Date: Dec 6, 2019
Category: Analysis Essay
Gender Equity in the Australia

The construction of gender in an individual depends very much on the interactions of the individual which are gendered with other people and other roles and identities that a person may have. Race, class, and gender are considered to be oppressions; although, they are not identically salient in all the social relationships where there is inequality.

In this study, data from the 2005 World Values Survey will be used to analyze the effects of these independent variables; age, gender, marital status, education level, and the dependent variable gender equality in the labor market outcomes.

The research will be purely based on the Research question, “What are the causes of gender inequality in the labor market outcomes of Australia?” In the study, I was able to discover that all of these variables explained only a small degree of variation in gender equality in the Australian workforce and that only age, level of education, and the employment status exhibited a significant effect on gender equality in the Australian workforce.

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Limitations of the Study

A number of challenges were encountered throughout the study. The limitations included irrelevant answers given by the participants, their answers were too qualitative, or others did not respond to all the questions in the survey. It is believed that all the questions used in the study were very much applicable to the study. The data used in the study was mainly obtained from the semi-structured questionnaires from the World Values Survey. This imposed a limitation on other participants who were also very willing to participate in the study.

Literature Review

Gender is believed to be the distinction between the male and the female, however, in modern western societies, men and women share the same occupations, jobs, roles, and responsibilities which show that sex is not the determinant of a person’s abilities. It is believed that what men can do, women can also do better. The difference which was there between the two sexes is the physical strength; moreover, there are certain tasks and jobs which can only be handled by the men, because of the physical strength which also leads to the neglect of the women's gender.

Gender inequality in the labor market outcomes is the differences that exist between the males and the females in terms of the labor force participation, education level, income levels, employment status, age, and occupation/profession. Gender gap earnings are the income differences between the males and the females, which are brought about by economic attainments, political and social aspects, and culture. Gender inequality can take many different forms, depending on the economic structure and social organization in a particular society as well as the culture of any group within that society. Even though the term is gender inequality, women are usually the ones who face disadvantages towards men. Women often receive lower pay than men for comparable work and furthermore frequently blocked in their advancement. Despite big changes over recent decades, workplace gender inequalities endure in Australia and other industrialized nations around the world.

Many scholars and researchers have tried to come up with studies to explain the main cause of gender gaps in the labor market outcomes where they concluded that culture was the main cause of gender inequality in the workplace since gender was responsible for all the gender roles between the men and the women. In many countries, the culture dictates that women must stay at home and do the house chores while the men dominate the workforce. This has explained as to why the women have remained less active than the men in the labor force despite the women having a higher level of education than the men.

According to sociological researches, the feminine gender roles which were used in the traditional setting are no longer used in modern western society, because of the emergence of globalization and industrialization. This is very evident when modern women take on the roles which in the traditional setting were reserved only for the men including the fashion and behavior, which has put the men under pressure thus leading them to be confined to a smaller gender role. This is very evident when men are seen to grow hair to a length which in the traditional setting was considered to be a woman’s fashion, while the women, on the other hand, were also noted to cut off their hair to a length that was considered to be the hairdo of the men. The issue of globalization has enhanced interaction and helped people to understand each other in a better way. It has been necessary for enhancing quick access to other parts of the globe regardless of the distance separating these countries. Some barriers separated people and maintained people’s natural heritage as well as identities. It has become an important issue, but the impacts are not limited to only the economic field of countries, it also reflects all aspects of life like the psychological, cultural, social and political issues.

According to Lorber (2010), the women of Australia have tried very much to try to decrease the earning gaps with their increased involvement in the professional occupations like the management positions, where despite their efforts; the gender gap still exists with the men and women working in different occupational levels. It is strongly believed that culture is directly linked to gender inequality since most of the practices which are experienced today in the workforce of many countries like Australia end up favoring the men other than the women. The men are considered to be abler than the women who have also been evident in the traditional cultures of a majority of the people living in Australia.

Method

The study involved the use of quantitative data, which was got from the 2005 Australian wave of the World Values Survey (WVS) on the perceptions and attitudes which Australians have. The data used for this study is from the surveyed 1421 individuals with the majority of the participants being females who made 55%, while the rest of the 45% comprised of men. Their ages ranged from 18 years to 95 years.

My dependent variable for this study is how you agree or disagree with the statement, “men should have more right to a job than women” which will be based on research Question 9.a.

The independent variables are

  • Age - ‘How old are you?’ Values range from 18 to 95 (numbers correspond to the year of age).
  • Sex - ‘What is your sex?’ The coding of this variable was changed so that 0 corresponds to ‘female’ and 1 to ‘male’.
  • Education level – ‘What is the highest educational level that you have attained?’ Values range from 1 (inadequately completed elementary education) to 8 (completed a bachelor's or postgraduate degree).
  • Employment status – ‘Are you employed now or not?’ This is the employment status of the respondent where the values range from 1 (full-time employee) to 8 (others)
  • Social class – ‘Would you describe yourself as belonging to the upper-class, upper-middle-class, lower middle class, working-class or lower class?’ People describe themselves as belonging to a social class in the society where the values range from 1 to 5.
  • Profession/job - In which profession/occupation do you do most of your work? A correlation and regression analysis were conducted on all the data using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).

Analysis

The main purpose of this chapter is to report the type and nature of the data collected and used in the entire study, as well as the overall results of all the statistical procedures applied to the collected data.

