Women Workers in Male Dominated Industrial Manufacturing Organisations: Contrasting Workplace Case Studies from Australia**

By Burgess, John; Henderson, Lindy et al. | Management Revue, October 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Women Workers in Male Dominated Industrial Manufacturing Organisations: Contrasting Workplace Case Studies from Australia**


Burgess, John, Henderson, Lindy, Strachan, Glenda, Management Revue


This study compared women's roles, expectations and experiences in two comparable, male dominated industrial manufacturing companies in Australia. Both organisations are subject to legislated equal opportunity program and reporting requirements. The research was conducted to examinee the differences between what is submitted in their EEO reports and the experience of women workers in the organisations. Good jobs and poor jobs existed in the same legislative and industrial framework and in the same local labour market. The differences are located in a combination of organisational and cultural conditions.

Key words: Equal Employment Opportunity, Job Quality, Human Resources Management, Workplace Culture

Introduction

A slow decline in gender segregation over the last twenty years has been demonstrated in the USA and Australia (as elsewhere) but women still predominate in sales and service occupations, and men in skilled trades. The growth of women's overall representation in management and professional occupations has increased, especially in female dominated organisations, but segregation at the workplace level remained almost unchanged, despite nearly two decades of equal opportunity legislation (Watts 2002).

Officially, equal employment opportunity for women is enshrined in Australiawide legislation and is reflected in industrial awards and agreements. The original EEO legislation (Affirmative Action (Equal Opportunity for Women) Act 1986) emphasised the need for positive programs to redress disadvantage, later legislation (Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999) is more general in its statements about what should be done within organisations. The Equal Opportunity for Women Agency (EOWA) that is responsible for administering the Act provides guidelines for the preparation of programs and reports, and collects and publishes reports from larger non-government employers annually. The EOWA requires that each organisation with over 100 employees prepare a workplace profile and address each of six equity areas in an annual report unless waived from doing by submitting a series of satisfactory reports. The equity areas are sexual harassment, pay equity, training and career development, work/life balance, recruitment/promotion/separation, and occupational segregation. Penalties for non-compliance are weak. Employers may also apply to be named as an Employee of Choice for Women and can use this accolade in recruiting or marketing. EOWA has adopted a pragmatic approach towards implementing EEO principles that privileges the business case for EEO but also recognises fair and equal treatment for the individual as an ideal. The legislation is supported by anti-discrimination legislation operating in both the Federal and State jurisdictions.

The EEO legislation and mandatory reports require that, at a minimum, employees suffer no discrimination on the grounds of their sex. Further, the EOWA emphasises the business case for improving women's working lives: 'Employers are reaping the benefits of their equal opportunity for women in the workplace programs through increased employee effectiveness, attracting and retaining the best talent, improved morale and increased consumer and market responsiveness. (EOWA 2005). Thus, good jobs for women are also promoted as good for the bottom line of business. This paper investigates the way in which legislation and reporting promote EEO for women and how this is corroborated by women's reported workplace experience.

In this research two organisations (Cl and C2) in a traditional male employment sector (manufacturing), demonstrated dramatic differences with respect to the conditions and quality of work available to women employees. The most marked of these was the relative number of women in management roles and the availability of flexible employment conditions for women workers. Both organisations are strongly dominated by male employees at all roles and levels except as office workers, but in Cl a much greater proportion of the female workforce was in management. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Women Workers in Male Dominated Industrial Manufacturing Organisations: Contrasting Workplace Case Studies from Australia**
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.