Gender Differences are differences that are created within males and females due to their biological and physical characteristics. Gender differences can be observed everywhere be it at schools, homes or at workplaces. Researchers claim that there isn’t any vast difference in these genders but still both the genders are different from each other in various aspects for example in their way of thinking, reacting to situations, social behaviors and many other aspects.
It is thought about women that they are more social, are less confident, have low self esteem and tend to panic in chaotic situations where as men are thought to be as opposite who are more confident with high self esteem and more emotionally and physically stronger than women and look at situations with a more practical perspective. (Bland, 1) Some Basic Gender Differences Researchers believe that difference in physical characteristics tends to disappear soon but the psychological and biological differences remain to continue in them. • Biological and Physical Differences
Biological differences include the fact that girls tend to have more sensitive ears than boys have or they tend to develop negative thinking more quickly than boys do. Gender differences can be clearly observed at schools where girls tend to perform well in history, art and language classes where as boys perform faster in mathematics. From the very early age when a child starts to go to school people have observed that men tend to outperform females in math’s class, this is not anything related to intelligence of either genders but this relates to the fact that boys have strong visual ability rather than hearing ability.
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Boys perform better at the sports ground than girls due to their physical strength. Women are more caring towards other human beings and possess a soft corner but mostly males do not have this caring ability or this concern. (Think Again: Men and Women Share Cognitive Skills, 1) • Communication Differences When it comes to communication men communicate better than women, where as women are more hesitant and shy and cannot completely express what they think. This could be the reason that women are not comfortable in communicating with the opposite sex where as males do not feel discomfort in this.
When it comes to aggression males are tend to be more aggressive but as females are less physically strong they tend to develop other means to reach successful results. In domestic violence women get more injured physically but they instead took other means to hurt their male counterpart. When at a leading position women usually give out responses like how about if we do this or what do you think about this idea and are somewhat though to be as soft leaders where as men give out firm orders for the tasks to be accomplished and do not take such advises from co-workers. (The debate of gender differences in aggression - Psychology Research Paper, 1)
Being humans both these genders are likely to go through stressful conditions but their responses differ greatly. Response to stress is a main difference in gender as well; boys and girls tend to possess different emotions. Girls are thought to be emotionally weak and do not exactly know what to do in hasty situations.
When stressed out a woman tend to move towards others for interaction like family or friends or for some safe place to disclose their reason for stress where as males react the opposite and will move towards an action to solve out the situation when completely stressed out. (Bland, 1)
Gender Differences at Workplace
Gender differences have greatly observed at the workplaces. No matter what kind of job it is; but still this issue is always present at majority of workplaces. It is a fact that men and women are not equal and they cannot behave equally.
Both of them have their own ways to think and to work. The way to manage the things of both the genders is different to the large extent. But in spite of all these factors it is recommended that there should not be any inequality or discrimination between both the genders at the workplaces. The main reason for gender differences at workplace can be the lack of communication between the both genders. The males and females are not able to interpret their behaviors in the right ways. This misunderstanding and miscommunication is the root of this discrimination act.
According to Bev Rosen, principle at the Wellness at Work consulting and training firm, the behavior and words of both the genders are almost the same but still their messages are different. The gender difference is a kind of discrimination and it creates the environment of aggression and frustration. There can be many different ways in which the males and females act differently from each other. It cannot be generalized easily as it a vast topic of discussion. Many steps are being taken for solving this issue as this issue sometimes creates many complications. These steps include the workshops and awareness programs.
The gender differences at workplaces are not as severe as supposed to be in the past. But still there is a gap that should be filled. By using the seminars, workshops and awareness programs, it is being tried to develop good relationships between men and women. (Thiederman, 1) The gender differences also occur because of the different ways of men and women of perceiving the situations. The nonverbal communication of men and women is quite different which can create confusions and misunderstandings. Also the ways in which the stress is being taken by both the genders is very different.
It has been observed that in stressful situations the female workers get frustrated and depressed. Whereas, the male workers take such situations as challenges and hence get focused. It has been researched that majority of men do get focused at the time of stress. But women doubt their skills and need to discuss the stressful situation with someone for releasing their stress. It can also be observed at different workplaces that women give responses to reassurance where as men give responses to encouragement. This difference shows that the basic needs and behavior of both the genders is quite different.
