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The issue of gender roles has been central to the human species since the beginning of time, and it does not appear that this will change anytime soon, particularly in light of the emergence of numerous activist groups like feminism that are attempting to voice their opinions on the subject. Thus, gender roles are a societal stereotype that tries to impose on people the behaviors that are generally accepted as the appropriate and acceptable approach, depending on one's sexual orientation. The reason as to why the gender roles are considered a stereotype is because it is focused more on imposing given behaviors on to individuals without considering individual interests and expectations. They dictate how one should carry out themselves in terms of dressing, speech, career choices, a way of thinking and interactions, leadership roles among many others in the society without defying the norms. Thus, gender roles play a major role in the shaping of organizations in the current world.
HOW SOCIETY’S GENDER ROLES SHAPE ORGANIZATIONS
An organization’s shape or structure can be highly determined by the gender roles stipulated by the society in which the organization is based or founded. Leadership roles according to many societies are solely men’s work and thus having a woman in a leadership position is often seen as a breach of societal norms and conduct. However, this belief is slowly fading away since women have risen to leadership positions and done exemplarily well as compared to their male counterparts. This, consequently, has led to the rise of many women wanting to occupy leadership position but the fear of being branded names keep them away from pursuing the same. This explains why many organizations across the globe are male-dominated and no one seems to be questioning this pattern. This is as a result of gender roles that have kept women at bay, clearly restricting them from venturing into what is considered a man’s territory.
The observable trends show that women have been allotted junior roles especially in terms of leadership and career development since the society does not expect them to be above men in anything pertaining success and prestige. This explains why the corporate world has a higher number of male as compared to their female counterparts. The converse of this is true in the world of non-governmental organizations, humanitarian support organizations and relief services where women are taking the lead. This is a clear indication of what the society has shaped the human mind into believing. The position of a woman is clearly defined and so is that of a man.
The aforementioned divisions in terms of roles do not, however, seek to claim that it is wrong for either sex to be where they are, but it seeks to bring forth the imbalance that is exhibited. Gender roles are denying either sex from exploring their full potential in developing organizations and giving forth their diverse views and capabilities in different spheres of life.
It is important to embrace diversity while in the process of seeking to combine efforts and potentials of both sexes in order to give forth-desired results in an organization. This, therefore means that the societal expectations can still be upheld, though with moderation, yet still both sexes can be equally engaged in an organization’s structuring. Nothing would be as unfortunate as having a person with full potential restricted from taking part in an activity that he or she would give exemplary results just because the gender roles do not allow them to be involved. It is of great benefit to have a team working together, male and female since this will not put performance at jeopardy unknowingly. The uniqueness of each individual, male or female, counts in the growth and shaping of an organization. It does not, therefore, means that we let go of our rich cultures and social norms. It only requires us not to be extremists of our cultural orientation at the expense of unproductive organizations.
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