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Gender wage gaps have declined in most industrialized countries in the last three decades coinciding with introducing anti-discrimination legislation; higher levels of educational attainment among women; increases of women in non-traditional professional occupations; and more choices being made available to men and women both inside and outside the labour market (Blau and Kahn, 2007). Despite these gains, substantial earnings gaps remain and initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality in the marketplace remains on policymakers agenda.
A corporate culture basis itself on the established ethical principles, which prohibit any forms of discrimination of women in the workplace, including lower wages in comparison to men, sexual harassment, stereotyping and prejudices in terms of gender inequality. Gender inequality in the workplace is an ethically significant issue because it strongly impacts women’s motivation. If women are not motivated to do their tasks, they act unethically. Gender inequality is an important ethical issue because it affects interpersonal relations in the workplace. The issue of gender inequality in the workplace is an ethically significant issue because it affects the effectiveness/efficiency of the company’s corporate culture.However, gender inequality in the workplace is an ethically significant issue which requires adequate solutions because it leads to unethical discrimination of women. As a rule, women’s discrimination influences their motivation, leads to poor interpersonal relations and inadequate corporate culture.
In other words, male and female owners have different attitudes toward the issue of gender inequality in the workplace (Penner & Toro-Tulla, 2010).When men and women are treated differently, it is unethical, especially when they perform the same tasks, which require the application of the same skills, knowledge and experience. According to researchers, “organizational culture is characterized by its particular narrative structure of gender citizenship and by the voices and silences that confront each other over gender inequalities”(Gherardi, 2006, p. 180). Gender inequality in the workplace is ethically significant because it influences women’s motivation to perform their tasks in a proper way. Many studies point out to the fact that “gender inequality is embedded in the workplace” (Smith, 2014, p. 53). As a result, women have poor motivation to perform their duties. They have no interest to develop new ideas and use their creativity in the decision-making process.
In other words, women have negative attitudes toward unethical gender discrimination in the workplace. Gender inequality is an important ethical issue because it affects interpersonal relations to a great extent. If women are treated inequality, they often have poor interpersonal relations with other employees (both men and women). When women realize that their abilities are ignored, they do not want to develop effective interpersonal relations in the workplace. This means unethical discrimination of women leads to certain work-related problems that can affect not only their performance but also the overall productivity of the company. The issue of gender inequality in the workplace is ethically significant because it influences the overall success of the company in the competitive market. Unethical companies have poor corporate culture, which leads to improper business relations at all levels. According to researchers, women who are continually discriminate in the workplace demonstrate no interest in promoting corporate culture. Actually, any male-dominated corporate culture is ineffective in today’s business environment because international business encourages gender equality, without differential rules for men and women (Smith, 2014; Aaltio & Mills, 2003). “we do not need to face gender empowerment ourselves to be able to understand gender inequality issues, but we need intelligence to describe and essentialize cultural processes that outline gendered organizational reality” (Aaltio & Mills, 2003, p. 15).
Corporate culture should reflect the organization’s policy regarding women’s rights.Professor Sarah Kaplan said "if you pay women less than men, they feel devalued in the workplace. They're more likely to drop out of the workplace. You then lose a productive worker in an economy where we're desperate for talent… There are plenty of economic reasons why we should have equal pay”. Its estimated that Canada would likely see $105-billion in GDP growth if it closed the wage gap and boosted female workforce participation (Statistics Canada, 2016).Increasing pay equity and women’s participation in the labour force is more than a personal or family issue. It is also necessary for a robust economy. The size of a country’s labour force is a key determinant of its potential economic growth. Discrimination is one such barrier, but occupational segregation and outdated workplace policies also play a role. Eliminating these barriers would benefit women, their families and the economy. Human capital theory, which attributes income differences to differences in education, experience and commitment to the labour force, the most recent study by Statistics Canada calculates that only 12% of the pay gap can be attributed to differences in characteristics such as age, education, and experience. By addressing the barriers that limit women’s full contribution to the economy, society benefits by increases in consumer spending and tax revenue, decreases in social spending and health care costs, and getting a better return on investments in education. Not taking action has been, and will continue to be costly for all Ontarians.
Consulting firm to estimate the potential impact on the province’s economy from closing the gap. According to Statistics Canada, a qualified working woman who has same socio-economic and demographic characteristics as a man, on average receives $7,200 less pay per year. This amounts to $18 billion of foregone income per year for all working women in Ontario, which translates to about 2.5% of Ontario’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). To put this into context, the motor vehicle and parts industries together account for 2.5% of the province’s 2016 GDP. The revenues from personal and sales tax could increase by $2.6 billion. They also estimated that government spending on social assistance, tax credits, and child benefits could decrease by $103 million (Statistics Canada, 2016), due to the projected increase in families’ income. The discrimination issues on gender, particularly on the remuneration and salaries earned by individuals in the society, have continued to be a painful thorn in most economies.
Therefore, when society creates a work environment where women are viewed upon as employees with diminished value in comparison to men, women become unmotivated to reach maximum productivity in the workplace. This results in lower wages. Bridging the gender pay gap creates economic prosperity for all as aforementioned demonstrated. International Monetary Fund President Christine Lagarde states that “by not fully engaging half of the population, we all lose out.” economically.
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