The issues of gender differences can be resolved by making the males and females to interact as much as it is possible. This act will definitely act as a bridge in filling out the gap between them. The employees should be given proper education regarding this matter. This act is discriminating and should be avoided. Gender differences affect the peaceful environment of the workplace. Both the genders should try to understand their counterparts. This issue is important to get solved as it prevents the generation of violent behaviors within the organization. (Sharrow, 1)
Challenges and Barriers
There are many challenges and barriers that are faced by men and women regarding gender differences. Study conducted by Barbara Annis, a gender specialist, has revealed some of the challenges and barriers. The studies have proved that both the genders are trying to overcome the gaps between them. But still there are hindrances in establishing the good relationship. • Challenges and Barriers for Women Following are the top most challenges and barriers that are faced by women at workplaces.
Men also get dismissed and everybody almost has a fear of getting dismissed. Women mostly take the dismissal as a result of their gender and their style of working. The women consider that they do have a good style to operate the things but they are getting ignored. It has been observed many times that the issues raised by women are ignored. But when men address these issues then everybody takes interest and gives attention. The reason is not the gender but the reason may be the style of communicating or presenting the things. Women take this as an issue of gender. Researchers have proved this fact that women mostly are interrupted at the workplaces more than men.
It has been an experience for most of the female workers that when somebody gets to know that a female worker is the boss, and then people start testing her. Nobody believes at the first step that a female worker can be the boss. People start testing her by trying to dig out about her stuff. This situation is irritating for the female workers.
3. Third Sex
After the process of testing and questioning most of the times, the women are pressurized to change their style. Women do feel that their style is authentic and do not want to change it. People want them to act like men and this situation puts the women in a no win condition. The women are strictly observed for their behavior when they are being mentored.
Women are mostly ignored in the major events such as meetings, parties and other relationship building events. This situation makes the women to feel as if they are lacking in abilities. This situation is quite discouraging for them.
This is perhaps the major barrier or challenge that has been faced by female workers. It is believed by majority of the people that women always get job just because of their gender. Nobody feels that the females can also get job because of their abilities rather gender. (Annis, 1)
Challenges and Barriers
Faced by Men Following are the top most challenges that are faced by men in majority cases when it comes to gender difference at workplaces. These challenges are totally different as compared to the females.
Men are mostly confused about the rules and laws of the organization. On the other hand, females understand the rules better than men.
There is a lackness of clarity in men and they are not able to understand the instructions properly. The instructions that are provided are mostly not enough for men.
While working along with the women, it has always been noticed that men do have to be careful to the large extent. For example, the matter of sexual harassment has been observed at many workplaces which can even make the men to lose their jobs. For this reason men have to be very careful for maintaining their pride and position. This is a very challenging situation for men and it is difficult in working under such circumstances.
3. Reverse Discrimination
It is assumed by majority of people that females get better jobs as compared to males only because of their gender. Men have to work hard for getting the position in front of women. Men feel that women get job because of their gender not because of their abilities. This situation makes it quite hard for men as they have to work harder for proving their abilities and skills. Men feel that women gets ahead faster and they do not have to make hard efforts for that.
4. Difficulty Supporting Women
It is believed and commonly observed that females do not support each other at the workplaces.
Females try to pull each other’s legs and has got jealousy factor. This situation makes it difficult for men to support any female worker who deserves support as well.
The communication is perhaps the major problem that creates many challenges for men. It is believed by majority of male workers that female workers perceive the things differently. This situation has made the situations challenging for men and it is hard for them to make the females to understand the things properly. Men have to be careful a lot while dealing with women.
The communication gap develops many different problems at workplace. These were few of the problems that are placed by men when they are working with the female staff. (Annis, 1)
Equality and Diversity
There are many situations where the gender differences exist at the workplaces. Although these situations cannot be generalized but the most common areas of diversity and equality are as under:
Giving out orders:
When at a leader position where men or women have to give out frequent orders a difference has been noted that their way of giving orders and managing people differ to an extent. Several reaches and studies have shown that women tend to be more lenient in giving out orders and instructions where as males are more direct and to the point. The phrases that are more commonly used by women when giving any order or suggestion is mostly how about this idea? Or what if we try this? Women are thought to be the one who is culturally nurtured to maintain a stability and harmony in relations. This soft behavior and demands does not at all mean that women have less confidence or direct communication or to the point orders means that the other person is superior or is bossy to his co – workers.
