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In order to determine your company's activities and answers in relation to having a responsible human resource, BellwayPlc hired me as a consultant from the ethical and CSR consultancy Greenleaf. As it relates to gender inequality, the emphasis is on feminist ethics and utilitarianism. In order to end or reduce oppression of any group of people, including women, women have developed a range of gender-centered ethical methods (Iceland 2014, p.70). The utilitarian considerations would support agreements but rarely present women's participation because of societal advancement. Only human rights laws would be strict on the contracts and briefly indicate a woman's gender.According to the findings at BellwayPlc, the number of female staffs is less compared to the male staff. Female should be absorbed into the profession that traditionally has been a male oriented job (Sooyong 2007, p.230).The idea here goes beyond offering equal jobs due to the existence of skills gap in the construction industry. The gap continues to get wider due to inadequacy of skilled labour as the industry booms and population advances. If we take only one gender into consideration, then it means that we are taking advantage of half the population. Therefore, there is need to draw more women into the construction industry to bridge the gap of unskilled labourers before the skill shortage worsens over the coming decades. Females and mostly girls at school leaving age should take advantage of the construction industries jobs and consider it as a career (Arora 2012, p.152). The inclusion of both genders in the firm will come along with the principle of diversity as many of the employees may differ in many ways.
The principle of diversity by the employees is important to ensure overall talents from them. Diversity also helps in the continuity of the firms challenge to connect the principles and their corporate performance. When both genders are incorporated, it is likely that some people may be talented in a better way than others therefore increasing the output of the firm. When an employer appreciates diversity as a result of equality, then there is a likelihood of an increased market which would translate to satisfying of the diverse client. Gender balance in a construction company brings about the business profitability as well as the contribution to the wider society (Lemieux & Möhle 2002, p.346).
Bellway homes believe in fair and responsible treatment of its contractors and employees. To facilitate the above treatments the firm has policies and procedures for all staffs to have equal opportunities. The policies and procedures are applied to both the prospective and existing employees irrespective of their diverse status (Dwyer 2013, p.352).The aspect of equality in the company is contained in the policies though it does not address the issue of gender balance of its employees. Policies on offering equal opportunities have been covered but the issue on gender inequality is neglected. From policies analysis, the approach towards their values is not clearly stated leaving some room for doubt. Therefore, the CSR approach based on equality at Bellway is not satisfactory. The argument tackles more of business oriented decisions and the contribution to the society at large but leaves out the balance ethical part of view (Janelli 2002, p.401).
Responsible Management and CSR
Firms should manage the benefits of CSR as well as the responsibility. CSR is defined as the business view which results to sustainable development through offering social, economic and environmental benefits to its beneficiaries or stakeholders. The application goes beyond the required regulators or environmental protection bodies (Kane 2012, p.317). The benefits of CSR include the following: excellent recognition in branding, a good reputation of the firm, sales increase, clients’ loyalty and saving on the operational costs. Others are improved financial performance, retaining of workers due to their different talents for various tasks, company’s growth and easy access to capital (Milkman 2016, p.60).The CSR in a company results to added costs where in cases of individuals or groups in a firm, stake holders can either be affected or affect the organizations’ achievements. According to Friedman 1970, there is one and only one social responsibility of business to use it resources and involve in activities that contribute to profit increase so long as it stays within the rules. Considering a responsible firm, managing the stakeholders in order to supply enough to their demands and look out for their rights translates to little use of CSR (Freeman 2007, P. 78). Friedman also argued that businesses should focus on profits then let the government and the protection firms’ deal with the social and environmental issues. Another critique was that firms are meant to create products and offer services and not deal with the welfare activities. The point was that they did not have adequate knowledge required to handle social arising matters.
The other critique was that if managers had paid more attention on the social responsibility then it means that they would not be giving their best to their primary responsibility in the company (Bem 2009, p.140). High costs of CRS is also experienced due to the cleaning up of the environment and donating money for the same or even having their staffs volunteer for certain tasks resulting to opportunity costs. Since the high cost by the CSR must be passed on to the clients involved at the final pricing then, this may put the company at a high risk of losing some of those targeted clients. You also find that some of the clients may not be willing to pay more for the product or services that are socially responsible. It also leads to diverts of attention from the main issues and is also a way of avoiding regulations (Swanson 2015, p.103).
Values underpinned by Ethics
Ethical theory helps in solving primary challenges in a creative way. In drawing from various academic views to help the management in creative problem solving of arising challenges then the management should be divided into four major roles (Cooey 2009, p.171). The roles are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. The theory can help a firm make responsible decisions by acting properly as individuals, forming responsible firms, government and contributing ethically to the society at large. A document is designed as an agreement to making ethical decisions and it recognizes the decision to be either right or wrong. The information contained in the document provides a summary for main sources of ethics and gives an outline for decision making (England 2010, p.150).
