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Evaluate the View that the Socialisation Process that Produces Gender Inequality Continues both In and Outside the Workplace

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Introduction

Evaluate the View that the Socialisation Process that Produces Gender Inequality Continues both In and Outside the Workplace It cannot be denied that despite a feminist uprising throughout much of the 20th century, gender inequalities are still very much in evidence today; indeed the essay title does not question this. What must be examined however is whether legislation against discrimination in the workplace has managed to negate the impact of gender inequality in the labour market or whether women still feel they have yet to reach to reach a true egalitarian status. Most contemporary western employers claim to be meritocratic rather than gender biased in their choices of employees, yet despite this and the presence of countless employment laws, it still seems to be an inevitable factor that the working life of a woman differs dramatically from that of her male counterparts. To answer this question from a purely socialisation, i.e. nurture perspective, would be negligent. It is entirely appropriate to look at gender issues in terms of nature as well as nurture and accept that these two factors have equal impact on why inequality is still in existence and perhaps, to some extent, always will be if it is with the forces of nature that we are contending with. The issue of biology is often used with negative connotations to suggest why women do not achieve the same level of career status as men - with suggestions such as an inferior intellect or unpredictable hormones being cited as reasons to limit women from certain positions of responsibility. ...read more.

Middle

There is a contrast in this view between the US/UK and many European countries; the latter often regarding this role with higher esteem whereas the US and UK take the position that it is inadequate to simply stay at home to look after a family. Fortunately for American females, there is a much better provision of childcare and holiday camps and this has shown dividends; of the Fortune 500 companies, 15.7% of directors are women (Catalyst, 2008) whereas in the UK FTSE 250 there only 3.97% female directors (The Guardian, Feb 2011). In 2000, the Office for National Statistics reported in their 'Time Use' Survey that "Reductions in women's housework load are marginally reduced by paid employment". It confirmed that women do three quarters of all housework with a higher proportion being carried out by women once children enter the household. Thus the evidence would appear to back up many women's complaints that after many generations of fighting for the right to have the freedom and choice to go out to work, it has simply resulted in a 'double shift'. Once this so-called double shift starts to ease and children become less dependant many women may view this as an opportunity to begin or expand on an identity independent of the family role. This all sounds very good in theory, but in practice it is not always feasible. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was very much in evidence in previous centuries when class had a greater factor in deciding one's career choice. Many of the members of the RCP had previously attended one of a small number of elite schools. This contributed greatly to the notion that medicine was a powerful and respectful profession to enter. With this weight of history behind it plus the demand for the healing powers of medicine, consultants and doctors are still able to enjoy a privileged position in the occupational hierarchy. It appears that the reasons of male and female differences in the workplace are many and varied and include historical, social, cultural and biological factors. These combine to create a huge and influential backdrop to the UK's modern workforce. Many of these influences have created an unequal footing for women to attain a level status. These disadvantages have been highlighted and successive governments have made steps in the right direction in addressing these issues. Yet the government can only legislate so far, it is up to employers, schools, the media and individuals to enforce equal rights. Things have improved over time and will continue to do so, albeit at a slow pace. However nature will remain constant. Women will continue to bear children and will desire to look after them. This is something that must be at the forefront of any rules, regulations and employment strategies. ...read more.

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