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The Effect of Gender Discrimination on Job Opportunities Available to Women in the Banking Sector Essay

First of all, we would like to thank all mighty Allah who helped us in his mysterious ways. We were very short in time, but even then we were able to carry on our research. Our instructor Ma’am Faryal helped us in every way possible. The project would not have been possible without contribution from all the group members. The introduction was covered by Asim, the literature reviews were dealt by Mr. Ali hassan, the methodology was handled by Mr. Badar ejaz, the body and conclusion was split between Mr. Noman ullah and Miss. Haris Nisar and Mr. Badar ejaz.

We would also like to thank the sample we selected for the questionnaires as well as the people who gave us interviews. They were very supportive and without them, the research paper would not have been able to answer the research question. Abstract This research paper is based on an imperative social issue that is normal in the Pakistani society. It is accepted that women discrimination is found in every profession. This research papers aims to identify if gender discrimination is taking the banking sector or not, and if gender discrimination is affecting jobs available for women in the banking sector of Pakistan.

Through this research, we have concluded that yes gender discrimination is taking place in the banks in Pakistan and it is affecting jobs available to women. The research also identifies different reasons for such discrimination and tends to find a solution to this growing problem. Introduction The Constitution of Pakistan maintains that all citizens are met under the watchful eye of the law and are qualified for equivalent insurance. It forbids segregation on the support of sex and confers the State to take strides to guarantee the full interest of women in all circles of essence.

Even if the law is implemented and women do get equal rights as men in the society, there are still areas where gender discrimination is present, especially in the job market. Our point in exchange is identified with the work discriminations females’ face in the banking sector of Pakistan. Banking sector is quite a vast sector and the whole financial transaction of the nation is by one means or another, subject to it. Unfortunately it is ordinarily recognized that the banking sector of Pakistan is a male dominating sector.

We’ll be discussing about the male dominance in the sector, and would like to investigate whether there is female discrimination present in the banking sector or not. Our focus would be on the job difficulties, wage differentials, general preferences and other issues female workers have to face in a banking environment. We’ll carry our research with keeping in mind the conflict approach. Conflict arises between the genders, as one gender (male) is given superiority over the other gender (female). The notion is that in the banking sector job market is dominated by male subordinates.

The conflict arises due to this reason. Females feel discriminated as they have lesser jobs in the sector, and if there are jobs for them, they have lower pays and chances of prosperity are very less given the conditions. Literature review The article “Missing Subjects: Gender, Power, and Sexuality in Merchant Banking”* by Linda McDowell and Gillian Court talks about the issue of sex division in the banking sector. Methodology used in this article is all based on past surveys. Many surveys related to banking and female association with the banking sector are quoted.

Along with past data interviews were taken from both male and female bankers. The feminization of the labor force has been profound, particularly in the last decade. No less than eight out of ten new jobs created in the 1980s have been for women. While parts of the service sector have long been recognized as a feminized job ghetto, increasingly these “new” occupations rely on the marketing of attributes conventionally associated with the “natural” attributes of femininity, sociability, caring, and, indeed, servicing which are marketed as an integral part of the product for sale.

However, male domination is still present in the banking sector. The fact that the banking sector does include many jobs which require looks, personalities, and emotions, as well as their physical and intellectual capacities, females are more likely to get these jobs. (McDowell and Gillian, 1994) The article also discusses about the importance of banking. There has been a constant increase in the number of banks in the world with annual growth rates exceeding 7 percent in the boom years.

With this increasing rate, demand for labor has also risen in the sector. Qualified professionals are hired to run these banks. That is where division of labor plays a vital role. These days nature of job has been very specific. Jobs are created for individuals on the bases of particular masculine or feminine traits. The article suggests that gender biasness is present in the sector when it comes to allotting specific jobs to the worker. Preferences are present according to the nature of the job. It is also seen that high paid jobs are mostly male dominant.

This can be due to the fact that either male are more qualified or they were preferred more by the higher authorities than female colleagues. (Christopherson 1989; Women and Geog-raphy Study Group 1984; McDowell 1991). Linda and Gillian also suggest in their article that gender biasness changes with the geographical changes as well. It is also evident from the article that females are at times reluctant to do certain jobs that involves too much traveling. The second article we review was “Women and paid work in Pakistan” by Ayesha khan.

