MGMT 358 – Culture and Gender Issues
January 30, 2014
Green Grass Growers, Inc. (G3i) is a medium sized landscape construction and maintenance corporation of approximately 350 employees. Construction is a historically male-dominated industry, with very little opportunity for employment or advancement for women. Even those opportunities that are available to women are often difficult to endure due to hostile and sexually offensive work environments. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and Harassment Policy for all G3i employees, all employees are to be hired and promoted based on individual merit, prohibiting any discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by the state or federal employment discrimination laws (G3i Handbook, 2011). Based on this statement, women should have the opportunity to work in every position from field crews to superintendents, from sales representatives to division presidents. This study will look at the G3i hiring and recruiting practices, the opportunity for advancement within the company and the industry as a whole, and what range of positions are available to and held by the female employees of G3i. The conclusion will analyze the implementation practices of the gender discrimination policy at G3i, and whether is adequate or in need or improvement.
I. Introduction The construction industry has been a gateway for many Americans into the middle class workforce. According to the United States Department of Labor, the construction industry created nearly 300,000 new job opportunities for Americans between 2009 and 2012 (Lenhoff, 2013). These new job opportunities were funded by the United States Government, as a part of a stimulus effort which has pulled our economy out of the worst recession experienced in decades. Despite these new job opportunities and their positive impact upon our economy, the construction industry remains a historically male-dominated workforce.
As of 2012, women hold less than 2% of the current job positions in the construction workforce (Lenhoff, 2012). In many other male dominated fields women have successfully established themselves and are continuing to increase in numbers. The construction industry is a large exception. One common excuse for this is women don’t want to partake in “dirty work” or menial labor jobs. However, this is not consistent with the other male dominated, and even laborious lines of work. As of 2012, women made up 15.7% of all active duty and 29.3% of all reserve soldiers in the United States Army, when in 1983 they made up less than 9.8% (United States Army, 2014). In law enforcement, the percentage of female officers climbed from 2% in the 1970’s to 13% in 2013 (Crooke, 2013). A 2008 study showed that the number of women in firefighting make up just under 4% of firefighters (Hulett, Bendick, Thomas, & Moccio, 2008), which is still nearly double the percentage of women in construction. A 1999 United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) study argued that the low number of women in construction is due to a hostile work environment that subjects many of it’s female employees to regular harassment and discrimination (OSHA, 1999). This harassment comes in many forms from crude, explicit humor and comments, to unwanted romantic and sexual advances by coworkers, and even at times sexual assaults.
This hostile environment is commonplace within the construction field, from laborers to union workers, project managers and superintendents to office staff. Every trade, every company is subject to these problems, whether from within it’s own ranks or when it comes into contact with other company’s on a daily basis. The existence of this environment discourages female applicants