Gender, Age Discrimination, And Unequal Pay In The Workplace

ACC701 Gender, Discrimination and Unequal Pay

ACC701 Gender, Discrimination and Unequal Pay

Gender and Age Discrimination

Discrimination in a workplace means the employee or group of employees are not getting sufficient or fair amount of treatment as compared to others and on top of that the reason of this is not related to job assigned or the employee performance. It can be specifically based on the racial/ethnic, caste, employment, gender and age factors which contribute to discrimination. The chosen topic for the essay is gender, discrimination and unequal pay. The following essay will highlight discrimination against age and gender that mostly affects the women at workplace. Both age and gender discrimination can affect the activity and performance of the employee which directly impacts the output of the organization. The essay will give in brief of the terms age and gender discrimination, its consequences in relate to employees and employers. The proper definition of stereotypes and unconscious bias and how this affects and is related to discrimination can be understood after reading the essay. The types of stereotypes affect the workplace in various ways such as inequality among the employees, recruitment process in the organization and work role distribution among both the genders. In the end, some solutions are provided to prevent and face this consequences such as organization can take into action various activities and methods that will help to improve motivation and reduce discrimination at workplace and enhance the employee relations.. Adaption and implementation of theories such as self actualization and socio-emotional selectivity will help to stand against the situation of discrimination for the employees of the organization.

Gender discrimination is an attitude and a belief of an individual towards refraining to give the right to the employee because of his/her gender. For example, in an organization the women are given easier task than the men as it is believed that men can complete complex task. Age discrimination is considered as the situation where an individual is humiliated or not given the equal opportunity as like others, on the basis of age. For example, while recruitment the employer might select the candidate who are young rather than a candidate who is of old age. The common belief behind this kind of selection might be the age discrimination which is likely to be as that the younger candidate can serve more period of time as compared to the old one. The discrimination factor can be harmful to the organization in many terms such as it can affect the work environment negatively and the work force can become less motivated and this can result into low production and output (Barak 2016).

Consequences of Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination can be worse in the workplace and regardless of its type it can cause social disconnection and causes distress. It can affect the psychological and mental state of an employee. This will result into misconception, communication gap, increase in leaves of the employees and overall the employees will be affected. According to the case study, women are mostly the victims who come across such type of discrimination as compared to men (Zurbrügg and Miner 2016). In many organizations there was a tradition to pay the women worker less than the men workers in terms of doing distributing work. The victims can be triggered at situations such as while recruiting, while job allocation, providing trainings to the employees for improvements and updates with the technology (Okechukwu et al. 2014.).

The kind of discrimination is not possible for any of the organization to end in a week or month instead women can use this discrimination and differences of gender in a tricky way to accomplish their work. For example, women are treated softly and gently by the men, of which the women can take advantage. Then the perceptions of men that women cannot do tough tasks without the help of men can also lead to a benefit to the women as task can be accomplished quickly. The unequal pay, gender and age discrimination can adversely affect the work environment of any of the organization, because the success and the objectives accomplished are by the help of its internal customers. If the internal customers are not satisfied this will result into low output. Discrimination can lead to the employees take action to leave the organization which will directly lead to loss of potential employees and the work experience of the employees which could have favor the organization (Ruggs et al. 2015).

Discrimination can have a substantial effect in the work environment of any business. It hampers the positivity and efficient work motivation and attitude of the employees which results into low productivity and profit. Discrimination can damage employee relations which will have negative impact on the workforce of the office. Age discrimination can lead to loss of potential and current employees. This loss can be incurred to employer as well. For example, the victims suffering from any sort of discrimination would lose their self confidence, morale and motivation which are essential to perform the job role effectively. Way back many of the practices are illegal but still exist in offices at present. The family responsibilities of a woman can hinder a job position by making a push back while in the interview process where the asking about family responsibility is against the law. This results into an illegal practice. Many a times, discrimination can lead to strong resentment or loss. Destructiveness can be in the form of physical violence against others, destroying the property or spreading rumors about the organization or people of the organization.  

Handling Discrimination in the Workplace

In any organization the employees are the main resources which need to be focused and kept satisfied in order to expect a greater outcome but discrimination can persist this and affect the employees comfortable and satisfaction level, that in turn will affect the workforce and its efficiency.

The payment of workers is in some organization still less or more for women as compared to men. These can be an example of discrimination against age or gender. However, now many of the acts after coming into practice have made the unequal pay systems abolish but still in some of the places it exist which is completely illegal. Recruitment on the basis of discrimination is another factor which can affect the organizational goals and objective because the diverse nature of the organization makes it possible and happening to achieve goals and reach success (Baert 2015).