Ayesha talks about the same topic with context to Pakistan. She explains as how the job market for females is increasing with time, and how this has a major affect on their lives. It talks about how females are subjected to wage discrimination, personal preferences, and other causes by which a woman feels segregated in a society. Methodology used in this article was also based on past data that was available related to women participation in the job market. Many interviews were also taken to aid the research.

The basic idea of was to find about the women involvement in jobs and schooling. We focused on areas where urban culture was discussed. Ayesha tells us in her article that there are many factors that lead to female segregation in the job sector. Although she focuses on both rural and urban areas of the country our focus will be more on the urban areas. Culturally and religiously, Pakistan has been a country where female part in work place is discouraged. Although the trend is changing with time, many obstacles are still present. (Shaheed and Mumtaz 1990, Sathar and Kazi 2000).

The article tells us that, less women work in urban Pakistan, and that most of those who work are in “other” sectors, which means informal sector occupations. These include manufacturing, community, social and personal services, crafts and related trade workers, according to the Labor Force Survey categories. Female participation in schools are still low with 45% at the primary level, 32% at the middle level and 27% at the secondary level in the year 2000. (Ministry of Women Development 2005:13) But the trend is changing gradually, with women making use of higher education and entering into the formal sector work force (Kazi 1999:409).

Even then the chances of making it big are a rare case. It is evident from the article that men do want that females should contribute to monthly income of the family. It is not that men don’t want females to work, the debate is why can’t females prosper. Even in banks most manager and higher officials are men, only few make it big in the long run. Ayesha also tells us that apart from male dominance over females, there are other factors too. Many females do not work after their marriages or pregnancy (Naqvi and Shahnaz 2002:15).

There are several others who do not prefer certain job, because they are too hectic or involve field work which they are not willing to do. Methodology In our research, 40 individuals were selected for questionnaires. The questionnaire was divided equally among the male and the females. Stratified sampling was used in which, the questionnaires were distributed to all the people who were currently working in banks. Due to lack of time, we restricted our research to 5 different banks of Lahore. Each bank was given eight questionnaires out of which four of the respondents were male and four of them were female.

Our questionnaire consisted of questions to age, income, work experience, most importantly gender discrimination. Gender discrimination was our dependant variable, and independent variables would include employee’s personal preference, nature of the job, work experience, religion, education, looks, attitude towards work, and tradition of the organization. Apart from questionnaires, interviews were taken from bankers. Three people were ready to give us interviews, two of them were male out of which one of them was a young man working at Allied Bank and the other person was Mr. Iftikhar who is the AVP at UBL bank Sheikhupura and they were also questioned about female discrimination. Our research paper is based solely on primary research and no secondary research was used.

Body: In a country like Pakistan, many tend to believe that women in our society are subject to immense gender discrimination and that men are the dominant party who use powers granted by the society to them to take advantage of this discrimination taking place. Our research paper aims to identify the effects of gender discrimination on jobs available to women in the banking sector.

The reason we took banking sector in specific was to see whether gender discrimination was limited to the uneducated class only or was the educated class subject to it too. Out of the men between the age of twenty-one to thirty, 75% of the respondents were dissatisfied with their jobs mainly because they had lower incomes and tended to believe that maybe they were subject to gender discrimination but failed to take into account that this could have been the result of a lower qualification and lack of work experience and that an increase in work experience is likely to make them better off in the future given the promotion opportunities.

When a young man from Allied Bank was interviewed, he said that: “I like the work environment here but when I interact with my colleagues and they tell me about the leisure granted to them by the bank and tell me about the pay they are getting, I tend to get de-motivated at times and don’t feel like working. So what if they have been working for a longer time span than me? It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they will be rewarded more. Pay should be on the basis of skill that one possesses not the experience that one has.

I am more skilled and in some cases, better qualified than the others and I think that I deserve better” However when the same men were questioned as to if women in their workplace are more of a subject to gender discrimination, most of them did confess that yes women were subject to more discrimination when it came to jobs in comparison to men as their recruitment was mostly limited to private commercial banks or customer service offices and that their opportunities to financial institutions such as public banks and merchant banks were limited and even if they did get recruited, most of them were exploited by lower pays or low level jobs.

