Equal Opportunity Act Women In The Workforce

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Equal Opportunity Act Women in the Workforce in Today Society

Equal Opportunity Act Women in the Workforce in Today Society

The term "equal opportunities" is a broadly used phrase which promotes the idea that everyone within an organisation should have an equal chance to apply and be selected for posts, to be trained and/or promoted and to have their employment terminated equally and fairly. There should be no discrimination on the grounds of sex, homosexuality, age, racial origin, religious affiliation, disability or marital status. Employers can only discriminate on the grounds of ability, experience or potential and all employment decisions taken on an individual's ability to do a particular job. (Dicks, MJ and Hatch, N 2005 Pp. 40)

Organisations and businesses consist of many individuals working together to achieve organisational success. These individuals collectively bring different attitudes, perceptions and learning experiences to the workplace, as well as ethnic, gender and personality differences. Over the past 30 years, the workplace has changed dramatically. Women have become more empowered giving them the opportunity to seek career progression which had previously been denied to them. Disabled people who can work are being helped back to work and offered the same opportunities as able-bodied people and economic globalisation of business has meant that managers must be aware of cultural and race issues. When the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was set up, it was to tackle the issue of sex discrimination predominantly and to offer women the same working rights as their male counterparts. However, in modern day society, equal opportunities has been broadened and backed up by law to provide the same level of protection to other minority groups in the workforce. So today, we have a Race Relations Policy, a Disability Discrimination Policy and an Equal Pay Policy. There are two main forms of discrimination: Direct Discrimination This involves treating an individual within the workforce less favourably than others on sexual, marital, racial or disabled grounds. For example, a dismissal from a job because a person decides to get married or choose to cohabit with a person of the same sex and live as 'partners'. One act of discrimination is sufficient and must be directed at an individual for action to be taken. Indirect Discrimination This describes a term or condition applicable to both sexes but where one sex has considerably less of an ability to comply with it than the other, for example, a condition that a candidate for a job must be of a minimum certain height. This would put women, for example, at a disadvantage collectively. Affirmative Action laws have greatly increased, statistically, the role of women in the workforce as well as improving working conditions and awards granted to women. However, many argue this is just a superficial answer to a deep underlying problem of a male orientated workforce. Other critics argue that while the principles of Affirmative action are good, the legislation itself is ineffective, and finally, some opponents argue that Affirmative Action ...
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