Gender Diversity-the relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value

Research Background

The quest gender diverse workforce is increasing at a rapid pace. Many organizations, especially in developed nations, are experiencing an unprecedented increase in gender diversity (Nielsen & Madsen, 2017). For example, the representation of women in the US labor force has increased significantly over the years with more than 48 percent of U.S workers being women (Nater & Sczesny, 2016). For instance, the number of women workers has risen from 32.7 to 56.8 % between 1948 and 2016. This represents about 74.6 million women working in the public civilian sector.  Besides, more women are entering the workforce with many of them taking up leadership and management roles, a fete that was quite difficult over five decades ago. Potvin, Burdfield-Steel, Potvin and Heap (2018) estimate that this trend is likely to continue into the coming decades since more are taking up leadership roles and opportunities in organizations. The US has comprehensive laws that seek to prohibit discrimination of women in the workplaces. For example, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 are examples of laws being implemented by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to ensure women are protected and not discriminated.

The increasing number of women recruited into organizations has attracted the attention of researchers who have attempted to assess whether the different gender influences the individual or organizational performance (Hitka et al. 2015). Early studies suggested that gender diversity was a significant source of competitive advantage arguing that it introduced a range of skills set they could not get with single-gender representations, who were mostly men (Jain & Bhardwaj, 2014). However, recent studies have questioned this optimism of the significance of gender diversity with theories and empirical reviews suggesting that it presents both positive and negative effects (Lee & Ames, 2017). For example, the organization’s resource-based view suggests that gender diversity and performance positively relate while social identity theory finds a negative correlation between the same factors. Although many studies have suggested a positive relationship between job performance and gender inclusivity (Lee & Ames, 2017; Jain & Bhardwaj, 2014; Liu, Chiang, Fehr, Xu & Wang, 2017), the relationship between a diverse gender workforce and employee satisfaction with corporate value remains hugely ignored. While many practitioners and researchers prioritize increasing the number of women, there are growing labor concerns of the levels of job satisfaction arising from such decisions.

The decline in job satisfaction and the rise in turnover have been identified as significant problems in the workforces of many countries around the world. Low-job satisfaction and lofty turnover are pricey to the entity in terms of resources and loss of skills and proficiencies that may have taken years to develop (Nielsen & Madsen, 2017). With the labor force experiencing other challenges such as a shrinking workforce and the aging population, the understanding of the gender diversity and its relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value is of great significance (Ralston, Russell & Egri, 2018). Therefore, this research seeks to explore how gender diversity relates to job satisfaction and the intentions of turnover of both male and female employees.

Statement of Research Problem

Given that the pursuit of excellence and the need to improve business performance are critical features of any institutions, many organizations strive to great lengths to attain their fundamental objectives. Diverse gender workplace is one of the emerging trends towards the accomplishment of the firm’s goals with the presumption that it improves employee performance. While many studies have explored how gender diversity relates to the firm’s financial performance, little research exists on the influence of diverse gender on job satisfaction with organizational value (Rattan & Dweck, 2018). Although the improvement in gender diversity has been found to improve organizational performance, there is growing uncertainty on its relationship with job satisfaction. However, Sabharwal (2014) argues that gender diversity leads to the emergence of sub-groups that may lead to gender salience if not managed well-managed. This categorization and assessment of employees based on group characteristics or traits could impair communication and the engagement of employees. Besides, the conflicts created within these groups could also decrease strategic consensus and hinder the effective decision-making process with adverse effects on job satisfaction with corporate value.

The increased attraction of gender diversity and its relationship to employee job satisfaction with from practitioners and researchers stems from the emergence of socially significant categories in the organization. These groups tend to be oriented towards sub-categories such as age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, et cetera, which further impact the consequences of improved gender representations on the employees’ job satisfaction (Ward & Forker, 2015). From the firm’s perspective, Nielsen and Madsen (2017) found out that a diverse gender workforce could trigger innovation and creativity since the pooling of a mix of perspectives and experiences. However, the views on gender diversity at the workplace differ, and the belief that more women in the labor workforce would improve the soaring inequality and promote innovation has been challenged by insights from studies on organizational demographics (Ward & Forker, 2015). For example, the results from the analysis of the organizational demographics point out that diversity often reduces the cohesiveness, conflicts, and hostilities among co-workers from different groups thus leading to low job satisfaction. When these conflicting positions and attitudes go unmediated, it results in turnover intentions and the inability of employees to enrich one another. Through a comprehensive qualitative evaluation of the perspectives of employees on gender diversity and its relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value, it would be possible to analyze how gender diversity impacts job satisfaction for both men and women across different occupational settings and contexts.

Literature Review

The participation of women has increased significantly around the world. In the United States, for instance, the participation stands at over 48.6 percent while in the United Kingdom it stands at 45.8 percent. Inevitably, this transformation has increased gender diversity in workplaces which in turn has facilitated labor market changes, demographic developments, and various regulatory measures (Avanzi et al., 2015). Despite the growth in the literature on diverse gender workplace and its influence on organizational performance, the investigation on the link between organizational gender diversity and the employee’s job satisfaction with corporate value is relatively limited. Several sociological and psychological studies have attempted to explain the differences among groups in organizations along gender and attitudes and their influences on the employee well-being and attitude (Brummelhuis & Greenhaus, 2018; Carapinha et al., 2017; Chen & Lin, 2016). The following review shows, in the preceding paragraphs, the link between gender diversity and employee’s job satisfaction with corporate value.