When the same guy was asked the same question, he said that he felt sorry for his female colleagues who had the same qualification but were either awarded a lower level job or were given lesser pay in comparison to men at the same level of hierarchy. Men between the age of thirty-one to 40 and above were partially satisfied with their jobs and reported that they were not certain as to if gender discrimination was taking place in their banks, felt less of a subject to gender discrimination and said that they would move to other jobs given the opportunity for better pays and not because of discrimination.

However, when we did interview Mr. Iftikhar who is the AVP at UBL bank Sheikhupura, he did confess that when deciding upon contracts with women, they could be more easily exploited and enforced to agree upon the contracts given to them mainly because of problems such as lack of mobility, a comfortable environment that couldn’t be provided at other jobs, lack of alternate options provided by their families etc. On a whole, as per appendix 2, fig. , 50% of the men were satisfied with their jobs which is a huge percentage, 50% of the respondents said that there was no gender discrimination as per fig. 2 and when questioned as to if they felt that they were a subject to gender discrimination, 70% of them said that no they were not a subject to gender discrimination as per fig. 3. When questioned as to if they would switch to a better job given the opportunity, 45% of them said that they would and 35% of them said that they would not as per fig.

4. People who said that they would when given a better opportunity also highlighted that they would only switch because of better pay and the rest of the respondents who would not reported that they were very satisfied with their jobs and the pay plus the working conditions they were getting. When questioned as to who they thought was subject to more gender discrimination in their respective banks, 70% of the people said that female were subject to gender discrimination as per fig.

5 which is a huge percentage and clearly reflects how women are exploited on the basis of their gender. When women were questioned about how satisfied they were, 45% of them, irrespective of their age, were not very happy as per fig 6 and the 15% that were, were mainly because they had been working at the same place since a long time and had a lot of work experience because of which they were awarded with high pays. Another thing that was identified was that women who were being paid higher were still being paid lesser than men with the same work experience and the same time spent at the particular bank which clearly reflects discrimination at banks.

When questioned as to if gender discrimination was taking place in their bank and if they felt as a subject to gender discrimination 50% of them reported that there was gender discrimination taking place in their bank and 50% also said that they felt that they were a subject to gender discrimination as per fig. 7 and fig. 8 respectively, When asked about if they would switch to another job given better opportunity, 60% of them surprisingly either said no or were confused as to if they would or not as per fig.

9. When questioned as to why they would not, they most of them said that they had no other option and that their families did not want them to work at a place far away from home. Some also said that they were divorced or their family incomes were lower so they had to support their partners and could not wait to find another job and had to work on whatever contract they were offered because it was the need of the hour. One woman interviewed also said that their partners were working in the same bank and did not want them to go work in another bank.

When questioned as to whom they thought was being affected by gender discrimination, 80% of them reported that it was they (the females) that were being affected as per fig. 10 which is a huge amount and clearly reflects gender discrimination taking place in the organization. Conclusion: Many women also identified that most men during the job were able to develop better relations with their bosses as men could go out with their bosses and call them up on parties etc which women could not because of family limitations and because people take it on the wrong side when they see a woman and a man hanging out together.

Some of the women who were satisfied with their jobs said that it was their looks that got them the job and was getting them higher pays more than anything else. Both men and women highlighted that religion was not a major reason for gender discrimination and that in some banks, traditions of the organization enforced such actions. Wage differentials did exist on the same levels of hierarchy and as women with the same experience were offered lesser wages then men working in the banks.

In most banks other than private commercial banks, men were given preference over women and women who were given jobs in public and merchandizing banks were given very strict contracts or got jobs on the basis of relations or recommendations from people from the higher authority. Gender discrimination is a major problem that is prevalent in our society, it has existed since a long while and is continuing to increase and women are the subject to discrimination in banks.

We have also concluded that gender discrimination as per most of the people will only get work and due to such discrimination many factors such as work efficiency are affected which can result in bad consequences for the organization and hence major emphasis needs to be put upon eliminating gender discrimination in our banks and our society. With our research, we concluded that even among the educated class, gender discrimination is taking place and that the issue is not just restricted to the uneducated class.

We further highlighted that when it came to gender discrimination, one of the major reasons why women were being exploited was the result of social ties that had restricted women and the lack of independence and mobility provided to women unlike men who could use this to their advantage and hence enjoy better jobs. What we also concluded from our presentation was that females were given a comfortable environment but exploited on the same point by tighter contracts. We also identified that wage differentials did exist in our organization.


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