Table 1: Correlation between the dependent and the independent variables

 Jobs scarce: Men should have more right to a job than womenSexAgeHighest education levelEmployment StatusProfession /job social class (subjective)
Sex   1 -.098** -.007 -.098** -.129** .019
Age     1 -.393** .344** -.159** .025
Highest educational level attained       1 -.225** .024 -.374**
Employment status         1 -.066* .114**
Profession/job           1 -.007
Social class (subjective)             1

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

The variables which were correlated with gender equality included sex, age, the highest education level, the employment status, profession/job, and the social class. The Pearson product correlation was chosen over the Kendall tau-b correlation moment. The variables of Sex (r=-.055, p<.01) and employment status (r=-.084, p<.01) were weakly negatively correlated with gender equality. Age (r=-.038. p<.05) and social class (r=-.08, p<.01) were only negligibly negatively correlated with gender equity.

Amongst these individually significant variables, age is strongly negatively correlated with education (r=-.393, p<.01), moderately positively correlated with employment status (r=.344, p<.01) and moderately negatively correlated with profession/job (r=-.159, p<.01). Additionally, Sex ((r=-.055, p<.01) is negligibly positively correlated with employment status (r=.098, p<.01) and with Greens support (r=.06, p<.05). The variable highest level education (r=.057, p<.05) is weakly negatively correlated with Employment status (r=-.225, p<.01) and social class (r=-.374, p<.01).

We were able to run a regression analysis as shown in the results where we conducted a regression analysis of all the independent variables. The main focus of the study was to determine the relationship which existed between the dependent variable and the independent variables, which was done through the comparing of data from the Australian wave of the World Values Survey (WVS)

Table 2: Regression of gender inequality in the workforce, age, education level, sex, employment status, profession/job, and social class.

Coefficients

Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig.
B Std. Error Beta
1. Sex -.047 .031 -.042 -1.521 .128
2. Age -.002 .001 -.053 -1.890 .059
3. Highest Education level .016 .008 .056 1.888 .059
4. Employment Status -.023 .010 -.069 -2.338 .020
5. Profession/job -3.880E-005 .001 -.002 -.056 .955
6. Social Class (subjective) .008 .019 .012 .404 .686

Dependent Variable: Jobs scarce: Men should have more right to a job than women

Sex (p=.128), Profession/job (p=.955), and Social class (p=.686) were not found to have any significant on gender equality in the labor market outcomes. Age (p=.059) and the highest education level (p=.059) exhibited a 90% significant effect, and Employment status (p=.020) exhibited a 95% significant effect. A total of 1412 respondents (N=1412) responded to and answered the questions and were used in the regression analysis.

Sex (B=-.047), Age (B=-.002), Employment status (B=-.023), and Profession (B=-.005) have a negative association with gender equality while social class (B=.008) and the highest level of education (B=.016) are positively associated with gender equality. In the standardized β values, the highest education level (β =.056) had the strongest and the largest effect on gender equality, followed by the social class (β =.012).

Discussion

These findings have supported the literature since culture had a great impact on gender equity meanwhile most of the practices, which are applied today in the workforce of Australia end up favoring the men other than the women. The fact that women are disadvantaged in the workforce is a clear indication that in the cases of job scarcity, the men who are favored for the job to the women, which is a clear indication of job inequality.

 

The data on gender equality from the World Values Survey (2005) showed that a majority of women in the labor force of Australia have faced a lot of inequalities as compared to their male counterparts. Since the women just like the men have had access to a good education with a majority of them being able to attain a Bachelor’s Degree or a higher diploma certificate. In the recent years, the women have tried to prove to their male counterparts very much that they can do better than them in academics which has explained the rise in the number of women who have advanced degrees in Australia during 2005-2007, which shows that in Australia, culture has a positive impact on gender equity since the cases of gender inequality have been seen to be decreasing at a very fast rate. Therefore, the women have been allowed to participate in the labor force unlike in the traditional cultures, which never allowed the women to work.

These findings have brought out the fact that culture has negatively affected the female gender than it has affected the male gender, where it has been considered to favor the male gender. Though men have so many opportunities like access to education, good pay in the workforce, leadership, and also the different gender roles, which explained why the men had positive responses when it came to the fact that men should have more right to a job than women. A majority of the women strongly believed that different cultures were very unfair to the female gender because it favored the male gender, which was very oppressing to them since they believe that there should be gender equality. Since what the men can be able to do, the women are also capable of doing, being given equal job opportunities. The males, on the other hand, believe that they are the most superior and they believe in domination over women. They are certain that they are the only people who should work and become leaders. The women believe that they should be able to obtain leadership over men.

In Australia, the two genders have the same academic achievements but the culture has dictated the gender roles for both the men and the women. There is some type of jobs which are done by the men and other jobs which are done by women only. This shows that there is gender inequality in the job specifications where you find that many jobs are awarded to the men simply because they are the better gender as compared to their female counterparts. According to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace (2010), the men are awarded better-paid jobs even though the women are more educated than they are, which shows that there is great inequality in the rewards and compensation of the male and the female genders.

 

Women are normally paid less income than their male counterparts since they are considered to be incapable despite the woman holding a high level of education despite holding the same position as the men. Some cultures believe that there are some professions which are made for men and other professions which are made for women, where the women are allowed to become servants, secretaries, and assistants while the men are considered to be leaders by nature holding the big titles in the workforce like being managers, directors, engineers, and consultants.

In conclusion, labor market discrimination has brought about gender inequality since women are not treated the same as men in the labor force. Although they might have the same level of education, the men are seen as being the leaders, which explains why they are better paid than the women and why they are given better and higher positions than the women. Culture is the main cause of these inequalities between the men and the women because some cultures dictate that the family responsibilities were the work of the women and the men were the breadwinners of the home which discriminates the women in the workforce. Immigration also brought in discrimination in the labor force, because many Australians are the lowest paid people despite them being citizens of the country with the women being paid lower than their male counterparts.

Future Research

The correlation issues which were weak in some of the subscales showed that the survey’s instruments will need to be refined in the future. The small number of respondents who responded to the study also hindered the ability to make strong generalizations and conclusions.