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As stated on the Course Project page, “An important part of our course is researching information on diversity and multiculturalism and its social, cultural, and ethical impact upon individual citizens, groups of people, and society at large. ” For my research paper I chose to write about the promotional policy of a company in which a Latina who had been with the company for a longer period of time was not selected for a promotion. She accuses the company of engaging in discriminatory policies in which a man of Anglo descent was chosen for the position instead of her.
In my paper I will talk about my research into the Hispanic culture, the role of a women in the Hispanic culture as well as women in the workplace. After I have talked about the above mentioned, I will enclose the scenario that I chose and will evaluate it. In conclusion I will try to create a plan to avoid a similar incident from occurring again.
Hispanic People: Culture, Gender Roles, Work Place According to Bell, “The U. S. Census Bureau describes Hispanics as people who identify themselves as having Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or other Spanish origin or culture, regardless of race. (Bell, 2009). Hispanic Americans make up a large ethic group in America. According to Potter & Perry, 33% of the current American population is made up of immigrants. Of the 33%, 14. 4% are of Hispanic or Latin origin, which makes them the largest minority group in America (Potter & Perry, 2009). Despite Hispanics and Latino’s being categorized in the same minority group, and having similar cultures and beliefs, they are made up of diverse subgroups that have different languages, foods, traditions that are determined by what country they originate from.
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For instance, Latinos come from areas in Central and South America and speak Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. Hispanics have their ties to Spain and speak Spanish (Dayer-Berenson, 2011). The rate of immigration has continued the use of Spanish due to a constant influx of immigrants into existing Hispanic/Latino communities (Englekirk and Martin, 2009). Most Hispanics/Latinos speak Spanish as their primary or secondary language and those of the third generation are familiar with and understand Spanish even if they do not speak it.
Due to the growing Spanish speaking communities, Spanish print and media grows and caters to this population. Faith is an important source of strength for the Hispanic/Latino culture and the majority are catholic (Dayer-Berenson, 2011). In their homes, one would find shrines with rosary beads, religious statues, amulets, etc. Candles represent the light of god and are lit and prayers are offered to saints.
Hispanics/Latinos believe that one can control their health and life through prayer, wearing religious medals or amulets and having these shrines in their homes. Family is very important in the Hispanic/Latino culture.
Hispanic/Latino families are male-dominated, very close knit and very family oriented. Elder family members hold a prominent status due to their life experience. They are often sought for advice. The male and especially the elder male, is seen as the head of the family and often makes important decisions regarding the family. Despite this, all family members, especially elders are first consulted for support, comfort and advice when a family member needs help.
According to Raffaelli, there is something called machismo and marianismo which distinct gender roles for men and women (Raffaelli, 2004).
Machismo, in which a man whould be dominant, virile and independent. Marianismo is when a female should be submissive, chaste and dependent. The male is traditionally the bread winner of the family while the female has more domesticated roles, particularly the rearing of the children. According to Raffaelli, familismo, which is “an emphasis on family relationships and a strong value placed on childbearing as an integral part of family life and the feminine gender role” is a very important value in the Hispanic/Latin community.
There is a strong emphasis on family obligation, the value of children and community and the importance of past and future generations. For instance the religious shrines are dedicated to the deceased and they (primarily the women) take care of their aging elders. Research argues that these traditional gender roles are outdated however some studies indicate that these can influence behavior and interaction in Hispanic/Latin couples. According to Bell, “The earnings and employment of Latinos are strongly affected by their education, language fluency, nativity, sex, race, and skin color. Read about the male and female roles in Hispanic culture
Most of them usually hold low income positions with men typically in manufacturing or agricultural jobs and females involved as nannies, hospitality or clerical jobs. For most people, education level is reflective on the type of job that a person will obtain. Low levels of education typically result in low paying jobs or unemployment. According to Bell, through educational programs, there is an increased amount of educational opportunities for Hispanic/Latinos.
Take for example.
The PhD project who’s goal is “…increasing diversity in business schools by attracting underrepresented minorities to doctoral programs, recognizing that having more diversity at the front of classrooms would increase the amount of diversity amount students in the classroom” (Bell, 2009). Women in the Work Place Early American history shows that women experienced sex discrimination. They did not have rights, were not allowed to vote, get educated or work outside the home unless it was as a caregiver.
The early women pioneers who advocated for women’s right to vote and be educated, lobbied for the rights we have now. Despite all this effort, women aren’t treated equally as men. According to Bell, “Females and males compromise 51% and 49%, respectively, of the 282. 1 million people in the United States. Females compromise 47% of the work force. ” Women out number men and are also living longer. Due to the greater population of women and age, they have life experiences, and can also bring a different perspective and dynamic to the work place.
