Women and Other Cultures in the Workforce
After reading the text and articles about the historic struggles of women in the workforce, identify three issues that remain today for women. Then choose one group that was discussed in this week’s readings and identify the additional issues this population faces. What are some ways to reduce the impact of the issues you have identified?
Respond to at least two of your peers’ posts regarding women, including your perspective on women’s non-dominant status. Do you agree with their assessment of the issues and ways to reduce the impact?
First Peer Post
Issues today for women
Three issues that remain today for women are sexual harassment, inequality in the workplace, and then effects of gender stereotypes. Unfortunately, today women are still portrayed in ways to be objectified through the media and that culture is also introduced into the workplace resulting in many sexual harassment accusations. According to the text, more than 50% of women will experience sexual harassment in their jobs (Zunker). Women also still experience high levels of discrimination today. For many valid reasons, women continue to earn less than men. One reason can be the result of gender stereotypes where women accept roles in lower status occupations such as secretaries, teachers, and child care workers (Zunker).
Issue of the Hispanic population
Another group marginalized group to consider in the workplace is the Latino/a or Hispanic population. Of the many issues that this population face, two that I will discuss is lack of opportunities and socioeconomic status. The Hispanic community is currently the largest minority group in this country according to Zunker and youngest and fastest growing according to Zalaquett & Baez,(2012). Statistics report that Latino’s employ 15% of the United States Labor force but over represent in blue-collar, unskilled jobs which classifies them as the lowest weekly earning group when compared to other groups. There is a host of literature that discusses the lack of counseling services used in the Hispanic community, mental health and academic. These underused services reduce the amount of information made available to meet the needs of their community leaving them at a disadvantage. Strengthening education for this group may increase bilingual education, encourage higher education, job searching skills, and expose them to a host of opportunities that is sure to increase the advancement of this population (Zalaquett & Baez, 2012).
Zalaquett, C., Baez, J. (2012). Career counseling with Hispanics/Latinos/as. Career Planning and Adult
Development Journal, 28(1), 57-71.
Zunker, V. G. (2016). Career counseling: A holistic approach (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. ISBN:
Second Peer Post
Current Issues Faced by Women in the Workforce
A variety of factors continue to negatively affect women in the workforce. These factors are culturally ingrained societal beliefs that have slowly evolved over time, but continue to fall short of equality. Individual and societal views about appropriate occupations for males and females perpetuates the issue of gender stereotyping (Zunker, 2016). Social theorists point out the effects of gender socialization on women, and view its influence as partly responsible for a higher proportion of females in certain professions, i.e. teaching and nursing (Pässler, Beinicke, & Hell, 2014). Women are often expected to work and play a major role in childrearing and homemaking functions, and as a result may experience extreme fatigue and burnout. Though much progress has been made, sexual harassment and income inequality continue to prevail, negatively impacting women in the workforce.
Additional Issues Faced by Native Americans
The Native American population presents with unique issues related to their participation in the workforce. Native Americans who reside on reservations are often physically isolated in remote areas, with few local vocational opportunities. Due to years of racial oppression, many Native Americans lack confidence in their abilities, have low vocational expectations, and underestimate their skills and abilities (Flynn, Duncan, & Evenson, 2013). English as a second language could present a barrier for Native Americans whose traditional language is their primary language. Due to the importance of wakes, rituals, and celebrations in Native American culture, tribal members may place more importance in these events than in adhering to Euro-American work structure or schedule. Additionally, collectivistic family needs tend to trump other individual responsibilities, making flexibility in the work place important for Native Americans.
Strategies for Reducing the Negative Impact of These Issues
Several strategies could be incorporated to aid in the reduction of the negative impacts of culture and gender. Professionals must constantly engage in personal cultural self-awareness as a first step in providing culturally competent counseling services. Lee (2012) views this awareness as foundational, and emphasizes the importance of self-exploration and self-evaluation in growth towards positive cultural development. Counselors could help to increase client awareness of societal and cultural oppression in an effort to normalize their experiences and provide a starting place for moving forward. Both client and counselor could actively engage in different cultural activities and experiences designed to expand their awareness and perceptions. Professionals can help clients move past oppressive forces by administering assessment tools that have been appropriately normed to each unique population, thus revealing quality results that can be successfully utilized in case conceptualization and treatment planning. Pässler, Beinicke, and Hell (2014) note the inequity in certain assessment test items, and suggest eliminating those items in an effort to obtain more valid and gender neutral testing results. Finally, by adhering to the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics, counselors better ensure ethically sound and evidence based service delivery.
Flynn, S. V., Duncan, K. J., & Evenson, L. L. (2013). An emergent phenomenon of American Indian secondary students’ career development process. Career Development Quarterly, 61(2), 124-140. doi:10.1002/j.2161-0045.2013.00042.x
Lee, C. C. (2012). A conceptual framework for culturally competent career counseling practice. Career Planning & Adult Development Journal, 28(1), 7-14.
Pässler, K., Beinicke, A., & Hell, B. (2014). Gender-related differential validity and differential prediction in interest inventories. Journal of Career Assessment, 22(1), 138–152.
Zunker, V. G. (2016). Career counseling: A holistic approach (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. ISBN 9781305087286.