Paper Example on Gender Discrimination and Inequalities in the Health Workforce

Paper Type:  Dissertation
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1709 Words
Date:  2022-10-04


The leadership in the healthcare sector requires changes in order to include more women. Research data shows that fifty-six percent of the total number of women leaders in healthcare have the experience of seeing patients in comparison to their male counterparts who are having thirty-one percent of the total male leaders. Increase in government regulation makes this a distinctive advantage as more leaders who can comprehend the clinical effects of regulations on the daily operations of healthcare organizations are needed (Fischer-Wright, 2016).

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Literature Review

Background of the Problem

Reforms are required in the health profession education. Gender discrimination, whether based on cultural, social or structural issues is deeply rooted in the health worker education and employment systems. Therefore, the inequality and gender discrimination needs to be dealt with by using reforms to health profession education (Newman, Ng, Pacque-Margolis, & Frymus (2016).

Most of the high-level gender inequalities are experienced in the human resources section. The human resources section is associated with hiring, training opportunities, pay, and the promotion of women. These practices in the human resources section are affected by the organizational structures, processes, and practices that favor gender inequalities. In addition, the same organizational discrimination provides the platform in the social context where the decision makers in the organization encourage hostile and benevolent sexism (Stamarski & Son Hing, 2015).

Organizations in the healthcare sector need to carry out reforms in human resources practices in order to address the issues of gender-based discrimination. The gendered organization's theory foresees that customs that are initiated by stereotyped male and female workers will continue, with disregard to how the workforce is composed. Therefore, there is s need to change the human resources practices that are assumed to be neutral so that they may address the issues that lead to organizations being gendered (Mastracci & Arreola, 2016).

Theoretical Foundations/Conceptual Framework

Three theoretical frameworks will be used as the basis of the research: Gender at work analytical framework; this framework is important in identification of the tasks that women and men perform in the organization and the gender division of labor (Rao, Sandler, Keller, & Miller, 2016) therefore important in identification and definition of the roles that each gender plays in the organization. The second theory is the theory of gendered organizations; hierarchies in organizations are gender neutral even though in the real sense they are gender biased (Mastracci & Arreola, 2016). Finally, the third framework being the economic models of discrimination (Kim, Lee, & Shin, 2016).

Review of Literature Themes

In this section, we discuss the major themes that were from the literature that are related to the research topic.

Barriers to women in leadership: Health sector has leadership inequities that disadvantage the women in the workforce. The women face the challenge of socially developed barriers such as the glass-ceiling concept (Chisholm-Burns et al, 2017).

Structural Oppression of women: refers to the compensating men workers more than their female counterparts for the same job description thus resulting in a wage disparity (Webley, 2016). Globalization and capitalism with its accompanying methods of production and accumulating wealth by exploiting women in the workforce examines the interplay of these theories.

Functionalist perspective on Gender discrimination: functionalist with respect to gender equality in the workplace view society as a compound system constituted of parts that are supposed work together in order to have solidarity and stability (Boundless Sociology, 2016). The theory insinuates that gender inequities may be a way of increasing efficiency and available resources by basing division of labor along gender basis.

Leadership: Companies that have female Chief Executive Officers or women in their management boards have been observed to perform highly in the stock market. An estimation by research shows that transitioning from a single-gender office to one that has both men and women is likely because of hoping to increase revenue by forty-one percent (George Washington University, 2016, para. 12). Therefore, there is pressure to increase gender equality to promote profitability in the healthcare industry thus providing an incentive to eliminate discrimination.

Selected evidence of gender discrimination and inequality: The U.S labor market has average earning of women being less than those of men regardless of whether the job is male-dominated, female-dominated or has a fair number of both female and male workers (Institute for Women's Policy Research, 2017). Occupations also show wage gaps; men dominated jobs pay higher compensation compared to female-dominated jobs that requires the same skills set. For example, it is reported that in the year 2016 female registered nurses earned 9.4 percent less than the male registered nurses did.

Inequality at the C-suite level: Despite women holding up to seventy-five percent of the jobs in the healthcare industry (Castellucci, 2017, para. 6) and sixty percent of managerial positions in healthcare gender inequality is still an issue.

Lack of gender diversity: mostly experienced in venture capital startups (Brand 2016). Brand states that people need to recognize discrimination and accept that it is more likely for a man to choose a man to work with.

