Gender Equality in the Workplace as Research Topic

While the ideas of gender equality and women’s rights is not new to society, such movements have acquired a particular degree of importance by the present. Indeed, as far back as in the 19th century, women began to rise against centuries of systemic oppression, preventing them from rightfully taking an equal position in society. These first steps had a great success, establishing the foundation of equal relations on a systemwide level and granting the opportunity to vote, work, and grow to women. Nevertheless, the fight has been far from over, as major disparities have persisted within society. The legislative recognition of women and their rights was unable to eliminate the inequality on the levels of separate institution or individual interaction. As a result, millions of women continue to experience these major disparities in most day-to-day situations, including the workplace. Unequal pay, condescending treatment, and persistent harassment are just some of the aspects of the problem that impede women’s growth in the current environment.

As a result of these tendencies, women remain trapped by a multitude of glass ceilings that do not allow them to realize their potential to a complete extent. In this context, the workplace environment represents one of the primary areas of concern for democratic societies. More specifically, many employers and colleagues abide by the outdated perceptions of women as inferior workers who cannot perform on par with their male counterparts. Their salaries are lower and promotions are less frequent, as women are often denied due opportunities of professional growth. Moreover, the workplace atmosphere per se can often hostile to women, which is another impediment to quality development. The proposed study aims to answer a central research question that is formulated as follows: “What are the key aspects of gender equality in the workplace in which rapid improvements are required?” The objective is to outline the primary issues and obstacles faced by women at work in an attempt to confirm the following hypothesis: “Subjective issues related to gender inequality prevent women from fully utilizing their potential in the professional environment.”

Preliminary Review of the Literature

The pursuit of gender equality has been a major struggle within democratic societies, uniting experts, scholars, and activists around a common goal of eliminating the disparities. In her interviews with the veterans of this quest, Kaplan (2018) states that it does not suffice to introduce artificial improvements to the women’s conditions in the workplace. Indeed, the number of executives who aim at improving the situation expands rapidly, but many of them miss the key point of the movement. More specifically, many of their policies and actions remain largely superficial, meaning that they announce their intention to reduce the disparities without addressing the core of issue. According to Kaplan (2018) the key principle is related to the concept of accountability, meaning that those who are responsible for the maltreatment of women should understand the impact of their actions and face the consequences. Thus, one of the major areas of concern is related to the lack of sincere and meaningful atonement.

In today’s professional settings, women are forced to keep waiting for gender equality to become embedded in the workplace. This theme was dominant in the qualitative study conducted by Nally et al. (2018) in the form of in-depth interviews with women from various spheres of activity. The respondents emphasized the importance of mature, equal communication strategies in the workplace that will alleviate the hostility of the environment. In fact, the arsenal of tools capable of addressing the problem is broad from both sides, but its utilization has been sub-optimal in most cases. Similar to the ideas discussed by Kaplan (2018), it is noted that most resolution attempts are limited to superficial discussions without actually dealing with the problem’s root. Thus, establishing a framework of reference discussing the key issues and expectations.

In many cases, the problem is aggravated further by the clash of perspectives and attempts to blame the other side. This idea is central to the discussion provided by Smith and Johnson (2020) in which they address the attempts to avoid accountability. More specifically, the majority of men portray inequality in the workplace as a primarily women’s issue. In other words, if women are the ones who feel uncomfortable, they should also be the ones to take action. This point of view is damaging for the situation, in general, as it generates further hostility preventing effective solutions from being developed. In fact, the phenomenon of opposition is to be eliminated, as well, because if men and women work as allies, they will be able to find feasible solutions.

In the 21st century, the boundaries of the workplace environment have expanded to an unprecedented degree. This tendency has been enabled by the growing importance of technology and progress that permeates most industries and settings. With the widespread of remote formats, the notion of a virtual workplace has become significant, as well, inheriting most issues of the traditional jobs. Brown et al. (2020) move their discussion to the online environment, stating the primary concerns in this regard are related to the clash between family and work relations. Combined with the general biases against women in the digital worlds, the situation becomes aggravated even further.


The proposed study is projected to take a qualitative root to discuss the problem at length. First, a comprehensive review of the literature will be conducted in order to provide an in-depth examination of the current expert and scholar opinions on the matter at hand. The key themes distinguished at this stage will serve as the foundation for the subsequent phase of the research. At this point, the study will recruit a sample of about ten women from different professional backgrounds to investigate their experiences with gender inequality in the workplace. In-depth, anonymous interviews will be conducted to explore the primary themes and concerns, as well as perceived solutions to the issue. The transcript of each interview will be subjected to a thematic analysis, providing the qualitative data in a convenient form.

Expected Results

The proposed research is expected to yield valuable results that can be used in further discussions surrounding the matter at hand. First of all, the combination of the literary synthesis and interview data will enable a better understanding of the actual issues faced by women in today’s work environments. Moreover, the participants will provide insight into the magnitude of the situation from their own perspectives, outlining the solutions that will actually benefit them. Ultimately, the analysis of the qualitative data will yield a comprehensive framework of reference that associates areas of concern with feasible solutions. This information can be used in subsequent examinations in order to develop evidence-based, informed solutions to the age-old problem of gender inequality in the workplace.


Brown, M., Doyne, L., & Lanik, M. (2020). Equity in the virtual workplace. Leadership Excellence, 8-10.

Kaplan, S. (2018). Gender equality in the workplace: How men can move the needle. Rotman Management, 30-35.

Nally, T., Taken, A., & Graham, M. (2018). Exploring the use of resources to support gender equality in Australian workplaces. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 30, 359–370.

Smith, D. G., & Johnson, W. B. (2020). What’s missing from your gender equity program? MEN. AMA Quarterly, 45-47.

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