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Human Resources Management and the Equality Agenda

Introduction

Efforts to promote equality between men and women with respect to competence without any discrimination have been in existence for a long time. The practice will lead to a partnership between the involved parties (men and women) and therefore will bring new opportunities for organizations and eventually give companies’ advantage over their competitors. Societies which deny women, their rights also deny itself a chance to develop as it leaves a lot of opportunities unexploited (Broderick et al., 2014). Thus, the efforts to enforce equality and equity create a significant impact on the performance of any organization. UNESCO is one of the NGO with the mandate of ensuring the women’s rights are upheld and none is marginalized in whichever reason. The NGO helps enlighten societies worldwide on aspects of equity and advises on policy programs to enforce the very aspect. 

According to Bletsas & Charlesworth, (2013) human resource is an important aspect in the management of any organization due to the fact that they have a direct impact on the success of the business or organization. Therefore, Morand & Merriman, (2012) agree that it is important to recognize the significant impact played by the HRM. In this paper, a view of the extent of equality and diversity at workplace is explained. Innovation in the human resource management in the recent past has called for diverse needs and equality in the workplace (Grosser & Moon, 2005). Globalization of business organization has therefore enacted policy issues that regulate the concerns of equality without any kind discrimination. In the paper, different policy issues are explained that are enacted to monitor and regulate the activities of human resource in an organization. Benefits of observing such regulation at the organizational level are credited and the different stakeholders involved to make it succeed (Brief, 2008). However, the issue of equality at the workplace has existed for decades and is yet to be solved in many institutions.

            The main objective of this study is to identify the significant impact of equality in the workplace and the extent to which the agenda of equality has been reached. To identify the different measures taken to observe that equality and diversity at work place is observed. The study also identifies the different policy tools that are set to monitor and regulate the condition and stakeholders involved in the same.

Human resource management is the heart of any organization as it greatly influences the efficiency and productivity of any organization (Armstrong, 2009). This paper concentrates on the issue on diversity in the workplace and the efforts made to satisfy the agenda to achieve equality. Different organizations have different management efforts and Morand & Merriman, (2012) explains that it is important in adjusting to the different diverse needs of the workplace. Human resource management has existed for a long time now, despite the change in the management due to the innovation in the strategic management that organizations are turning to.

The concept of HRM and its responsibility is a common term taught in colleges and universities for a long time now. It is disappointing to note that despite the fact that the issue of HRM has existed for a long time now, the issue concerning equality in the workplace is often neglected. Policies drawn touching on HRM does not include the issue of equality, yet they are the ones meant to enforce the law. Human labor in any organization is significant and it functions the most responsibilities in almost every activity in an organization needs as far as man input is concerned.

Recently, there have been a lot of debates on gender equality at work, but still there lies a significant gap yet to be filled. Grosser & Moon, (2005) assert that the encouraging thing is that HRM have now developed concern for the female gender and is considering observing the issue of gender equality at work places at all times. Strategic management considers that management of diversity and that of equality issue is the first step in proper management of the people in any business. This paper will thus give a detailed explanation of why companies HRM should consider equality at the workplace and the different policy issues developed to monitor the practice. Objectively, the paper appreciates the HRM and its efforts to consider equality in the different organizations in the world.

The issue of workforce diversity has existed for decades now and is here to stay only that management in most organizations is considering the matter otherwise (Broderick et al., 2014). For the last 45 or so years, diversity was considered as a crime and there was no reason to discriminate over people no matter the diverse difference between employees in an organization. Recently, most companies have noted that diversity in any organization gives a competitive advantage of its competitors for many reasons. Bletsas & Charlesworth, (2013) still hold to the opinion that personal diversity actually means different people have diverse capacity and in case they work together, they will have the ability of bringing together their diverse experience. Staying together, will lead to assimilation of the parties involved and eventually bring success to the organization in achieving their respective goals (Richard et al., 2013).

The challenging fact is that people do not set aside their differences and often bring their cultures and different lifestyles led to work place. This is worse for cultures, since according to Christensen, (2013) it does not respect the girl child and often neglect their contribution into the organization’s goal achievement. Only the managers who have identified the influence and significance, the impact of diversity at work will celebrate to attain the concept at their institution because of the profits generated from such efforts. Globally, strategic management should enforce concerns to help appreciate the impact of diversity and nurture it as a crucial asset to human resource contribution to any organization (Mitchell et al., 2013). Observing diversity is one way to appreciate gender equality in an organization and this will give companies an advantage as they will have diverse talents.

