Essay on Gender Issues

Introduction
Gender issues have a great impact on ethical decision-making and morals of people. Scientific studies prove that there is a difference between norms and values applied by men and women to ethical decision-making. When researchers speak about gender they also speak about hierarchy, power, and inequality, not simply difference. Recent years, ethical duties and obligations which are set forth become enshrined in custom and law, and people stop giving them or their consequences much thought – they are simply assumed to be correct.

Help with Essay on Gender Issues

Help with Essay on Gender Issues

Ethical Decision-Making and a Code of Ethics
A code of ethics is a formal statement of what a business expects in the way of ethical behavior. It can serve as a guide for employee conduct to help employees determine what behaviors are acceptable. Since the purpose of a code of ethics is to let everyone know what is expected and what is considered right, it should be included in an employee handbook. New privacy issues include person’s fundamental orientation toward life, what a person sees as right and wrong. In general, ethical responsibilities of a business are how its decisions and actions show concern for what its stakeholders (employees, customers, stockholders, and the community) consider just. “The ethics dilemma derives from the perceived conflict between the traditional corporate objective of profit maximization and the overall desire for increased social welfare” (Klein, 1991, p. 97).

Gender Differences and Inequalities
Through a complex interaction of identification processes, symbol systems, and social institutions, gender differences are produced–typically in the form of a dichotomy that not only opposes masculinity to femininity but also translates these oppositional differences into gender hierarchy, the privileging of traits and activities defined as masculine over those defined as feminine. Thus, although it is important to recognize the cultural variation in how gender differences are formed and expressed, it is also important to stress the political nature of gender as a system of difference construction and hierarchical dichotomy production that is constitutive of almost all contemporary societies.

The data regarding how men and women are situated differently within global processes reveals, starkly, the extent of gender inequality. In 1997 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) unequivocally concluded that no society treats its women as well as its men. In 1981 it was reported to the UN Committee on the Status of Women that women composed one-half of the world’s population and performed two-thirds of the world’s work hours, yet were everywhere poorer in resources and poorly represented in elite positions of decision-making power.
Gender is about power, and power is gendered. People begin to make this power visible by examining the relationship between masculinity and femininity. Following Lyons (1983) “the fundamental processes by which men and women make moral choices are different, in that men are more immersed in an ongoing ethical consciousness not limited to discrete events and situations” (cited Bhan, Poonam, 2001). Fortunately the great majority of people do not resort to such extreme behavior, but will still look to justify to themselves actions they take that can have unpleasant consequences for other people. The person who is totally rational in decision-making is a rare creature in business life. Gender is not simply a system of classification by which biological males and biological females are sorted, separated, and socialized into equivalent sex roles. Gender also expresses the universal inequality between women and men (Roxas, Stoneback, 2005).

Influence of Gender Issues on Ethics
It is important to note that in ethics masculinity and femininity are not “independent” categories, but are defined in oppositional relation to each other: More of one is understood to mean less of the other. Specifically, the dominant masculinity in Western culture is associated with qualities of rationality, “hardheadedness,” ambition, and strength. To the extent that a man displays emotionality, “softheadedness,” passivity, and weakness, he is likely to be identified as non-masculine, which is to say, feminine. Similarly, women who appear hardheaded and ambitious are often described as masculine. In this case, ethical decisions accepted by women are based on traditions and care for the family while men are apt to accept “egoist (self interest) based decision approach” (Bhan, Poonam, 2001).

Second, the ethical decision making shows considerable constancy in assigning greater value to that which is associated with masculinity and lesser value to that which is associated with femininity. Again, the terms are not independent but form a hierarchical (unequal) relation that we refer to as a dichotomy. Thus, in most–but not all–situations, rationality, hardheadedness, ambition, and strength are perceived as positive and admired traits that are in contrast to less desirable feminine qualities. This hierarchy is ethical decision making is readily observed (Sims, 2003).