These things just relate to the way of communication one has learned or feels comfortable in communicating with.
Another significant difference seen in both genders is that women ask more question than men. Men are less likely to ask question until and unless they need to gather information where as females ask question on two possibilities one is that when they need to gather information and the other is when they have the information but still ask the other person in order to build a relationship with them.
Dealing with Misinterpretations and Misunderstandings
Issues have been raised regarding to the role of women at workplace in respect to their management style and the habit of asking frequent question. There is nothing that much wrong with these various ways of communication. It’s perfectly all right with men being more direct and specific and asking lesser questions, it only depends on how a person is comfortable in communicating. The main problem or issue arises when these differences lead to misapprehension or misunderstanding which can lead to disturbance in teamwork and even disrupt someone’s chances for improvement. (Thiederman, 1)
Symptoms of Distress The gender differences that are made in the workplaces have also led to the stress among people. Many researchers have proved that men and women are made the prey of stress because of the differences that are made. Obviously, nobody wants to get ignored in front of the coworkers. But gender differences create a feeling of being ignored and discouragement. There are very few research reports that support the gender differences. Majority of researches prove that this act should be discouraged as it pushes back most of the skilled people whether male or female.
This is no doubt a shameful act and should be avoided. (Trocki, 1) Conclusion The paper is entirely based over the gender difference which is no doubt a rising and hot issue. This issue remains under discussion at every field and area. Many kinds of differences do exist between the two genders like biological, physical, emotional and cognitive differences. This is a very broad topic but in this paper it has been narrowed down. The major topic that is under discussion in this paper is gender differences at workplaces. Obviously, the working strategy and behavior of men and women are different at workplaces.
The basic reason for which the gender differences arise is the lack of communication between the males and females. It is necessary to fill out the communication gap so that the workplace can get free of this gender issue. Situations like managing things, giving orders, presenting things, understanding and interpreting things do involve gender differences. It is recommended that these gender issues should be resolved by increasing the collaboration and interaction between men and women with in the workplaces. It is also suggested that no priorities should be given on the gender basis.
A gender difference is an act of discrimination and should be avoided. The gender issues should be resolved and men and women should be treated equally. Both the genders should cooperate with each other. Both the genders should be given equal importance and should not be ignored. Teamwork should be promoted and none of the gender preference should be given.
- Barbara Annis, WITI- Careers: Gender differences in the workplace (2009) http://www. witi. com/careers/2004/genderdiffs. php Accessed May 12, 2009
- Golnaz Sadri, Resolving conflicts: examining ethnic racial and gender differences (2003) http://www.emeraldinsight. com/Insight/viewContentItem. do;jsessionid=13374478F4A4DDBFEE981A8A082142C1? contentType=Article&contentId=880808 Accessed May 12, 2009
- J. Bland, About gender- differences (2003) http://www. gender. org. uk/about/00_diffs. htm Accessed May 12, 2009
- Karen F. Trocki, Gender differences in the workplace: Sources and symptoms of distress (1992) http://www. essisystems. com/center/articles/uploads/17/workplace_gender. pdf Accessed May 12, 2009
- Ryan Sharrow, Gender differences can spark workplace confusion- Baltimore business journal (2006) http://baltimore.bizjournals. com/baltimore/stories/2006/11/13/smallb5. html Accessed May 12, 2009
- Sondra Thiederman, Working with gender differences at workplaces (2008) http://diversity. monster. co. uk/6550_en_p1. asp Accessed May 12, 2009
- The debate of gender differences in aggression - Psychology Research Paper (2009) http://www. freeonlineresearchpapers. com/debate-gender-differences-aggression Accessed May 12, 2009
- Think again: Men and women share cognitive skills (2006) http://www. psychologymatters. org/thinkagain. html Accessed May 12, 2009
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