The article “Firms with more female executives perform better”, highlights the idea that how companies tend to perform better and generate more revenue if women are given executive designations. According to research and the article, a list of 350 companies was generated out of which 14 companies were run by women entirely. Over time, the aspect of women being in managerial positions has been discussed over quite frequently. With each passing day, the role of women is evolving and their efforts to drive a firm or run a business are becoming more prominent. The main reason behind this is that education is now much more accessible to every gender as compared to as it used to be in the past.
The gap between the number of men and women employed in an organization is gradually filling up as France is known to be a country that has a very high percentage of women working as an entrepreneur and running their own set up effectively. However, even though the difference no longer exists in terms of managerial positions but it gradually becomes evident when it comes to the salary package they are being offered. For instance, in France, the salary package offered to women is 26% less than the one that is offered to men. During the latest decade, there has been an increasing focus on the gender of top executives and boards of directors of firms. The proportion of women reaching top positions is still very low in most countries, though it has been increasing in for instance the US and in some European countries. (Salloum, Azzi, Suissa and Khalil, 2016)
The main idea of dynamic system theory relies solely on the development of personal skills, modifying and shaping yourself in such a manner that one can fit perfectly in the society that is changing, and lastly, understanding how nature and the environment around us functions. For instance, in the article that is under discussion women should focus on the development of their skills that can be utilized at a later stage for their growth and betterment. It is extremely pivotal for them to bring a change in their life that can make adjustments in society as well as in the workplace much easier than it is expected.
The misconception of women not being able to achieve anything no longer persists as gradually the dynamics are evolving with time. This is where the dynamic system theory comes in. The dynamic system theory was devised by Jay Foster in 1956. It highlights the idea that system thinking can be improved and modified with time just like the field of engineering evolves with time as it is going to help the people to understand the mechanical systems in a much better and useful way. We have been conditioned since our childhood to accept that women are solely for the role and responsibilities assigned to the concept of motherhood. Society in general is not used to the idea that women can also acquire a position that has managerial qualities. Hence, we are bound to follow the dynamics that have been set by society. It is very important to accept the change that is taking place as it is likely to occur with time.
As Michelle Obama rightly points out,
“There is no limit to what we, as women can accomplish. Strong men who are truly role models don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful”.
The various researches conducted suggest that women of all ages tend to be person-oriented while men on the other hand are more object-oriented, a difference based on gender observed from early years of age (Goodenough 1957). The development of technology and awareness of the twentieth century have liberated women from reproductive constraints that were observed in the past (Hunter College 1983). The restructuring of the work environment now shows that it is less dependent on the physical aspects of men in which they excel.
Furthermore, gender defines the leadership style as the factor of socialization varies for both. Over the years, women tend to develop their skills through a process that is more natural and has values embedded in it rather than following the typical and traditional leadership behavior that involves the use of aggression. Thus women are much better decision-makers in terms of men as they are exposed to several different situations where they are given the sole responsibility to make a decision that is better for the environment they are working or functioning in. (Khan and Vieito, 2013)
This brings in the value and identity process theory (IPT). IPT proposes the following three aspects. Firstly, what are the basic needs and requirements of a change in identity in a positive manner? Secondly, how do individuals cope up with threats to their identity? Lastly what sort of motivation or incentives are given to them to protect their self-esteem and self-identity? (Bardi, Jaspal, Polek, and Schwartz, 2014).IPT highlights the main requirements of a change in identity in a positive manner. It focuses on separate but related aspects of human motivation.
