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The Problem of Discrimination in the Workplace

Introduction

Discrimination in the offices and among colleagues is a serious issue in the modern world that is claimed to be tolerant and equal for everyone. This topic and its causes and consequences are widely discussed by specialists in diverse spheres such as sociology, psychology, human resources, and management.

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It is crucial to point out that there is no solution to this problem at the current moment. Discrimination results in severe conflicts between the representatives of different generations and genders and negatively affects the results of the staff members. The research would be based on modern theoretical articles concerning the examined issue. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the reasons and specific details of age and gender discrimination in the workplace and describe their negative impact on the efficiency of the company.

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is a significant problem in organizations in many counties all over the world. Nowadays, three generations are working together, and it causes crucial difficulties to its representatives to find a compromise concerning important actions and decisions. Baby Boomers are aged approximately 50 years and have the most powerful positions in the company. They are the most experienced workers, and their vote is claimed to be crucial in the process of decision making (Deyoe & Fox, 2012).

Among them are business owners and top-managers who already have the power to establish their own rules in the organization. Their life goals are often concentrated on specific job achievements (O’Loughlin et al., 2017). The representatives of this category do not simplify a working process: they are more likely to assess the risks and organize discussions in order to find the best solution to the problem. Their ethical implication in the workforce includes passion towards the working process and ambitions about the highest position.

A category of younger people is called Generation X, their values and worldview significantly vary from the ideology of the Baby Boomers. They are not so passionate about the working process; it is a source to earn for life but not the primary goal in life (Deyoe & Fox, 2012).

What is more, this generation includes more job immigrants who change their place of living to have better working conditions. They prefer to work in small groups or individually and to develop a career strategy from the beginning. The popularity of freelance and telework is the consequence of the influence of this generation.

Among the representatives of the youngest generation – Millennials – there are few people who hold powerful positions in the companies. On the one hand, it can be explained by the lack of their working experience. On the other hand, they are not so ambitious about being a part of a big corporation and spending all their time working in the office.

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The distinguishing features of this category are the use of technologies and digital dependence. Moreover, they are usually more infant and closer to their parents as their childhood, in the majority of cases, was safe and comfortable (Deyoe & Fox, 2012). They prefer teamwork and complicated projects and want their career path to include minimum risks.

It can be observed that the diversification of values and points of view of the generations leads to conflicts among them. For example, there are many stereotypes concerning Baby Boomers: they are overly conservative and concentrated on following the rules (O’Loughlin et al., 2017). What is more, they want to be respected by the other workers and do not appreciate any significant changes: everyone has to wear a costume and follow the ethical guidelines of the company.

On the opposite, millennials prefer to wear casual clothes and make tattoos (Deyoe & Fox, 2012). From the point of view of O’Loughlin et al. (2017), it is impossible to solve this problem without significant changes in the mindset of society in general. The researcher maintains that the stereotypes concerning the Baby Boomers are a crucial problem that affects the efficiency of the company.

It is also essential to mention that there are diverse types of discrimination. Stypinska and Turek (2017) put forward the idea that there exist hard and soft ones. Governmental control and laws are a part of the first category. For example, it is forbidden for people aged over 65 years to be a subway driver in some countries.

The second type is about personal communication and unofficial processes in the company. Younger staff members prefer to work in a team with colleagues of their age. Despite the fact that hard discrimination is stricter, the soft one has a more negative impact on the efficiency of the company (Stypinska & Turek, 2017). Age discrimination is a crucial issue that has to be solved not only in the business sphere but in society in general.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination is another significant problem that should not be underestimated. It is possible to assume that the situation is much better than it was even a few centuries ago when women did not have a right to vote and go to work. Nevertheless, the issue is still actual in the modern world. For example, the results of one of the examined researches showed that females are usually associated with motherhood and not a successful career (Verniers & Vala, 2018).

What is more, women have to fight for comfortable treating by the other colleagues. There is an opinion that the purpose of a mother is to stay with children; the man is the only family member who has to earn money (Verniers & Vala, 2018). The staff members often judge women for going to the office instead of running the house. It is also crucial to point out that it is much harder for a young woman to get a job offer as she is perceived as a potential mother.

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It is necessary to maintain another severe problem concerning gender discrimination: sexual harassment in the office. This situation is especially urgent in the male-dominated workplaces (Parker, 2018). This is one of the reasons why some women prefer to choose jobs that are supposed to be female. For example, they become the workers of the call-center, nurses, or dancers. However, the segregation of the occupation also has negative consequences: women are less likely to be successful in the field of technologies, mechanics, or computer sciences (Parker, 2018). Gender discrimination is a difficult task to be solved because of the historical context and dominating patriarchal values.

Impact of Conflicting Values

The conflicting values and worldview of different genders and generations help to make people more tolerant. Women and men, older and younger humans, have to work together. The only way to make this process comfortable and pleasant for everyone is to establish the rules that would be respected by everyone. It is necessary to organize meetings and discussions in order to give an opportunity to propose the idea to the representatives of diverse groups.

References

Deyoe, R. H., & Fox, T. L. (2012). Identifying strategies to minimize workplace conflict due to generational differences. Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business, 5(1), 2–17.

O’Loughlin, K., Kendig, H., Hussain, R., & Cannon, L. (2017). Age discrimination in the workplace: The more things change. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 36(2), 98–101.

Parker, K. (2018). Women in majority-male workplaces report higher rates of gender discrimination. Factank. Web.

Stypinska, J., & Turek, K. (2017). Hard and soft age discrimination: The dual nature of workplace discrimination. European Journal of Ageing, 14(1), 49–61.

Verniers, C., & Vala, J. (2018). Correction: Justifying gender discrimination in the workplace: The mediating role of motherhood myths. Plos One, 13(7), 1–4. Web.

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