Essay about Book Report: Women and the Changing Facts of Work Life

Submitted By tmiller0003
Words: 1766
Pages: 8

Book Report The book I chose for my book report, Women and the Changing Facts of Work Life, is broken down into different sections and talks about women in the workforce spanning from the 1940’s all the way until the book was published in 1996. It starts out with the definition of meritocracy which means: letting talent rise to the top regardless of where it is found and whether it is male or female (Nichols, 1996. p. ix). In the beginning the author also mentions sexual harassment and sexism is often a problem for women but they must create their own opportunities if they want to grow (Nichols, 1996. p. x). It is clear that this book mainly discusses social issues, which often relate to the way people observe the way other people live. Many will agree and disagree on what is seen as normal, but I believe very few would agree that sexual harassment and sexism is considered to be normal (“Social, “2013”). This book also relates to ethical issues, which often affect how people make decisions, live their life, or run their business ("Ethical," 2013).
Whatever Happened to Rosie the Riveter? This first section is about Rosie the Riveter, a woman who built machinery necessary to fight and win WWII from 1942-1947. While she was working there the company noticed that productivity had risen, product cycle time dropped, and quality improved, but still she was forced off the floor after the war ended (Nichols, 1996. p. 4). One of the companies involved in this social and ethical issue was Ford. They said they needed men to do hard work and lift heavy equipment therefore they got rid of their female workers (Nichols, 1996. p. 4). In the mid-1970’s female workers were back in the workforce and some were even managers. It is noted that the first females managers often tried to fit in by having a masculine style. This ended up being a problem when and if the female became pregnant. Recently a study found that a woman is more likely to be listened to if she communicates indirectly and nice. Men are more likely to be influenced by a woman who speaks tentatively versus those who speak assertively (Nichols, 1996. p. 10).
The Case of the Hidden Harassment A manager from Filmore Trust went into an employee’s office to get something off of their desk and when he did, he read something on the computer screen he was not supposed to see. The employee, Jill, left an e-mail on the screen she had sent earlier in the day. This e-mail read:
Can you walk me out again? He’s in today and I’m sure he’ll be waiting for me. He leaned up against me when I was at the coffee machine this morning and whispered some disgusting stuff about how great he is in bed. I don’t want another episode like the one in the hallway Monday night. I should have left when you did, but I thought he’d already gone.
I’m sorry you have to put up with this. Get back to me. I’ll be ready to go whenever you are (p. 63).
In my opinion most people would leave the office and pretend they never read the message, but the manager, Jerry Tarkwell felt he needed to handle this situation. When Jill returned to work Jerry asked to speak with her privately. He explained to her that he had read the message and he was determined to put a stop to the situation. When he mentioned he had already called the equal employment officer Jill became furious and expressed her fear of losing her job and jeopardizing her career if she was investigated. She feared that word would get around and people would frown upon working with her, especially men. Overall I believe this is an ethical issue that Jerry Tarkwell is dealing with because he must morally make a decision based on what he feels is either right or wrong. When you’re in this type of situation I think it is always best to get advice from an outsider’s perspective, which leads to the next section in this chapter: “How Can Tarkwell Best Resolve This Issue.” It starts off with Cheryl Wang explaining her personal story of how she was also