In general, business ethics is aimed to create new rules of moral values that guide decision making by males and females according to their values and information interchange. Through a gender, researchers see how constructions of masculinity (agency, control, aggression) are not independent of, but rely upon, contrasting constructions of femininity (dependence, vulnerability, passivity). In a sense, the dominant presence of men depends on the denial and absence of women. Because of this interdependence, a gender analysis of women’s lives and experiences does not simply “add something” about women but transforms what we know about men and the activities they undertake (Glover et al, 2002). Hence, we study gender to enhance our understanding of the conventional foci of IR: men, masculinity, and masculine activities.

Gender issues shape not only how people accept decisions and view the world but also how others identify and relate to them and how they are positioned within social structures. Consider that women are traditionally associated with childbearing, child rearing, emotional caretaking, and responsibility for the physical maintenance of the household. In contrast, men are associated with the activities of wage labor, physical prowess, intellectual achievements, and political agency. These issues have the great impact on ethical decision making determining ethical and moral positions of both genders. Doty et al (2005) state: ‘Further, males indicated that they would be more likely than females to engage in the behaviors presented in the ethically equivocal scenarios. Implications of these findings are presented as they relate to fewer women accounting firm partners than men” (p. 817).

Impact of Cultural Traditions of both Genders on Ethics
Culture and national traditions influence ethical decision making and morals of both sexes. It is also the case that there is some play in gender roles even within patriarchal cultures given that men are not exclusively leaders and warriors, and women are not exclusively in charge of maintaining the home and caring for children in these contexts. Due to the variation in meanings attached to femininity and masculinity, we know that expressions of gender are not “fixed” or predetermined: The particulars of gender are always shaped by context. The research study of Indian employees show that: “the differences in gender related behavior may vary from situation to situation, thus, there may be situations where women have more religious orientation (like home and family) but these differences do not exist in workplaces. Thus situational variations may be possible in gender related differences” (Bhan, Poonam, 2001).

However, these variations still rest on concepts of ethical decisions and do not necessarily disrupt gender as a relation of inequality. We learn, through culturally specific socialization, what characteristics are associated with masculinity and femininity and how to assume the identities of men and women. In this sense, gender refers to characteristics linked to a particular sex by one’s culture. The specific meanings of and values given to masculinity and femininity vary dramatically over time and across cultures. For example, Western ideals of “manliness” have undergone historical shifts (Frederick, 2000).

Also, the dilemma of ethical decision making in employment is one of the most imperative issues these days. So as to inspect this state of affairs one must make an effort to get to the root of the problem and have got to recognize the sociological factors that cause women to have a much more hard time getting the similar benefits, wages, as well as job opportunities as their male counterparts. The society in which we live has been created historically by males (Doty et al 2005). The policy-makers have time after time been male and as a result it is not surprising that our society echoes those favoritisms which exist in consequence of this male-domination. It is vital to look at all aspects of this problem, but with the aim of completely dealing with the issue one has to recognize that this discrimination in the workforce is entrenched in what shapes future employees as well as employers – education.
Ethical decisions raise the question of how the activities of organizations affect the behavior of individuals and the values of society, and concerns important ethical questions about the role of managers in the strategic management process. Much of the discussion on these issues centered on two different approaches of business ethics and is reflected in policies inclined towards corporate social responsibility. In practice, business ethics combine both approaches in order to meet high ethical standards and moral obligations. Some researchers (Sims, 2003; Klein, 1991) underline that language differences between men and women have a certain impact on ethical decision making and problem solving. It is normally understood that males use language which is influential confident and masterful. Females in contrast, it is understood, use language that is more hesitant, qualified, as well as tentative.

Women have historically been supported to enter into what could be measured “caring professions” for example nursing, teaching, as well as social work. For this reason, their ethical decision making in influence by profession and occupation more than personal moral values. “Females professed the use of utilitarian approach” (Bhan, Poonam, 2001). In general, “Utilitarianism asserts that the decision-maker should always act so as to produce the greatest ratio of good over bad for every one. The focus of the decision- maker in this framework is on the consequences of his or her decision and the impact of these consequences on those concerned with the decision” (Bhan, Poonam, 2001).