The unconscious bias and stereotypes regarding the gender and age discrimination in the workplace can affect the environment, relations and ultimately resulting into recurring loss for the organization and not achieving the objectives and the goals. The employees in the organization if are affected by a sort of discrimination, which can result into distortion of the employees and lead to resign (Loi, Loh and Hine 2015). Unconscious bias is a drawback to the individual as well as to the workplace as declines the opportunity of diversity which brings benefit for the growth of the company.

The discrimination against the employees on the basis of age can be humiliating and lead to loss of employees who are potential and skillful. For example, a situation where the young employees are given training on the use of new equipments of the organization and the existing employee who are old as per their age are not given the same. This stands out to be the situation because the employer believes that investing on the young employee will result the company to enjoy long term employment period to be served by the young employees (Davey 2018). While the old employees are in age to retire and hence training them with the new technology will be a waste. This leads to age discrimination. These result into loss of employees who are potential, creative and are sufficient with experience which could have contributed in the organizations strength and output. Discrimination can play a huge difference in terms that will affect the employment engagement and will divert the work attitude of the potential and experienced employees (Fisher et al. 2017).

Unconscious Bias and Stereotypes

Stereotypes is widely fixed image or idea regarding any individual person, and unconscious bias are the feelings that are set in an individual’s mid towards other people. This feeling play a strong role in and influence the judgments of the people in various sectors of life. Workplace is the prominent area where the bias and stereotypes can affect the most because the people are less attached to each other in terms of emotion, they vary in intercultural context from each other. Stereotypes are mostly related to two types of discrimination namely, formal and informal. Formal discrimination are the cases related to organizational resources such as job roles, promotion and pays while informal discrimination is based on the quality and the kind of relation the employees make within the organization (Jenkins and Finneman 2018).  

This discrimination are formed way back many years long which is just being followed till now and may be will get followed in future. This cycle of a particular practice being practiced ages after ages along with new generation can be termed as cumulative acculturation. Since ages it is being believed by the people that women cannot do complex task and cannot handle and support the leadership position. Some even believe that women are only able to support and take care for the families, which is completely wrong. As in the case study it is observed that the data that was extracted from 10 working women, that all the women were engaged in some or other kind of relationship along with which they were handling their job roles specifically (Cundiff and Vescio 2016). It proves that women have the potentiality to manage both profession and home at a time.  When simply ideas and thinking related to any particular type of person or thing are brought into action it becomes unconscious bias. These unconscious biases can create discrimination from within and without even having any personal grievances against the particular employee. However, men are believed that they can manage to do the complex task because they have the ability to do it. This thinking is carried forward to the new generation since their childhood which significantly affects the mindset of the people.

Gender and age are the strongest bias with which all people are associated. However, these unconscious stereotypes are been formed in the brains over a long period of time and gets influenced with different incidents in which there is no such control. This process can take place since from the beginning of the childhood and often influenced by one’s cultural background. Both unconscious bias and stereotypes of an individual play an essential role in performing discrimination against any one (Correll 2017).

Impact of Discrimination on Work Environment

There must be laws framed and implemented to protect the old women against discrimination who often suffers from both age and gender discrimination. And even, if the laws are not amended still the companies should focus towards securing the old women as the physical appearance of women matters more than that of women.  Women live longer than men on average, which simply means that this will benefit the employers if they let the continuation of employment of the old women. Therefore, simply cutting the old employees off because of their age will affect their quality of life (Connerley and Wu 2016)

The theory of Self-categorization describes the thinking of others in terms of a group membership. According to the natural cognitive process the individuals are placed into social groups. For example, while thinking of men people always consider women then while comparing black person white person comes to the mind. These perspectives are influence from the incidents that takes place from over a long period of time. This theory can be applied to remove the barriers of the organization in terms of discrimination that hold back the unity matter and diverse environment to flourish in sense of success. According to the case study, if the women support each other then they will understand each other more accurately and this will automatically lead to rise up the women society (Kunze and Miller 2017).

Socio emotional selectivity theory is also known as life span theory of motivation. It focuses more on future related and development oriented goals. Usually this theory concentrates on the age and compares mainly the young adulthood and old adulthood. This theory also focuses on time factor which shifts the career planning, goal and knowledge perspective with age associated shift in time factor. This theory if applied in the organization over the employees and the victims of discrimination can help to cope and realize the benefit to turn the challenges and stereotypes into opportunities for self (Kulik, Perera and Cregan 2016).