The prevalence of sex discrimination in the workforce is important to recognize. According to Bell, “More education generally means higher earnings and a greater likelihood of participating in the workforce due to the opportunity costs of not working and the ability to afford quality child care, if needed” (Bell, 2009). Despite women’s higher education accomplishments, they, in theory, should be able to compete at the same level as men. According to the US Census Bureau men earn between 15-50% more than woman in certain industries (US Census Bureau).
So women, who can do the same job as men, often get lower pay and yet have more financial responsibilities (especially if they are a single parent and/or have to take care of their aging parents/relatives). According the EEOC, gender and sex discrimination cases have been on the rise. Highly educated women are taking control of their careers. They are not afraid to file discrimination and/or harassment lawsuits to protect the status and positions that they have worked so hard to attain.
Despite small progress, women are now qualified and able to compete for jobs that have been dominated by men, for example fire fighters, construction workers, law enforcement, and military. However, according to Bell, “Men are generally perceived as providers; having children means men are expected to work more and ear more to provide for them. Women are generally perceived as caretakers; having children often leads to expectations that women will work fewer hours outside the home, (if at any), instead of focusing their energies on their families at home needs” (Bell, 2009).
Society is plagued with gender stereotypes and societal attitudes of a man’s or woman’s place. According to Bell, “Girls are discouraged from exhibiting aggression, encouraged to cooperate, and to consider the feelings of others in decision making. Boys are expected to behave aggressively, to ‘fight it out’ and to try to win in most situations” (Bell, 2009). From early childhood socialization, girls and boys were trained in how to behave and this reflects when we reach adulthood and/or begin working.
No matter how hard a woman works, her qualifications or dedication, a woman, for some reason, has to prove herself worthy to her male counterparts. Women must be able to overcome these stereotypes that can diminish her confidence and potential in order for her to succeed in a ‘man’s’ world. Scenario Maria, is a second generation, American born Latina who has a graduate degree and has been with here company for 10 years, and in her current position for 7 years. She claims that she was unfairly passed over for a job promotion due to distinct accent.
She is the only Latina and only woman in her department. The person that got promoted is a man and of Anglo descent, who also has a graduate degree but has been with the company for a shorter amount of time. Her supervisor claimed that she was not promoted because he feared the clients would have problems understanding her accent. Maria is accused of being loud and aggressive and has been counseled on attendance and tardiness issues. Scenario Evaluation and Proposal Based on the above allegations I do believe that prejudice and discrimination on the basis of gender and race did occur.
I feel that the company was biased in their promotions seeing that she is the only person of color and the only woman in the department. In order to prevent an incident like this from occurring, a company should recognize that there are sex and gender issues that must also be addressed. A company should always value and respect each and every one of their employees regardless of their age, race, gender, etc. However companies should realize just how much of the population of the U. S. is compromised of women, who want to work to not only provide for themselves and families but for professional growth as well.
Companies should realize the potential that these women can bring to the company with they way they think, their life experiences and qualifications. According to Bell, women live longer which means, we will last longer than our male counterparts in the work force. According to Bell, “Women work for the same reasons that men do, to support themselves and, where relevant, their families and children” (Bell, 2009). Companies should realize that for most women, they do not feel that their children or families or future families, will affect their commitment to work, so they must get rid of those preconceived notions.
Those assumptions will lead to discriminatory accusations. Companies should provide education and training regarding diversity in the workplace to all their employees, especially to management. I feel that this can not only get rid of prejudices and stereotypes, but can increase the hiring of more diverse employees, which can help bring newer and innovative ways in projects and problem solving. Companies should have a policy and/or procedure for fairly evaluating and offer the same salary to those who have the same qualifications and work experience. In this day and age, I find that bilingualism to be an incredible advantage.
If a person is fluent in more than one language, they should not be discriminated for having an accent, instead they should be valued for the opportunity that the company has to expand internationally and be compensated for it. In fact by speaking more than one language, this can help increase communication with other companies, especially on an international level. Lastly, I would suggest that if her company wanted to expand even further or globally, then it is imperative that they would have to undergo cultural and gender diversity training. By doing so can decrease prejudice and increase tolerance and enhance the work environment.
Bell, M. (2007). Diversity in Organization. University of Texas, Arlington. DOI 9781133614388 Dayer-Berenson, L. (2011). Cultural competencies for nurses: impact of health and wellness. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Englekirk, Alan and Martin, Marguerite. (2009). Countries and Their Cultures, Mexican Americans. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Le- Pa/Mexican-Americans.html
Galanti, G. (2008). Caring for patients from different cultures (4th ed). Philadelphia, PA: University of Philadelphia Press. Potter, P.A., & Perry, A.G. (2009). Fundamentals of nursing (7th ed). St. Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier. Raffaelli, M. and Ontai, L.L.. ( 2004). Gender socialization in Latino/a families: Results from two retrospective studies. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research. US EEOC Home Page. Sex-Based Discrimination. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www1.eeoc.gov//laws/types/sex.cfm
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