Women Executives in Healthcare: The highest number of women leading Fortune 500 companies were recorded in the years 2014 and 2015, the healthcare industry, on the other hand, did not have such a trend. In the same situation, none of the forty-five Fortune 500 companies had fifty percent or more women holding executive positions in their teams and the average number of women executives across all the leadership teams are estimated to be twenty percent (Chinna, 2016, para. 20).

Women in leadership positions: women workers in the healthcare sector hold just twenty-seven percent of the hospital boards and thirty-four percent of leadership teams, this is despite women workers forming seventy-seven percent of all hospital employees(Joyce, 2015, para. 2-3). Male physicians earn 20-25 percent more average salary compared to women physicians and males nurses earn about nineteen percent more on average compared to their female counterparts.

Influence on patient care: Patient care is affected by gender-based discrimination. The gaps in earnings lead to people looking for employment opportunities elsewhere thus leading to costly and time-consuming turnover (Joyce, 2016).

Influence on Population Health: Healthcare organizations are recognizing the positive impact of diversity in the workforce on population health. These types of organizations develop strategies that commit to ensuring diversity, having a leadership team, board of trustees, and frontline workers who represent the community that they serve (Jayanthi, 2016).

Gender Diversity and Teams: Gender diversity can result in having both positive and negative effects on the productivity of a team, however, these effects can be successfully managed (Vanderbroeck & Wasserfallen, 2017).

Gender inequality and economic cost: complete removal effects of gender inequality from the process of modeling the growth performance of the economy, the aggregate income in the Asian economy would be higher by six point six percent higher after a generation and 14.5 higher after two generations than the benchmark economy. Per capita income would be 30.6 percent higher and 71.1 percent more after two generations in the hypothetical gender-equality economy (Kim et al., 2016).

Wage Gaps: the lower pay to women is independent of the career choices that women make since studies show that pay reduces when a substantial number women enter an occupation that was previously male-dominated (Miller, 2016). The same way, pay rises when a reason of able number men enter a previously female-dominated occupation.

Types of sex and gender discrimination: the stereotype that women are weaker than men and thus men should hold more power over women makes women more susceptible to gender inequality in the workplace than men (Bungay, 2016).

Education as a solution: Despite the fact that millions of more women have joined the job market in recent years and women's educational attainment being more than men due to the consistent gender discrimination factors that relate to gender bias, women cannot salvage themselves from the wage gap through education (Schieder & Gould, 2016).

Gender at work Analytical Framework: this framework argues that reforming the unspoken, informal institutional practices that promote gender inequality in organizations is paramount to achieving gender equity for everyone (Rao et al., 2016).

Structural Barriers: these barriers promote direct and indirect discrimination. The source of disparities is the difference in the power that female and male workers have, it is thus important to break the existing structural and organizational barriers to achieving equality (Webley, 2016).

Proposed cultural shift: cultural shift is one of the solutions to bring equality to the healthcare through formulation of fair hiring standards and policies, creation of a safe working environment that handles issues regarding sexual harassment, and helping in making aware the ways that promote sexism and bias towards women to patients and other consumers of healthcare services (Haskins, 2016).

Human Resource-Based Solutions: includes better use of predictive analytics to do away with gender bias and discrimination among workers (Loehr, 2015). Analytics may be utilized to show data in graphical form that is easy to comprehend and statistical reports that can be used by the management in decisions regarding hiring, reviewing of policies to deal with pay gap, creating programs to better the work environment of populations that have a higher chance of leaving, and creating procedures that the evaluates the match between the applicant and employer thus eliminating the bias in hiring.

Problem Statement

It is not known if there is a common conceptual understanding that would address the different significant gender inequalities that are in the health workforce and how the inequalities affect the health systems. The people who are greatly affected by gender inequalities in the healthcare industry are the women workers who make up a large section of the industry but remain biased in hiring, promotion, and being compensated lower than their male counterparts do. The research will help in identifying causes of the prevalence of gender discrimination and what actions may be taken to improve the situation in the health workforce. The unit of analysis will be sampled medical facilities where the ratio and the working environment of the female and male workers will be studied.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors that influence gender inequalities and the measures that can be taken to bring equality in the healthcare workforce starting from education, to leadership, and changes needed in the organizations of health systems. The study will be done at Tennessee, where ten medical facilities will be sampled, and the ratio of women and female who are medical practitioners and study factors influencing inequalities if any. The main...

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