To what extent can human resource policies and practices promote gender equality - Essay Example

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The protection of the rights of employees is often presented as the key priorities of human resource policies in contemporary organizations. In practice, it has been proved that the human resource management plans adopted by firms internationally do not focus on the achievement of the above target…
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To what extent can human resource policies and practices promote gender equality
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Download file to see previous pages the representation of women in management positions in firms across Europe reveals that gender equality is still a problem for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, it seems that the number of women in lower and middle management positions is gradually increased, in opposition with the top management positions, which are likely to be occupied by man (Stahl and Bjorkman 2006, p.506-507). In 2002, the percentage of firms that employ only men at lower and middle management positions was estimated to 44%, decreased from 1996 when the above percentage was 50% (European Business Survey 2002, in Stahl and Bjorkman 2006, p.506). The figures presented above denote the ineffectiveness of HRM to secure gender equality. At the next level, Stahl and Bjorkman (2006) note that the level at which HRM policies focus on gender equality is often depended on ‘the level at which women are represented in HRM’ (Stahl and Bjorkman 2006, p.507). In other words, in firms where the number of women working in the HRM department is high, the promotion of gender equality is expected to be more intensive compared to firms that tend to employ men in their HRM department. In this context, HRM policies are likely to emphasize on gender equality mostly when female HR managers plan them, a fact that reveals the inability of modern firms to secure equality in the workplace. The potential use of HR policies for promoting gender equality is highlighted in the study of Durai (2010). Reference is made specifically to Infosys, a global firm in the area of IT consulting. The particular firm has promoted gender equality through an appropriately customized network, the Women Inclusivity Network, which ‘secures gender equality by mentoring women employees to take up challenging working assignments’ (Durai...
Gender equality is still an important problem for organizations worldwide. The development of initiatives by the states and by international organizations, such as the United Nations, has helped towards the limitation of the problem. Still, the success of firms worldwide in promoting gender equality is rather low. The literature presented above has revealed that firms can choose among different policies for promoting gender equality. In this context, it would be expected that phenomena of gender equality in the workplace would be limited, a fact that has not been verified. The ‘Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)’ (Rao et al 2009, p.7) seems to be the key text initiating the elimination of inequality in the workplace. However, in practice, the promotion of gender equality in the workplace is often problematic, as explained above, mostly because the relevant initiatives are not adequately supported, at least not as other organizational plans. The need for the active support of these initiatives by the state is quite clear. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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