The information mentioned above show that women follow theological approach in ethics taking into account faith and moral judgment. In this sense, teleological approach means that good is an end to be achieved. To maximize “good”, one must follow moral rules. In contrast, men suppose that a company should follow duties and rules not for the sake of an aim, but because it is the right thing. They base a conception of right action on a conception of duty for duty’s sake and mainly differ in so far as they specify two different sources of these duties. In order to make the correct moral choices, a company simply has to understand what its moral duties are and what correct rules exist which regulate those duties. Women suppose that the goal of actions is to achieve common good and happiness.
Also, gender differences in ethical decision-making are influenced by stereotypes and employment opportunities. The point is that stereotypes of gender (masculinity and femininity) have consequences for the difference between men’s and women’s experience in, for example, earning money and exercising public power (Glover et al, 2002). Around the world, women are relatively absent from the top decision-making positions of political, economic, and ideological power: Consider the leadership of nations, militaries, corporations, religions, and media. And women are absent in part because gender stereotypes establish leadership as a masculine activity and in part because gender labeling and structures discriminate against women seeking positions of power. It is in this sense that where women are absent, principles of gender are at work.

That is, the disproportional presence or absence of women (or men) does not suggest gender neutrality but in fact demonstrates the personal, political, systemic, and structural effects of gender differentiation. The latter involves defining different qualities, roles, and activities for men and women and ensuring the reproduction of these discriminatory structures. The nature of ethical standards is one of the key issues to be addressed by personnel managers operating in large corporation. There will gradually be a growing together of national practice on working hours, but it will take a lot longer for rates of pay to harmonize (Frederick, 2000).

Conclusion
In sum, gender differences have an impact on ethical decision-making and create certain barriers of communication and understanding. As usual employees when making decisions tend to combine their own judgment with benefits of the corporation, although frequently without being aware of the consequences of their decisions. In this case, the responsibility of companies is to analyze ethical conditions for employees of both genders. They should be well aware of educational background of their worker, cultural and religious concerns. Timeliness, responsiveness and flexibility, courtesy and friendliness, availability and access, sympathy and support, understanding and guidance; all these, and others such as respect and confidentiality, have to be considered as elements in the design of human services where the felt experience of the client is at least as important as, if not more so than, procedural or technical precision. Women continue to contribute more to domestic tasks and child care, whether or not they work outside the home which have a great impact on their ethics and decision in the work place. In contrast, men’s adherence to traditional male-dominated professions forces males to accept ethical decision based on rational appeal and logic.

Gender issues have undergone metamorphoses in much the same way that the nations itself have grown. They have followed the economic, social, and political trends of the country’s history and reflect morals of people in ethical decision making. While aspects of male and female roles have changed, many traditional attitudes concerning gender codes of conduct and ethics remain.

References
1. Doty, E., Tomkiewicz, J. Bass, K. Sex Differences in Motivational Traits and Ethical Decision Making among Graduating Accounting Majors. College Student Journal, 39 (4), 2005, p. 817.
2. Bhan, K.T., Poonam, S. Multiplicity of Cognitive Frameworks for Ethical Decision Making: Variability across Gender and Age Groups. Global Journal of Flexible System Management. Apr-Jun, 2001. Available at: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4012/is_200104/ai_n8946428/pg_4
3. Frederick, R. (ed.). A companion to business Ethics. Blackwell Publishers, 2000.
4. Glover, S.H., Minnette, A.B., Sharp, G.F., Munchus, G.A. Gender differences in ethical decision making. Women in Management Review. Aug 2002, 17 (5), pp. 217 – 227/
5. Klein, L.S. Ethical Decision Making in a Business Environment. Review of Business, 13 (3), 1991, p. 97.
6. Roxas, M. L., Stoneback, J. The Importance of gender Across Cultures in Ethical Decision-making. Journal of Business Ethics. 50 (2), 2004. pp. 149-165.
7. Sims, R.R. Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giants Fall. Praeger, 2003.

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