When holding more than one identity at a time that one recognized as complementary increases well-being, the recognized difference between their meanings may be difficult to handle and threatening. To be recognized as effective when exercising their authority, women may opt to show behavior that is less communal and more agentic. This strategy can, however, go against them, leading to social disapproval. Consequently, women working as CEOs may feel pressure to accommodate the conflicting demands arising from prescriptive beliefs about how women and CEOs ought to behave. When a woman acts in a way she is expected to act that is not in line with the meaning of being a woman or being a CEO, this identity conflict may represent a threat. The organization should focus on the importance of mentoring practices which can bring into the knowledge of the women that value that the organization places on them as a group. This will increase their self-esteem as well as their productivity. (Khan and Vieito, 2013)
The value theory can further help in filling the gap between men and women when it comes to the working sector. The value theory essentially defines fundamental values and principles that can guide the people regarding how should they live their lives. It further elaborates on the principle of people’s evaluation and attitude in terms of dealing with everyday issues and problems. In this case, it takes into account the transformation of women that how they are given a specific role in society but through the process of transformation and evolution, they have managed to alter it with time. (Bardi, Jaspal, Polek, and Schwartz, 2014)
There is no doubt about the fact that organizations mostly consist of men but at the same time, women are the ones who bring in diversity. The team of an organization diversifies and is more socially categorized. It is one of the reasons why companies can process information and make decisions more effectively. Women can also add useful insights when it comes to addressing the strategic questions that involve female consumers of a product, colleagues, or female trading partners from different companies.
The United Nations recently published a list of goals they hope to accomplish by 2030 called the Sustainable Development Goals SDG. There are 17 goals that universally apply to are interlinked and aim to achieve a better and more sustainable future. The SDG’s include no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry and infrastructure, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, and justice strong institutions and partnerships to achieve goals. (Fredman, Kuosmanen and Campbell, 2016)
The SDGs offer, several opportunities for progress on gender equality, reducing inequality, and women’s right, if not for transformation. However there is still skepticism as the plan for SDG’s vision has not always met with language which is strong enough, clear policies, or the provisions of funding.
For women, the goals of gender equality and reducing inequality are of utmost importance in the working environment. Fulfilling these rights is the most effective way of meeting some of the most crucial challenges of our time from the financial crisis all around the world to violence and lack of opportunities for women. Women are not only affected by these problems but can also solve them due to their leadership qualities and ideas. (Goyannes et al., 2018)
When focusing on gender differences regarding their attitude towards risk, considerable findings show that women are generally against taking huge risks than men in areas that involve investment and financial decisions have discussed the changes in CEO gender and its effect on the firm taking a risk. They point out that when a change occurs in the top management seat from men to women this, in turn, reduces the firm’s risk profile. This is the reason why there are fewer women in top corporate positions as they tend to take fewer risks. However, these arguments are not strong enough to discriminate against women and they must have equal representation in the top management.
Furthermore, in addition to gender differences concerning risk aversion, there have been many types of research that show that women are more loss averse than men which means women are more inclined towards avoiding losses instead of making gains when compared to men. Therefore we cannot say with certainty as to which approach is better as both have their pros and cons. Women being less aggressive than men usually make a decision wisely by safeguarding all the interests of the firm and making stable investments.
We should break stereotypes like “women are more sensitive, thus they will not be able to handle the pressure that goes with the leadership of a firm”. We should work on creating a work-life balanced environment for all the employees. We should work on building those necessary leadership skills among those who have very potential and are willing to learn regardless of their gender.
Age discrimination is also a common issue for working women. They are often not given a chance and overlooked for promotion under the assumption that they might get married or become pregnant. Moreover, when they return to work after a short break they are not easily given a chance to move their career forward and take on challenging tasks.
We will be able to truly create a work environment where everyone has equal rights and representation is dependent on the realization of why equity is important in the workplace and when we are all united to fight against discrimination.
To overcome these obstacles faced by women the global community should work together to implement sustainable development goals. The main challenge is how to integrate a transformative approach into the planning, implementation, and that the specific targets are delivered so that the SDGs contribute to achieving the main goal of gender equality and women empowerment.
These days internet plays an integral role in learning. In this 21st century technology several tools are available which have paved the way for easily accessibility in compiling and constructing this essay in the most methodical manner. I start by searching on Google Scholar for the relevant articles. I read and see which ones have more information and then download them. One problem of most Google Scholar journals was that complete access was not always permitted. In order to get over this hurdle as a digital citizen, I searched for the journals in the university database. By doing so, I was granted full and free access to millions of resources, which allowed me to convert information into knowledge in my essay. Therefore, with all this power at my fingertips, I was able to alleviate any margin for error and invalid sources, since the internet clearly indicates whether a journal is peer-reviewed or not, resulting in efficient results.
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