Gender stereotypes have been strongly embedded in various cultures. There are beliefs that certain jobs are only suitable for men while others are for females. Regarding this issue, I engaged in an activity with friends across cultures to find out their beliefs and opinions. There are various patterns which are seen in our responses. According to both, there are certain jobs which are regarded for different genders. We grouped the occupations according to the nature of the work involved. Those that uses a lot of energy when executing are meant for men while those that uses less energy are believed to be for women. The traditional beliefs had an impact in our responses. It is because we judged the jobs listed from the observations that we have lived within our communities. We both saw most jobs would ideally suit men and a few would suit women.
The society has propelled our minds into thinking that there are jobs which are supposed to be carried out by various genders. The matter of masculine and feminine concepts in professions has been addressed. Most of the jobs listed had masculine traits. Our responses concluded that men had more jobs in the list than women. Social factors are so much associated with how people perceive jobs in the market. Peer pressure was one of the components that my partner and I thought had an influence on how people find themselves in wrong careers. Nicoleta (2015) that others are advised by their parents and guardians on the kind of training that they should undertake.
In our responses, we agree that gender is a very sensitive issue in the current times. Culture too is a very crucial aspect which has had changes on how people perceive gender roles. We both agreed that gender and culture are closely related. Some cultures have gone too far as dictating what occupations should men and women engage. Various activities are exclusively done by men while others are done by women. I found out that we were for the same idea that in the current world, many practices are determined by the ability to perform on the field regardless of the nature of the job. For this reason, according to Nicoleta (2015), women have been seen indulging themselves in jobs that were believed to be for men and men have also engaged themselves in jobs that were meant to be for women. Men have become engineers, pilots and architects. Men on the other hand men have taken up the roles of being chefs, nurses and flight attendants.
There were some areas that we disagreed with my partner. My partner saw no difference between gender and sex. I do not think the two are one and the same thing. My partner believes that it does not matter which sex one is in executing a task rather its the gender which matters. On my opinion, sex matters a lot. Cultural backgrounds play a significant role in educating us about the different beliefs and customs that have guided the many generations in choosing jobs. Sex is being male or female of which it does dictate which job one is best suited. However, gender is much connected to one`s social context of their behaviors and roles within a given group of persons hence the job that one chooses is greatly influenced by the gender (White & White, 2006). We also disagreed on the issue that women have many careers to choose. I believe that both men and women have equal chances of becoming what one wants to do with his/ her life. The decision is with the person. My partner concluded without giving a thought that everyone has an opportunity to train in any occupation.
I am of the opinion that our cultural backgrounds had a say in the responses that we made. Our cultures both argue out that those gender roles, and responsibilities are mostly affected by the sex of a person. Women have been empowered to venture in jobs which they feared that they could not handle. Men too have found themselves hating certain jobs, but through the creation of awareness, they have seen value in all jobs. Our cultures do not believe that men and women are equal hence; leadership roles, as well as jobs related to being a leader, are for men while women are only regarded as subjects. This perception has created a lot of problems in our societies. Women have always tried to prove that they can also lead. People need to be exposed to different cultures so that they can learn from them (White & White, 2006).
There are methods through which we can minimize stereotypes in the workplace. Educating people is one of the ways for some are deeply rooted in their cultural beliefs and customs which are not perfect. They should be reminded that all genders are important in the workplace. People need to be given a chance to explore for themselves what other genders can do. According to Nicoleta (2015), they need to be shown that people have different capabilities and they all play a part in making the work become a success. The final product is all that matters. People should be made to work together in different groups so as to get to know each other in the workplace. It will help in keeping the minds away from thinking of discriminating others. Workplace policies against gender stereotypes need to be put in place too. It is because we found women being made to look inferior compared to men.
Nicoleta, A. (2015). Culture and Gender Role Differences. Cross-Cultural Management Journal 07 (2015: 31-35.
White, M.J., & White, G.B. (2006). Implicit and Explicit Occupational Gender Stereotypes. Sex Roles, 55(3-4), 259-266.
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