Womens Effectiveness In Managerial Roles Sociology Essay

Midterm Paper

Organizational Behavior

Women’s effectiveness in Managerial Roles

The gender gap for the number of women to men in managerial roles working in companies has been slowly declining over the past several decades. Statistics show that women are managers in thirty-nine percent of companies (Mintz pg. 1). Women are becoming more dominant in the workforce and are proving themselves to be as competent as men. Corporations are beginning to recognize that women can be effective managers in the work force. Social norms of a society have an effect on the way people interact in the business world and these expectations are often based on the person’s sexual gender. Social roles have a direct impact on women and men behavior and expectations in every society. A person's cultural background will often determine how males and females perceive themselves and their primary roles in the society.("SOCIAL CONDITIONING | FLOW PSYCHOLOGY."). This paper will illustrate how social conditioning and roles based on sexual gender has determined the types of leadership and managerial positions that are available to women in the work force. There have been various views as to the ability of women being effective in managerial roles. There are some who view women as being unable to effectively handle a managerial role with concern that the woman's subordinates would not respect the woman and perceive her to be weak.

Social roles that we identify with are called the ego and are often taught to children starting from prior to the time they are born. Parents often find out the gender of their unborn child prior to its birth and start decorating the child's bedroom in colors and accessories based on the child's sexual gender. Each gender is treated differently by parents. Parents teach each gender what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For example little girls are taught that crying is acceptable by parents giving them attention whenever they cry. In contrast when a male child cries he often encouraged to not cry and be strong. Every step of a child’s life as he grows and matures is directly influenced by how the parents treat the kid as they grow up. For example when growing up as a kid I was taught to not cry to get attention and to be strong by being ignored by my parents to enforce this social conditioning. When parents enforce the role of being strong in male children they are teaching them to be in the social role of masculinity. Boys are taught to be strong and independent by not crying out for attention. But when a young girl starts crying her parents and caretakers will often pamper her and encourage her to cry out for help. These beliefs often continue to adulthood when both sexes search and explore their future goals and aspirations. Women are not encouraged to seek managerial positions in most societies and many societies make it difficult for women to receive training necessary for these positions. Some corporations have discouraged women from being in managerial positions due to concerns that women will leave once they become mothers or need extensive time off to care for their children. Also, children consider play as being enjoyable but as adults we consider this work therefore not enjoyable (Watts). The social roles of adulthood take on a more serious deposition since they are considered to be something that shouldn’t be considered fun. Since social roles are taught to us at a young age we can therefore change our social conditioning by teaching every new generation to view work differently.

In Patriarchal society’s managers that are weak are considered ineffective. A weak manager might be defined as someone who hesitates to make decisions or permits others to control the decision making. Ineffective managers have a harder time to get a good performance out of subordinates. To be respected in a Patriarchal society men are usually designated to be the leaders (The Social Roles of Men and Women). In contrast in a society where woman dominate society is called a Matriarchy. There are no pure matriarchal societies that exist in contemporary society (Rosaldo pg. 265) In Patriarchal society’s managerial roles in companies are predominately held by men. Managers have to show strength in order to be an effective leader and promote confidence in others. Women are considered to be the weaker gender according to traditional social role standards in many societies. But this view is changing as women take on the role of being gainfully employed outside the home plus parenting children. Today’s society is still primarily patriarchal but the role of women is changing to provide women with more opportunities in the work force. Society’s views and culture have been changing over the past fifty years.

Statistics show that more women are working in Managerial roles at companies. In 1970 only sixteen percent of Managers in companies were Women. After thirty years the sixteen percent figure gradually rose to thirty-nine percent in 2000 (Mintz pg. 1). But statistics are not facts because they can be interpreted in many different ways. To come to a conclusion from statistics without looking at the whole picture makes your conclusion specific to that situation. The figures show that women are becoming more outspoken and determined to have equal opportunities in work force. In 2012 women were thirty-nine percent of managers in companies (HOUSEHOLD DATA ANNUAL AVERAGES). The work force attitudes are changing to accept women to be equal to men in their ability to be effective managers and leaders. There can be many factors that will influence statistical figures. For instance not every culture or society has the same beliefs. Cultural values are substantially different in Asia than in the USA for instance.

According to Leila women are ineffective at being managers because of their emotional instability. Women are taught from birth that they are allowed to show their emotions and don't hesitate to express them. Men often have difficulty in expressing their feelings as a result of early childhood experiences and tend to think in logical manner.

"Most females are emotionally unpredictable, irritable and easily feel threatened. So, we have a tendency of letting our personal problems take the better of us, and as a result we hang it on our subordinates," Leila says ("Female managers: Are they worse than men?").

Most women have no problems in expressing and demonstrating how they feel emotionally to others. Men on the other hand are taught from an early age that becoming overly emotional is not acceptable behavior. It is unacceptable because many in society view displaying emotions as the person is unstable and unpredictable. Males are often taught to be strong and their role is to be in charge of the family. A study was conducted and recorded in the journal of Cognition and Emotion. This study was entitled "Are Women the More Emotional Sex?" Twenty eight male and forty-two females participated in the study for a total of 70 individuals who were involved in the study. They were asked questions regarding their personal beliefs about gender and emotion. (Barret pg. 557).

When recalling their experiences, women

Might think ` `I am a woman, and women are emotional, therefore I

Must be emotional’ ’, whereas men might think ` `I am a man, and men

Are not emotional, therefore I must not be emotional’ ’ (Barret pg. 557).

The study found that social conditioning influences how men and women act or pretend to act in a society regarding their roles in that society. Environmental factors were found to affect the outcome of some of the answers in this study. Overall, the study found that social roles do influence how males and females respond emotionally to situations. A person's culture and society beliefs will definitely influence how a person perceives themselves and their role in society. Parents, teachers, and the news media will have an impact on children and influence their decisions regarding their goals as adults. A person's culture teaches and reinforces the roles that everyone in that society is taught. Women are viewed as more emotional therefore they pretend to act more emotional. A company is made up of individuals who bring in their particular cultural beliefs. As a result, this affects how the company makes decisions regarding managerial positions.

In conclusion I think that women can be effective managers because they are not totally controlled by their emotions and can strategically and logically make sound decisions. Many women effectively manage households as well as play a crucial role in their communities. Corporations need to stop making decisions based on gender and determine appropriateness of managerial positions based on experience and ability to develop leadership skills. I view women as being capable of being effective managers. I do not feel that there is not any substantial difference between the ability of men and women to effectively perform a managerial role. Some cultures continue to perceive that women are ineffective managers and are not able to effectively supervise men. They do not see that women are equal because of this cultural bias. To be an effective manager a person needs the ability to be objective and employ appropriate social skills. The social skills are often acquired through experience and training. Being a manager has traditionally been considered a masculine position reserved for men but women are demonstrating that they have the capability to be good managers. I think that the gender difference in societal roles should not determine a person's ability to be an effective manager. Women are demonstrating in the workplace that they are capable of being in managerial positions.


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