Women are under-represented in decision-making positions in almost all countries of the world

Women are under-represented in decision-making positions in almost all countries of the world.  A noticeable improvement has been observed especially in the South-West Nigeria, where women are being given some managerial opportunities, in the private and public organizations.  It has been reported that men are given more preference for these positions than women [Adebisi, 2007].  It has been reported by many researchers that although women are being given some managerial positions in most organizations, it seems men are given more preference for these positions than women.  An increasing awareness of this fact has led various interest groups to engage in research and policy-making activities.

In most organizations, since men outnumber women in managerial positions, they collectively create and dominate the social structure of management requirements so that managerial competence is intrinsically linked to qualities attached to men.  Again, gender role stereotypes are seen to deny women the appropriate leadership qualities for senior management positions.  It is observed that while women have entered the workforce and managerial level jobs, they are encountering barriers to advancement to those positions which would allow them to define organizational strategy.  This is buttressed with the fact submitted by [Wright, and Crockett-Tellei, 1994] that less than 10 per cent of the largest employers have women on their board of directors.  Women seem to be plateauing at middle-level management positions.  Middle management has been described as having no power but a lot of responsibility.  Experience proves this true.  Many women, mostly middle-class women, have been finding it difficult to get to the top management level and it has been observed that many face dilemmas in their various work places.  It has also been observed that women are well represented in lower administrative grades, yet poorly represented in higher management grades.  An increasing number of women are seeking management positions as a result of their greater participation in the labor force, expanded access to educational opportunities, and involvement in affirmative action programs.

Geneva [ILO news press release 2009] reports “Women’s lower employment rates, weaker control over property and resources, concentration in informal and vulnerable forms of employment with lower earnings, and less social protection, all place women in a weaker position than men to weather crises.”

However, contrary to above literature review it was recently discovered that the probability of reaching job contentment increases with the increase in job-reward expectations as women are fairly represented at the top management positions [See table 1].  This, however, begs an interesting question: as the status of women in the labor market improves, thereby causing their over-all expectations to increase, will they necessarily become increasingly satisfied?

Table 1: The percentage of women in relation to men at the top management positions in the South-West Nigeria.
Management Cadre Private Public Number of Female & % Number of Male & % No response

25

5.71

20

4.57

Senior Management

66

15.07

67

15.30

Middle Level Management

65

14.84

64

14.61

Lower Level Management

73

16.67

58

13.24


Source:  Adebisi & Erwat Field work 2009

This data reveals that the number of women at the top management position can be equated to that of men (66%-67%).  The implication of this result is that women are no longer under-represented in decision-making positions and that the probability of reaching top administrative echelon in organizations increases with the increase in career progression expectations.  It shows that men are no longer given more preference for these positions than women.

Organizational schemes or training and development

ILO Director-General Juan Somavia said that gender equality should be a key principle in any policy response, as the effects of the economic and financial crisis go beyond the scope of women in the world of work and have an impact on the overall stability of society, considering the various roles that women play.

Developing workers is essential for the success of an organization.  Management strategy should continue to focus on developing and supporting new workers, developing and retaining current workers and attracting highly skilled workers with no gender bias to work for the organization.

This data below shows that gender issues do not favor men than women in organizational training and development schemes.  It depicts the entitlement to the organizational schemes is not gender specific and that the level at which women benefit from organizational schemes, workshops, seminar and training to ensure they are equipped with broad experience that lends the credibility necessary for senior positions increases.

The extent at which women benefit from organizational scheme

Sex Beneficiary rate% Male Benefited Not benefited 66.03 33.96 Female 78.17 21.84

Source: Adebisi & Erwat Field work 2009

In sum, women must continue to adjust mentality for winning because the frustration of the past led to many of them pegging their aspiration low.  They should relentlessly grant themselves intellectual liberation and cast away timidity while expressing informed and enlightened boldness and confidence.

Conclusively, rather than depending on the use of feminine attraction, women should be able to match aspiration with ability, ambition with qualification; and be informed while exploiting legitimate opportunities to foster their career potentials.

Bibliography

Adebisi, Samson O. [2007].  Analysis of Factors Impacting Career Advancement of Women in Management in Organizations in Ibadan Metropolis.

Wright, L., & Crockett-Tellei, V. (1994).  Women in management in Indonesia.  N.J. Adler & D.N. Izraeli (Eds.), Women managers in a global economy Malden, MA: Basil Blackwell pp 57–78

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