money for women. The gender inequality and gender-based pay gap show that men who have for centuries been in power and are continuing to maintain the control that they had (Martin, 1992). The struggle for power between men, trying to keep their authority, and the women who are trying to gain control is precisely the reason for inequality in the company.
In conflict theory perspective, the women are defined as the "antithesis," while the men are defined as "thesis"; the antithesis and thesis are always opposing each other, and as a result, the struggle pursues. But, ultimately the concession is reached between the two warring parties, which allows for another "antithesis" and "thesis" to appear.
The social structure and social construction in the InfoMa company that promote gender inequality in payment are that the company has experience corroborate the central thesis of the gendered-work-role theory, based on which on which the equalization of social roles is essential for gender equality. Even in this somewhat free organization, as long as professional functions are divided by gender, women's roles in the company tend to give them little access to high paying jobs and power and above all prevent the equal participation of men and women in the operations of the company.
The alternative theory to solve the problem in the company is to use the mainstream feminist theory that demand for the fundamental desegregation of gendered social roles as required for the removal of women's social inferiority. This will allow both men and women in the company to have equal access to similar career opportunity based on their academic qualifications and not based on the social constructed sexual difference. This can only be achieved by the company applying the fundamental principle of structural functionalism theory where the society or organization is seen a complex system where different parts work together to ensure the stability and solidarity (John, 2007). In this perspective, the company is observed through a macro-level orientation, which is a broad concentration of social structures that shape the company as a whole, and where the company evolves like an organism. In this case, women as equally important in the company as men.
An alternative cultural perspective that could have been used to handle the problem is the gender equality. In the society, both men and women have equal capabilities in many other areas apart visible physical appearance. In many cases, both men and women have similar intellectual capabilities, social skills, and similar problem solving techniques. These shows that men and women are similar and therefore, women should be given equal employment opportunity in the company. In fact, in some instances, what a man can do a woman can do even better and, therefore, there should never be any gender pay gap.
In conclusion, it is clear that problem facing the company in gender discrimination and gender pay gap can be explained in the conflict theory perspective, where the cause of the problem is not based on factual abilities of both men and women but based on socially constructed believe that men are dominant to women, and therefore, women do not deserve similar lucrative employment opportunities that men deserve. This problem can, however, be solved through structural functionalism theory, where both men and women are considered an essential part of the whole company based on their roles but not on sexual difference.
John, W. (2007). Functionalism/Structural Functionalism. Megawords: 200 Terms You Really Need to Know, 3(1), 140-140. doi:10.4135/9781446221532.n102
Martin, P. Y. (1992). Gender, Interaction, and Inequality in Organizations. Gender, Interaction, and Inequality, 208-231. doi:10.1007/978-1-4757-2199-7_9
Rossel, J., & Collins, R. (n.d.). Conflict Theory and Interaction Rituals: The Microfoundations of Conflict Theory. Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research, 509-531. doi:10.1007/0-387-36274-6_24
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