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Women in the Workplace Social Implications Towards Equality To best comprehend human behavior in organizations we must first understand the behaviors of society With all the efforts our society has placed towards creating better equality for all we must wonder why there are still few women in high-level positions within organizations Unfortunately women are disproportionately represented in upper-managerial and governmental positions There are a number of theoretical perspectives concerning this phenomenon Two perspectives functionalist and conflict theories exhibit the different sociological views prevalent in todays society Within the past thirty years women throughout the United States have made great strides in the labor force Since 1950 female participation in the labor force has grown from 34 to 60 However women constitute less than 8 of all upper-managerial administrative and governmental positions Bartlett and Miller 1985 This overall trend shows an increase of female managers in the United States however they are generally lower-managerial positions For example women may manage an individual grocery store such as Food Lion but are rarely district managers Also women occupy only 17 of all upper-managerial positions in Fortune 500 corporations Additionally over 80 of these corporations have women on their board of directors but usually have only a single female member Jacobs and McCelland 1994 In addition to the business world women share a similar disproportionate percentage in the political arena Studies indicate that 46 of federal employees a re female but only 64 of them are in executive positions Gutek 1993 Functionalism a macro-sociological perspective explains the large-scale social patterns concerning the lack of women in upper-managerial positions within organizations Studies found that attributes associated with the traditional feminine sex role eg emotional dependent passive were incompatible with the characteristics desirable for a manager Jacobs and McCelland 1994 According to the functionalist perspective
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