The theory of choice is gender balance where we concentrating on the need to increase female in the construction profession that was in the past years dominated by the male (Bettenhausen 2013 p.170). Traditionally construction jobs such as surveyors, structural engineers and architect among others were male dominated jobs while the female were given the lesser work of human resource and marketing. Men were seen to dominate the senior technical operation duties while the women were more on junior support duties. Background problems with women both the academics and industries have not been well considered. Young people are unsure what they really want for the career hence some have trouble with their social issues. Hence, they show up for the job to test the waters and when it does not work out for them then they leave (Kittay 2001, p.530). Leaving the industry results to inadequacy of laborers and as the trend continues then will have a big shortage in the future times. But clearly the stereotype still persists for the construction jobs that they are meant for men. The idea should be solved to encourage more people especially women in the career.
High levels of inequality leads to growth reduction as clients tend to believe that inequality can lead to redistribution of policies therefore becoming extreme or destructive. Poverty would be would be experienced due to low income earning since many people out there would be jobless (Bruce 2006, p.168). The focus on the gender balance would facilitate to high rates of women working in construction industries. Increased labor for women would help solve the jobless cases by earning some good income for their living reducing poverty incidences (Smith 2012, p. 74). Effect of culture on the women employment in construction firms would reduce the reality of men being the ones dominating and change it to women being full members in the profession. To enhance the women involvement then provision of trainings and workshops on various construction skills should be increased (Rosenfeld 2009, p.101).Construction firms should learn from other professions where gender equality is a major concern. The move to do the same would see the construction firms grow faster and enlarge their market. The managers should follow the general will of the people which translates to excellent products best for the people as a whole. The approach in ethics overcomes the aspects of society and insists on respect and compassion for others (Tony 2001, p.50).
Exploring the Issue
A person who practices ethical theory would advocate for the aspect of equality and influence the colleagues to give their best in what they do. Construction companies should wipe out the view that people working there would get their hands dirty (Harris 2014, p.225). In the modern days they do not involve a lot of physical force but more of mechanical expertise is required thus any gender can properly fit in. Income from the industries is a bit higher and a wide range of career development is involved. Promotion of the gender equality leads to increased growth rate and enhances the minimization of gender stereotypes. Egoism here is promoted where individual hands morally accept as the market hand creates benefits to all. Egoism relies on free competition and information and is not selfish (Jones 2003, p.349). The evidence is that the firm would expand the market and its growth. A shoes company by the name Clarks shoes is one of those firms that have had problems with the gender equality but has managed to overcome the stereotype.
The firm had some controversy on the school range shoes that sparked sexism rule that girls’ shoes were named dolly babe and boys’ shoes named leader. The issue was discriminating against the girl child and reinforcing gender inequality. After complains by some parents, the company has since apologized for any offense caused and has removed the removed the dolly babe from their websites. The act of incorporating gender balance has since attracted more clients in to the shop having a better approach to the risks that may arise. The stakeholders that were affected by the issue are those that set up the business as well as those work in them. We should know that corporations exist separately since they operate on contracts (Ransome 2010, p. 280). Again the firm may stand as a result of many decisions from many people at different positions therefore not one person who is answerable. Also the view of a firm having a culture determines what it does. Then the companies may present itself on individual’s basis.
Advising the Company
A company with a responsible human resource should go a step forward to find out how they can better their employees for quality products and services. Having noted that the firm has been active at developing the society at large, it is necessary that some of the resources that are given to help the society be channeled to the issues that have a connection with the profession. Donations to charity works is one of the common ways to help in building the society (Lombard & Sauer 2007, p. 100). The money used for donation can be channeled to assist in the training and offering scholarships to the interested female students who are taking courses like engineering, survey and architect which will benefit the industry to greater levels. The company should also consider having some code of conduct to guide the employees so that they do not act against what is required of them. In the case of management, policies should be set to guide them on how to respect the human rights when dealing with the clients or suppliers (Radcliffe, Laurie &Andolina 2004, p. 400).The act would result to attracting more suppliers to work with since everyone would be willing to work with people who respect and treat them well. Sales and services provided by the company would also attract more market as the number of clients would be increasing due to good customer care services.
Human resource of the company should also have some policy guide for them due to the process of hiring and terminating of the staffs. The process would help in taming the employees who would otherwise portray some acts that may not be pleasing to the people they deal with at the work place (Bateman & Valentine 2010, p.400). Existing staff and prospective will be motivated and feel at peace even when they are working due to the fair and responsible treatment that they are being given. The chief executive should ensure that the policies are well adhered to and the report sent to the board and the external stakeholders about the performance and progress (Libby & Agnello 2000, p. 234).
At Bellway, the issue of gender balance is not considered in an ethical part of view rather it is related more to business objectives. Having analyzed the policies in the firm, they look more into bettering their services and contribute to the society at large rather than talking on how to improve on the ethical issues. Ethical business decisions relate more to the role the company plays as a people than to itself. Therefore, acquiring of ethical issues is important in any company that has a responsible management given that it helps improve the firm’s productivity and increase its market (Smith 2013, p. 60).
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