Gender Inequality in the United Kingdom

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Women are the cornerstone to the success of any organization, yet the masculine society has devalued their role in the society building. Their position towards ensuring social and gender equality are sometimes mistaken as activism to change the status quo that has made male gender to dominate. Culture has been a significant obstacle in the fight to ensure equal recognition of feminine gender alongside the male. The community behavior has dramatically affected the women’s self-esteem as intuitive. Women know when they are being devalued and this has acted as an impediment towards understanding the two genders.

Most institution have not fully exploit the competency, talent and skill of their female workforce. In most cases, the best female employee is appointed to number two position instead of reaching the acme of corporate leadership even when they deserve. Research by Pew Research indicates that only 26 women are employed as CEO at about 500 fortune companies, making a measly 5.2%. The representation does not change when the number of women CEO at fortune companies are adjusted to a thousand (Forbes, 2018). Researchers have shown that there might still be the aspect of egalitarianism in the workplace because women are not treated appropriately concerning career opportunity, and compensation.

The most significant challenge that United Kingdom women face in the pursuit of career advancement and leadership development include; lack of equality at the workplace, lack of support from fellow women and lack of mentors. Others include poor work-life balance, high competition from men, loneliness, unstable financial ability to run global enterprises, lack of confidence to build alliances with other decision makers etc. (Bartůsková & Kubelková, 2014, 21). These are just a tip of the reasons why women leaders in the United Kingdom face a lot of difficulties to raise the corporate ladders to become CEO.

Both men and women are eligible to work and receive pay that is equal to the work done; however, some institutions deliberately give poor remuneration to women because they consider them weak and that they cannot claim for more. On average women earn less compared to men in every single occupation in the United Kingdom. For instance, in 2016, only 80.5% of the female full-time workers earned remuneration earned by men, keeping the gender remuneration gap at 20% (Shah, 2017). The Institute of Women Policy Research report indicated that the workplace discrimination in term of recruitment, promotion and remuneration was a dominant feature (IWPR, 2018).

The reason for the wage gap is because of the presumption that the jobs predominantly performed by women pay less than the one undertaken by men. In some cases, qualified women may be passed over during promotion because they’re pregnant or might become pregnant. Women have tried their level best to ensure that the quality of their output improves to attract a better compensation. There has been definite progress towards gender integration at the workplace to reduce wage disparity that exists in the workplace because persistent inequality in payment has a broad economic implication of a country, regarding poverty reduction and career advancement.

The inequality and biasness experienced in the workplace deny women the opportunity to showcase and improve their skills. In most cases when women are promoted in the workplace, their college views this as a favor and do not link to the person’s meritocracy (Jones, 2018). In some cases, women are just promoted in the workplace to fulfill the affirmative action requirement and not because they qualify for the position. Therefore inequality in the workplace ought to be discouraged. Everyone should be given equal opportunity to explore their skills, and no one should be discriminated against based on their gender.

Women are devalued by the society when their actions are misinterpreted. The organization expects women to be kind and gentle, yet this virtue is misunderstood to mean cowardice or weakness. The community views women as weak. Men who are seen undertaking female roles are most often seen as weak and lowering their standards. Women need to be encouraged to speak boldly and give their idea regardless of the odds they face. Women need to be confident and be prepared to face rejection and opposition, but ultimately their viewed will be respected.

Women can provide an alternative perspective that can shape the organization’s policy and operation and progressively be leading to its success. Therefore, women need to be encouraged to give their opinion no matter how odd it sounds, and they should stand by their words. Women should also set up their standards, targets and meet them to prove that they are up to the task (Ackerson, 2017, 12). However, by the societal norms, women’s targets are always lower compared to men because of the society view that the male gender has more responsibility and ability to perform the massive task as compared to women.

Some job may fail to offer a job to female because of their physical appearance. For example in sales and public relations, a company may fail to recruit a qualified woman just because they are not pretty or sexy enough. The devaluation of women’s role in community building has dramatically affected women’s self-esteem and increase their exposure to another form of vices in the community, for instance, sexual harassment. An online survey on sexual harassment founded out that 81% of women, as opposed to 41% of men, have experienced the different form of sexual harassment.

