Online Custom «Gender Diversity» Essay Sample
Gender diversity in the workplace became a common phenomenon during the postwar period. There was a change in gender roles, especially after the First and Second World Wars. Women had to take the positions left by the men who participated in the wars. The rate of female entry into the labor force increased during and after war periods. Women occupied positions and jobs that typically fall under the responsibility of men. At the onset of 1970, women in the developed countries occupied important job positions regarded as masculine. They participated in teamwork and facilitated the development of group dynamics at various levels. Research on gender diversity became a common phenomenon in the 1990s, when many organizations and individuals in the field of human resource management focused on workforce diversity as a tool for performance improvement (McCormick & Mendelson, 2007).
Interaction between people of different genders produces various social dynamics that impact organizational performance. Gender diversity provides a platform for male and female members of an organization to exchange information and share ideas that have an effect on activities in the company (Ali, Metz, & Tulik, n.d). It enables an organization to access a wide pool of talent. For instance, women have different views on product characteristics compared to their male counterparts. It is easier for an organization to develop products that suit needs of consumers of the two genders if both men and women have equal opportunity to contribute their views during the product development process. A business can develop a better reflection of the target consumers. Gender diversity in the workgroup also facilitates corporate governance. A gender-diverse group is likely to develop effective communication strategies and prioritize product quality and customer satisfaction.
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Effectiveness of female workers depends on the level of interaction among them. According to Knippenberg, Dreu, & Homan (2004), similarity-attraction approach explains the impacts of interaction and friendship in an organization. Female members may participate in social communication that is beneficial. Similarities between individuals provide positive feedback on ideas, abilities, and opinions. Members of a particular group improve their self-esteem when other people value their input. Female employees in Saudi Telecom Company are likely to increase their level of performance when they will interact and share their views with each other. People are attracted to individuals who share a common perspective. The situation influences behavioral predispositions in the workplace. Moreover, women are likely to increase their participation in work groups that will embrace their identity and contributions towards productivity and quality (Knippenberg et al., 2004).
Another perspective that is relevant to performance improvement in workforce diversity is group competition approach. The perspective holds that membership in a given social group forms the basis of identification in the workplace. The interaction between group members are important for collective control of resources as well as their roles in a team. Female or male employees are likely to identify themselves in the organization and take control of resources that influence their performance as a group. The perspective concurs with the elements of the social identity approach, which holds that individuals tend to maximize group performance and self-esteem by taking control of relevant resources. The social contact approach emphasizes on the interaction between different groups and how participants behave within the boundaries of the team (Ali et al., n.d).
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Presence of gender diversity in the workgroup may sometimes cause problems to an organization. It may be difficult for a firm to establish woman-to-woman monitoring program because of group rivalry. Most female employees find it challenging to monitor the performance of their colleagues due to similar views on job-related issues and the fear of submission. A diversified workgroup may be resistant to change. In fact, different groups tend to take time to understand and accept change. Members give diverse opinions that vary according to the needs and personal objectives. Social stereotyping and discrimination is another negative effect of a diversified workforce. Male and female employees subscribe to different stereotypes that affect group unity and performance (Mayo & Pator, 2005).