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Occupational Sexism

Occupational Sexism

Occupational sexism is the process by which people are discriminated against in a professional environment for their sex. It can happen in any work environment and to people of both sexes. It should be noted that occupational sexism is illegal in terms of the discriminatory practices that it promotes. In the modern work environment, there are protections in place to guard against occupational sexism. However, in the past, it was a commonplace practice, particularly for women who were just entering the workforce. Recognizing occupational sexism and stopping it in its track is key to ensuring that it does not persist in the professional environment.

Occupational sexism can be characterized in various ways. This includes the following:

  • Statements that are sexist in nature
  • Actions or words that are insensitive to either gender
  • Shared emails that are sexist in nature

The various ways in which occupational sexism can take form is what makes it hard to recognize at times. For instance, many people may not realize that sharing offensive emails can represent sexism or making certain remarks to people of the opposite sex is considered offensive. Occupational sexism can persist without education, which is why it is so important to recognize and acknowledge. The differences between the sexes is not the issue as much as it is an acknowledgment of how important it is to respect those differences and treat people equally.

The concept of a glass ceiling alone suggests that advancement or upward mobility is not available. One of the first questions prompts the women to identify when they might have recognized this glass ceiling for the first time in their lengthy careers. One women described her first awareness of the glass ceiling as "a sea of women sitting straight up at their desks" and only a "few men on the floor [who] poked their heads out of their office doors. Although it could be argued that such a description is an exaggeration or perhaps less-than-truthful, it is also fair to suggest that it speaks to the first impression that the workplace made on the woman, who was making her own first impression on her first day of work.

It is recommended that further research based on the approach and design of the present research be conducted as a means for generating findings that can be validly and effectively applied to the development of anti-discrimination policies and practices in organizations throughout the nation. If nothing else, the present study underscores the inherent vulnerability to discrimination that women have had to face in the workplace simply because of their gender as well as the barriers that it has and continues to present to their advancement in the workplace.

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