On the other hand, a survey by the Center for Gender Equity and Health indicate that 77% of women have experienced verbal sexual abuse, while 27% stated that they had been physically sexually assaulted. The statistics are higher vis a vis men who only 34% claimed that they had been verbally harassed sexually and 7% physically assaulted sexually. However, to curb the cases of sexual harassment meted against women, most organizations have developed zero tolerance for sexual harassment policy. The statistic shows that most institutions are still reluctant in establishing a secure and equitable environment for the women (Hartmann, 2014).

In their pursuit of career advancement, women face opposition from their fellow women. Instead of supporting ‘their own’ in their advancement journey in the corporate world, most women leaders have revealed they seldom got support from their women counterpart; thus most of them confess that it was a lone battle. Apart from support from female colleagues, women who aspire to become CEO have limited access to female mentors. As indicated above, out of 1000 CEO in fortune companies, women consist of only 5.4%. This means it is difficult to get a female mentor who can direct and mentor young women in their respective profession (Bowling, 2018).

Women are the primary target in the cases of organizational inequality and workplace discriminations. To achieve gender equality and affirmative action, women empowerment strategies and programs are essential. The first strategy includes creating awareness through educating the masses (Stevens, 2007). Most women remain subject to masculine control, and as such developing sensitization programs to educate them on the importance of developing self-worth and self-esteem amidst discriminations and inequality. Corporation companies need to teach the importance of embracing diversity and having inclusion programs and seminars. Companies also need to develop policies that ensure that promotion in the institutions is based on merit and not the gender of the person.

The greatest empowerment tool to enhance understanding women is helping them build their self-esteem and confidence. Women with higher self-esteem will be able to speak up against the vices committed to them in their environment, for instance, sexual harassment as well as fight for the rights of other women through activism. Devaluation of women makes them lose their self-confidence and self-worth which may only be regained through empowerment regarding activism and learning.

Mentorship plays a more significant role in empowering women and expanding their knowledge about the society. Many companies have developed a partnership with women foundation to mentor the young girls. Through the mentorship programs, women who are young in their careers will be able to learn and receive guidance from those who have matured in that particular profession (Yount et al., 2018). Many women have been able to overcome social obstacle through the mentorship programs. Mentorship programs help women to develop better decision-making skills and social understanding (Bowling, 2018)

In conclusion, women face social discrimination and inequalities, lack of trust, limited access of mentor in their career trajectory. The perception takes various forms from, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, misinterpretation of their virtue, which degrades their self-esteem. However, it is essential to develop a strategy that can restore their self-respect and enhance community development. The approach includes educating the masses the importance of women empowerment, establishing mentorship programs where young women can learn from the older women and developing policies that will encourage affirmative action in the institution while discouraging workplace discrimination, inequality and sexual harassment.


Ackerson, A.W. and Baldwin, J.H., 2017. Why Gender (Still) Matters in a Postfeminist World. In Women in the Museum(pp. 9-22). Routledge.

Bartůsková, L. and Kubelková, K., 2014. Main Challanges in Measuring Gender Inequality. In FIKUSZ’14 Symposium for Young Researchers (pp. 19-28).

Bowling, K., 2018. Why female Mentorship in the workplace is more important than ever. Forbes.

Forbes Coaches Council, 2018. 15 Biggest Challenges Women Leaders Face And How To Overcome Them. Forbes

Hartmann, H.I., 2014. Gendering politics and policy: Recent developments in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Routledge.

Institute of Women Policy Research IWPR., 2018. Employment, Education and economic Change.

Jones, D., 2018. Why the number of women CEO dropped 25% in 2017. Moneyish.

Shah, M., 2017. A study on the impact of socio economic variables on work life balance of women employees of selected cities in gujarat state.

Stevens, A., 2007. Women, power and politics. Palgrave Macmillan,

Yount, K. M., 2018. "GROW: a model for mentorship to advance women's leadership in global health." Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics 3

January 19, 2024
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