The following are considerations by organization to appreciate the fact, as one way to honor diversity and gender equality in any organization. The first objective is to work in an environment that allows people from a wide range of cultures and appreciates everyone’s efforts to achieving the organization’s set goals (Christensen, 2013). The second step is to bridge the differences using the available similarities in the workplace to strategically improve the performance of the company due to the competitive advantage developed through such efforts. The last consideration though is also to appreciate the different capability of people from diverse backgrounds (Gray & Kish-Gephart, 2013) and efficiently and effectively work together to achieve the organization’s goals. Diversity and gender equality leads to change, demographic characteristics of the staff employed at an organization to ensure that people of all genders irrespective of ethnicity or education level are employed (Mitchell et al., 2013).  It is, therefore, is a clear indicator that labor demands is changing with time and the fact that in the past diversity was not so much of interest, as it is nowadays. Apparently, it is sad to note that only a few ladies are at the top level of management in most organizations as such positions are always secured by their male counterparts.

There are a lot challenges facing women from sexual harassment to discrimination at the workplace a fact that has greatly influenced the distribution of women the management of the organization. Most women in an organization occupy the general staff members and not the top level management (Broderick et al., 2014). However, the media has in the recent past been in the forefront in seeing to it that gender equality is observed in all institutions of work and that every person is treated with respect that is needed. Several laws have since been enacted to ensure that the practice is upheld and a way to encourage diversity at work place. In case an individual feels that he/she is discriminated and is not given equal job opportunity, he can sue the employer before a court of law so that his rights are considered.

An important aspect that has encouraged organization to fight for gender equality and diversity in the workplace is the fact that they have recently identified the benefits of having such aspects of their organization (Grosser & Moon, 2005). Diversity helps an organization manage pressure at work and maintain a competitive ground over its competitors in the job market. Companies that observe such regulations are even appreciated by the society for being ethical and will attract the best employees for its recruitment and selection process (Rubery et al., 2003). More so, organizations use teams to attain their set goals and each team must contain the diverse characters in order to make working plans for the organizations. Research has it that innovation and creativity is born through diversity at the workplace, hence an aspect that greatly encourages gender equality.

Globalization of business in the world means that companies are now operating internationally and by adhering to the international regulations. According to the international laws, employers in a company must consider diversity and equality at work place so as to give everyone an equal opportunity. This further takes into account the fact the organization will have employees from a wide range of cultures, social ethical backgrounds and of different customs (Kummamuru & Murthy, 2014).

The success of a business entirely depends on human resource and therefore the aspect requires effective management. The different function of HRM should be managed well to ensure equality in an organization and improve the employee morale at work (Richard et al., 2013). This objective requires effective policies to monitor that the practice is adhered to the latter and that the HR managers observe all regulations as expected of them.

Developed policy must contain the aspect of equality and diversity at all cost as the practice is promising and yet to be exploited fully (Rubery et al., 2003). It is important for organizations to appreciate the increase of women labor force and the marginalized as one way of increasing diversity. Importantly, this will show organization’s concerns for its individual employees and the fact that they still respect surrounding society. The labor force is currently changing as employees need to be trained and exposed more to be up to date with innovation (Di Ruggiero et al., 2014). Managers therefore as they raise such concerns to their different stakeholders, matters concerning equality should be primary concerns. It is the employers who should first develop the culture of diversity and gender equality for it to be accepted by the stakeholders, unions or even the employee themselves as an important culture in an organization.

A labor union is an organization that has the sole responsibility of fighting for and safeguarding the rights of employees in different organization. Developing manifestos that upheld the aspect of diversity and equality will be one measure towards encouragement of the practice as they have more control over the HRM practices (Richard et al., 2013). Management should also develop a tendency to support the enacted policies for it to be accepted by the different concerned parties involved. Managers in human resource should modify their model to suit their needs of diversity and equality in their organizations. This will therefore indicate they need to create opportunities of getting appropriate employees from the job market.