In order to manage the unconscious bias and the types of stereotypes in the workplace, the HR department of the organization should focus towards implementing programs to increase serf-awareness. This can be done with the help of practical ways like putting up role plays which will enhance the performance and the ability of the employees to stand against the toughest situation. The organization should focus towards making the employees engage into behavioral design processes to build correct mind set regarding gender, age and background. It is also necessary to enhance the recruitment process into structured interviews (Henry, Zacher and Desmette 2015).  Organizing unconscious bias training will help the employees even the higher level executives to realize that bias is a sort of problem that could affect the way the recruitment process is to be placed. However, all these activities will help to grow realization among the employees of the organization that unconscious bias brings negativity instead in an workplace the more the employees will range from different gender, age it will increase the uniqueness of the team or organization. In turn this will also lead to a innovative and a team full of experienced members.

Solutions for Preventing and Facing Discrimination at Workplace

From the above it can be concluded that the organization nowadays are more prone to discrimination including age and gender. The women are most often the victims at workplace which affects their work attitude and beliefs. This all can even affect the trust ad loyalty between the employees and the organization. The above information are based on the information of the case study where the sample that was taken from 10 working women who stated that if all the women start supporting each other then it can result to the uplift of women success and will help to equalize the rights for the women to take opportunity. Unequal pay is another sort of discrimination that takes place in the organization where the women or men are paid less/more according to their gender for the same task performed by both. The kind of discrimination can be formal or informal but affects the employees directly. The stereotypes about any people or thing mainly become into action, and are called as unconscious bias. Discrimination can affect the work environment and workforce negatively and can result into destruction of the organization or the people related to it or spreading rumors about the same. However, the organizations can adopt several strategies such as socio-emotional activity to train its employees to prevent discrimination within the organization and even the executives must be into participation with an honest judgment to clear the discrimination factor from the mind. From the above it can also be observed that the women can take advantage of several stereotypical thoughts against them to favor their motivation.


Baert, S., 2015. Field experimental evidence on gender discrimination in hiring: Biased as Heckman and Siegelman predicted?. ECONOMICS-THE OPEN ACCESS OPEN-ASSESSMENT E-JOURNAL, 9(25), pp.1-11.

Barak, M.E.M., 2016. Managing diversity: Toward a globally inclusive workplace. Sage Publications.

Connerley, M.L. and Wu, J. eds., 2016. Handbook on Well-Being of Working Women. Springer.

Correll, S.J., 2017. SWS 2016 Feminist Lecture: Reducing Gender Biases In Modern Workplaces: A Small Wins Approach to Organizational Change. Gender & Society, 31(6), pp.725-750.

Cundiff, J.L. and Vescio, T.K., 2016. Gender stereotypes influence how people explain gender disparities in the workplace. Sex Roles, 75(3-4), pp.126-138.

Davey, J., 2018. Age discrimination in the workplace. Policy Quarterly, 10(3).

Fisher, G.G., Truxillo, D.M., Finkelstein, L.M. and Wallace, L.E., 2017. Age discrimination: Potential for adverse impact and differential prediction related to age. Human Resource Management Review, 27(2), pp.316-327.

Henry, H., Zacher, H. and Desmette, D., 2015. Reducing age bias and turnover intentions by enhancing intergenerational contact quality in the workplace: The role of opportunities for generativity and development. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1(3), pp.243-253.

Jenkins, J. and Finneman, T., 2018. Gender trouble in the workplace: applying Judith Butler’s theory of performativity to news organizations. Feminist Media Studies, 18(2), pp.157-172.

Kulik, C.T., Perera, S. and Cregan, C., 2016. Engage me: The mature-age worker and stereotype threat. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6), pp.2132-2156.

Kunze, A. and Miller, A.R., 2017. Women helping women? Evidence from private sector data on workplace hierarchies. Review of Economics and Statistics, 99(5), pp.769-775.

Loi, N.M., Loh, J.M. and Hine, D.W., 2015. Don’t rock the boat: The moderating role of gender in the relationship between workplace incivility and work withdrawal. Journal of Management Development, 34(2), pp.169-186.

Okechukwu, C.A., Souza, K., Davis, K.D. and de Castro, A.B., 2014. Discrimination, harassment, abuse, and bullying in the workplace: Contribution of workplace injustice to occupational health disparities. American journal of industrial medicine, 57(5), pp.573-586.

Ruggs, E.N., Martinez, L.R., Hebl, M.R. and Law, C.L., 2015. Workplace “trans”-actions: How organizations, coworkers, and individual openness influence perceived gender identity discrimination. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2(4), p.404.

Zurbrügg, L. and Miner, K.N., 2016. Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Workplace Incivility: Who Is Most Targeted and Who Is Most Harmed?. Frontiers in psychology, 7, p.565.

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