Women, Ethics and the Workplace

Women, Ethics and the Workplace

Women, Ethics and the Workplace

Women, Ethics and the Workplace

Synopsis

As women are entering the workforce in record numbers, there is an urgent need to address the specific ethical problems that working women face. Providing a conceptual framework from which practical issues can be addressed, the authors focus on sexual harassment, comparable worth, leadership, advertising, and working-class women. Theoretical concepts, applied cases, personal narratives, statistical data and charts are all included in this wide ranging treatment of ethics and working women. This is not merely a summary of others' work; it is a book that will frame debates on gender, ethics, business, and economics and serve as an exemplar for the critical treatment of basic human concerns.

Excerpt

Although our primary interests and teaching experience are in the areas of philosophy and religion, we have often been asked to teach business ethics courses. Apparently, we are considered most able because we possess backgrounds in ethical theory and are relatively well versed in philosophical concepts, the kind of training that most business professors lack. However, when it came to choosing a text for these courses we found little material that we, as women, could relate to or that challenged students to think critically about some of the fundamental assumptions of business in a capitalist economy. More often than not we found that we had to seek out supplementary material in order to address our students' concerns. For instance, women training for business degrees are very concerned about topics such as the "glass ceiling" and sexual harassment and often raise doubts about assumptions that traditional business practices take for granted. Yet, the texts we found almost always begin by framing issues in accordance with a capitalistic model and either do a cursory job of covering problems related to sex and gender or ignore them altogether. Moreover, these texts tend to treat topics only in theory, as abstractions, without considering their concrete applicability, they do not even question whether or not their speculations accurately reflect the experiences of working people.

It is our hope that we can fill this gap and offer some new perspectives and insights for students, professors, and lay people. We envision this book as truly interdisciplinary because we are covering issues important to gender studies, business, ethics, politics, economics, and philosophy. By weaving among these various areas, we hope to show . . .

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