            Gender equality in conclusion is developing equal opportunities for both men and women at work place without any kind of discrimination. Human beings irrespective of their gender, age or ethnicity should lead a personal life that is free and able to make their choices without any limits. Both men and women are treated with equal dignity or favor that in terms of their rights or assigned responsibilities or opportunities. From Kummamuru & Murthy, (2014) human resource management should therefore indicate a high level of fairness between men and women.

The gender analysis tool to identify the difference regarding gender equality is used to assign roles, (Lee Cooke & Xiao, 2014) benefits acquired and also in making decision. In this paper, it is evident that equality is an important aspect for any organization due to its benefits and has a significant impact on the human resource performance. Despite the various efforts put in place to enforce equality, it is still disappointing to note that the concept has not been widely embraced in many organizations. Attaining gender equality gives a company an opportunity to experience diversity at the workplace and a competitive advantage over its competitors (Hendra et al., 2013).

Observing gender equality will help reduce and eradicate poverty in our society as people will be at peace if their rights are considered and therefore experience sustainable development. Implementation of policy tools protecting the women is one aspect that will help empower women and enforce equality in many organizations (Di Ruggiero et al., 2014). It is important to note that there are various challenges facing the menace and it therefore needs rejuvenated efforts to help fight the challenges and utilize the prevailing opportunities. In this era and time, men and women should be subjected to equal opportunities and responsibility through enforcement of relevant policy tools.

Acknowledgement statement

I would like to acknowledge my project supervisor (insert name) for the support that he gave me through the course, his patience and good counsel. For him I pass my deepest gratitude for the wealth of knowledge he gave me and forever I would be indebted in him. Much appreciation is also given to my classmates, friends and family members who helped during the study in their support both financially and moral support.

I would also like to acknowledge the diverse research work in the field and in the paper I have acknowledged research articles used and cited their work as my reference. To those who gave hand in the study and have not been mentioned, I also extend my dearest appreciation.

References

 

Armstrong, M 2009, Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, London: Kogan Page, eBook Collection. 

Bletsas, A, & Charlesworth, S. 2013, ‘Gender Equality and Decent Work in Australia’, Australian Journal of Political Science, 48, 1, pp. 44-56.

Brief, A.P. 2008, ‘Diversity at Work’, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Broderick, E, Küpper, E, Narev, I, & Thodey, D 2014, ‘Championing Gender Equality in Australia’, Mckinsey Quarterly, 4, pp. 105-107.                 

Christensen, K. 2013, ‘Launching the workplace flexibility movement: work family research and a program of social change’, Community, Work & Family, 16, 3, pp. 261-284.

Di Ruggiero, E, Cohen, J, & Cole, D 2014,The politics of agenda setting at the global level: key informant interviews regarding the International Labor Organization Decent Work Agenda’, Globalization & Health, 10, 1, pp. 1-17.

Gray, B, & Kish-Gephart, J. 2013, ‘Encountering Social Class Differences at Work: How “Class Work” Perpetuates Inequality’, Academy of Management Review, 38, 4, pp. 670-699. 

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Kummamuru, S, & Murthy, P 2014, ‘Human Resource Management: Towards a Human-Centric Approach’, IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 8, 4, pp. 36-46.

Lee Cooke, F, & Xiao, Y 2014, ‘Gender Roles and Organizational HR Practices: The Case of Women’s Careers in Accountancy and Consultancy Firms in China’, Human Resource Management, 53, 1, pp. 23-44.

Mitchell, R, Obeidat, S, & Bray, M 2013, ‘The Effect of Strategic Human Resource Management on Organizational Performance: The Mediating Role of High-Performance Human Resource Practices’, Human Resource Management, 52, 6, pp. 899-921.

Morand, D, & Merriman, K 2012, ”Equality Theory’ as a Counterbalance to Equity Theory in Human Resource Management’, Journal of Business Ethics, 111, 1, pp. 133-144.

Richard, O, Roh, H, & Pieper, J 2013, ‘The Link Between Diversity and Equality Management Practice Bundles and Racial Diversity in the Managerial Ranks: Does Firm Size Matter?’, Human Resource Management, 52, 2, pp. 215-242.

Rubery, J, Grimshaw, D, Fagan, C, Figueiredo, H, & Smith, M. 2003, ‘Gender equality still on the European agenda—but for how long?’, Industrial Relations Journal, 34, 5, pp. 477-497.

 

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