2007). To that end, this paper will firstly explore the gender equality and/or inequality debate as conceptualized at the workplace in the 21st century as well as its historical foundations, alongside the key issue that often come to fore in gender equality and/or inequality discourses at the workplace. Similarly, this paper will also explore the “glass-ceiling” effect at the workplace, which describes the symbolic representation of barriers that exist in the corporate hierarchy, traditionally preventing women from passing and breaking into the top organizational leadership positions traditionally held by their male counterparts (Barreto, Ryan and Schmit 2009). With the pervasive increase in the number of female graduates and the number of females in mid-management levels in the 21st century, the issue of gender inevitably becomes a key factor for work and the organization today more than ever before, thereby necessitating this present study.
The gender equality debate has been a central focus in most societies over the years, not only as a human rights issue, but also as a social strategy for both sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Nonetheless, gender inequality remains one of the most troubling issues in every society around the world, despite the numerous fundamental steps made towards empowering women, particularly at the 21st century organizational workplaces. Whereas women in most societies struggle so hard to secure employment opportunities, and often have to content with a pay that is much lesser than what their male counterparts earn, women still suffer violence and discrimination besides being “underrepresented in top jobs in most countries” (Alvesson and Billing 2009). Governments have attempted to initiate the establishment of institutional policy frameworks that advance gender equality with the intent of promoting equal rights for men and women, thereby promoting women’s equal ...Show more