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Word Count: 1,491
Women have achieved higher levels of education than ever before and today represent over 40 per cent of the global workforce Yet their share of management positions remains unacceptably low with just a tiny proportion succeeding in breaking through this idea of an impenetrable glass ceiling The lack of adequate education training and experience in the past to some extent explained the difficulties women experienced in obtaining management jobs Today a large and increasing proportion of women in many countries are as well qualified as any man This has resulted in a better gender distribution of jobs but occupational segregation remains a major problem More women now hold management jobs but they tend to be clustered at lower levels and in less vital areas In all cases however their access to top managerial jobs remains severely restricted At the same time educational systems the mass media and recruitment and promotion procedures have often institutionalised certain gender biases and unwittingly continue to perpetuate discriminatory practices with regard to women Governments enterprises and organizations have over the years explored ways of eradicating discrimination and ensuring gender equality They have committed themselves to policies and programmes to advance women workers For example the policy of positive discrimination While these have met with varying degrees of success they have undoubtedly had a positive impact especially on younger generations of men and women In many instances developing detailed career plans for women within enterprises has been proven to be successful in ensuring equal opportunities in career progression Special support through networks coaching mentoring and training has also been found to be effective in encouraging women and making them more visible One of the greatest challenges however is still how to make the structures within organisations more sensitive to gender equality concepts and practice Workers and employers organizations have a particularly important role to play in stimulating workplace change in attitudes and practices to further gender equality generally
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