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Unformatted text preview: Running Head: GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS Gender Diversity in International Business Name Institution 1 GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 2 Gender Diversity in International Business Gender diversity is one of the common features in various corporations in both developed and developing countries across the globe. This paper discusses the current statistics of women in senior and corporate levels both in United States and other countries. Even though the gender inequality gap is slowly declining in the U.S., there is a decline in number of women leaders in a significant number of countries. This research paper also recommends some measures that need to be put in place in order to address gender inequality issues. Some of these measures have successfully been introduced and implemented in various countries across the world. Despite an increase in women participation in education and political matters in the United States, there is still a significant disparity when it comes to women representation in leadership positions in various organizations and government departments. These statistics are not only common in the U.S., but also in various countries across the globe. Gender inequality in leadership matters is quite common in third world countries but it has continued to decline in recent years unlike during the past decades. In developing and developed countries, the gender inequality gap has significantly reduced and the population of women leaders has overtaken that of the male counterparts in various positions. Women have continued to excel and perform better when it comes to education. This has enabled them to occupy key positions that were previously dominated by men. According to a 2009 report by U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of women in management and leadership positions constituted 51% as compared to their male counterparts. Even though these statistics show an improvement in gender diversity, there is less participation of women when it comes to careers in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). There are some key professions and industries that have been dominated in the GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 3 United States by the male population. This includes industries and professions such as construction, logging, fishing and mining among others. In construction sector, women contribute to 8.9% of the entire workforce. While in mining sector, women constitute 13.3% of labor force (Catalyst, 2015). Despite the fact that women have matched the male population when it comes to education and employment, there is a mismatch and inequalities when it comes to women engagement in senior positions. There is minimal women presence in senior and executive level positions in various government and non-governmental positions across the world. In Europe for example, despite the fact that women constitute 45% of the total workers, women in senior positions constitute only 11.9% (Rohini & Deanna, 2011).These senior positions include company managers and board of directors among others. This is quite a small number bearing in mind the fact that both men and women are guaranteed equal education and opportunities in European countries. In the American labor market, the number is quite low as compared to European countries. The number of women in senior positions is 9.9% as compared to men which makes up 90.9%. In the Asia-pacific region, the number has increasingly dropped over the years to 6.55 while in Africa and Middle East countries; the number is as low as 3.2% (Rohini & Deanna, 2011). There is an increase in female engagement in taking leadership positions as compared to women in of Caucasian origin. Their improvement is aided by factors such as access and enabling culture. Western culture has been one of the key advantages that have empowered women to take leadership roles. The culture empowers women and guarantees them equal education opportunities as men. Women of Caucasian origin are more disadvantaged when it comes to getting access to formal education. Education is a vital element that bridges the gender GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 4 inequality gap, and the failure of women to get access to formal education leads to their inability to engage fully in matters of national importance. There are several actions that need to be taken to address increased gender diversity at higher levels of management in multinational firms. All countries across the globe must come up with proper policies and legislations that are aimed at increasing women numbers in leadership positions. One of the policies that I would recommend is coming up with a gender quota policy as a means of addressing gender inequality in leadership. Some of the examples of the countries that have come up with such a policy and have successfully addressed the issue are India and Norway. The reservation system in India was successfully used to reserve certain leadership positions to women. India’s constitutional amendment back in 1993 was a major boost for women professionals which stated that one-third of leadership positions should be reserved for women. Such legislations if fully adopted and implemented by other countries would not only increase the number of women leadership in political positions, but also other executive positions. In a country where there is gender equality in education matters, it is the policies of the day that would address the issue of gender disparities in the labor market. Norway serves as an example of the countries that has successfully come up with corporate quotas. A legislation which was introduced in 2003 reserves 40% of corporate positions to women. This policy has enabled women to take key corporate positions in various sectors. Government policies would therefore influence women positions in Multi-national Corporations. A foreign company usually adheres to the regulation and policies of a country that they establish their business. Therefore, all countries must come up with policies such as gender quotas to ensure that women are reserved some key corporate positions. GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 5 In countries that have tight cultures, introducing gender quotas is the best means of addressing gender inequality (Leonardelli & Toh, 2013). Using successful women in corporate positions is the best strategy that should be employed in countries which have loose culture. Women leaders should use their positions to be role models for young girls and women who aspire to take leadership roles in western countries. The women in key positions must change their beliefs that have been held for a long time in various cultures that women are unfit to hold key leadership positions. When a woman in leadership position succeeds, it would serve as an example to the rest that women can also become excellent leaders. Over the years, several companies have been uncomfortable about the idea of women occupying executive positions. As a result of their success, the belief has changed as a result of the successes of women in recent years. Therefore, women in key positions must demonstrate their capabilities to ensure that more women are considered in senior positions in future. For a woman to be considered in a corporate position, education level is a key requirement which is taken into account by corporations. Therefore, countries across the world must come up with policies that guarantee women equal education just like men. The gender disparity in education sector has impacted on their career choice and a position of an individual in the society. A larger majority of women in tight cultured countries do not get access to formal education. This has rendered a large number of them ineligible to get employment and take key corporate positions. Some of the key career courses that have minimal women representation are the field of STEM. Subjects like sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics in majority of countries are dominated by men. There should be a clear policy which ensures that girls are sensitized and enlisted to pursue courses which for long have been perceived to be reserved for men only. In the GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS United States, it is quite evident that women population in construction and engineering fields is quite low as compared to men. A policy should be put in place to attract girls to take STEM courses; this would result in their decision of considering STEM careers in future and thus bridging the gap that exists in corporate positions in multinational firms. The table below gives statistics on number of women in key sectors in the U.S. Table 1 Women's Share of Male-Dominated US Industries (Catalyst, 2015) Industry Construction Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Logging Mining Women share of total industry 8.9% N/a 2.8% 22.7% In conclusion, I recommend that government policies should be put in place that would provide solutions to problems of gender inequalities in corporate positions and Multinational Corporations. The legislations that were put in place in India and Norway should serve as an example on how proper policies contribute to an increase in the number of women in corporate and other major leadership positions. 6 GENDER DIVERSITY IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 7 References Catalyst. (2005) Catalyst Quick Take: Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations in U.S. and Canada. New York: Catalyst. Retrieved from . Leonardelli .G. J & Toh. M.S. (2013).Cultural Constraints on the Emergence of Women Leaders: How Global Leaders Can Promote Women in Different Cultures. Rohini .P. & Deanna. F. (2011).Gender Quotas and Female Leadership: A Review Background Paper for the World Development Report on Gender ...
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