According to Nielsen and Madsen (2017) gender diversity refers to a “sexual heterogeneity in the workplace” (p.79). Based on this definition, a company with equal representation of men and women is termed as highly gender-diversified workplaces while those with low gender diversity are those with homogenous gender representation. Researchers on organizational demographics have suggested that workforce composition can have a remarkable effect on the performance and satisfaction of employees (Curșeu & Schruijer, 2017). This results from the influence of social interactions and group processes which impacts the attitudes, well-being, and employee performance. Rahman, Akhter, and Khan (2017) define job satisfaction as an emotional state that is agreeable and ensues from the accomplishment of job principles. Job satisfaction encompasses the assessment of job circumstances, including workload, financial outcomes such as pay/wages, appropriate supervision, job security, et cetera (Rahman, Akhter & Khan, 2017). Essentially, these factors have been associated with different degrees of satisfaction depending on an employee perception and expectations.

Raziq and Maulabakhsh (2015) identify the determinants of job satisfaction as the job conditions, co-workers, communication, the work environment, policies, and the level of approval from organizational managers. The interplay between these factors determines the degree of an employee’s satisfaction. Previous researchers have delved into how gender differences influence organizational performance. However, there are significant disagreements on how work composition influences employees, especially on job performance and satisfaction. For instance, Nielsen and Madsen (2017) cite three seminal works conducted by Blalock (1967), Blau (1977), and Kanter (1977) as foundation for the contemporary understanding of disagreements in recent research. According to Blau and Kanter, as cited in Nielsen and Madsen (2017), the relative proportion of various groups in an organization affects the levels of interactions between the members of various groups. This suggests that there is the likelihood for a better interaction amongst the groups if the sizes of the groups are similar. These authors contend that more diverse gender organizations tend to have reduced conflict among groups hence improved the likelihood of employees highly satisfied with their jobs and responsibilities.

However, Blalock’s perspectives pointed to the increase in conflicts between the minority and majority groups. In this view, the threat posed by the minority to the majority group increases with the minority group’s size. The disagreements highlighted in these three seminal works shows in several diversity works of literature (Shaban, 2016; Reguera-Alvarado, de Fuentes & Laffarga, 2015; Ali, Metz & Kulik, 2015; Nielsen & Madsen, 2017). Ellison and Mullin (2014), for instance, contend that diverse gender organization work better, but does not satisfy the fundamental needs of the employees. They found out that employees working in gender diverse organizations would report lower job satisfaction with corporate value. This suggests that employees are more cooperative in homogenous work settings. These disagreements on the contributions of gender diversity to employee well-being and corporate value epitomize the reasons why there are growing challenges regarding.

Gender Diversity Policies and Job Satisfaction with Corporate Value

Gender diversity has a tremendous impact on employee job satisfaction in an organization, especially for the female workers. In a research investigating the effect of gender differences on female employees in Pakistan, Fatima, et al. (2018) established that women encounter more barriers in companies compared to their male co-workers. Consequently, their satisfaction is not influenced by how many they are but how the organization treats and values them (Faniko, Ellemers & Derks, 2016). For example, most women have few chances for promotion even when their performance surpasses that of their male colleagues (Gupta, Han, Mortal, Silveri & Turban, 2018). Consequently, females experience fewer opportunities that could improve their job satisfaction in spite of the increase in gender diversity.

Gender diversity policies are considered a source of competitive advantage if well-implemented in the organization. It helps to create a favorable work environment which optimizes the available human capital to achieve the firm’s aims and objectives (Tisserant, Wagner & Barth, 2013). For this reason, an organization should implement a gender diversity support framework before initiating the process of increasing diversity (Windscheid, Bowes-Sperry, Mazei & Morner, 2015). Several studies have identified ways in which to increase gender diversity (Khan & Vieito, 2013; Olsen, Good, Towns & Choi, 2017; (Nakagawa & Schreiber, 2014; Schwab, Werbel, Hofmann & Henriques, 2015). Identity blindness is one of the initiatives found to crucial in increasing the number of women in corporations.  This strategy seeks to ensure that human resources practices ignore the demographic characteristics that disadvantage women during recruitment and selection. However, biases and stereotypes still hinder the implementation of the process (Daniels, Neale & Greer, 2017). Therefore, Nielsen and Madsen (2017) argued that identify blindness initiatives does not facilitate the increase in gender diversity initiatives. Hence, the author suggests the application of identity conscious initiatives where the women are provided with extra resources and preferential treatment to increase their numbers in the organization.

An organization’s gender diversity position and initiatives are essential parts of corporate value (Dembek, York & Singh, 2018).  Firms communicate their gender diversity initiatives through brochures, programs, or websites that indicate to prospective employees how they might be treated and the working conditions within the company (Windscheid, Bowes-Sperry, Mazei & Morner, 2015). Nielsen and Madsen (2017) demonstrated that the search for diversity statements and initiatives by prospective employees is based on the perceptions that it influences job satisfaction with the corporate value. However, it is not clear to what the diversity statements communicated by institutions affect the selection process because employers have often joined firms with negative gender diversity statements (Tisserant, Wagner & Barth, 2013). Windscheid, Bowes-Sperry, Mazei, and Morner, (2015) suggest that several factors moderate how diversity issues relate to the people’s  intentions to pursue an employment opportunity and ultimate job satisfaction levels after being hired. For example, the perceptions of the firm’s level of diversity accountability and the individual differences moderate the nature of gender diversity initiatives that should be implemented by the organization.

Organizations are under increasing pressure to increase gender diversity due to the legal requirements and quota conventions that have become a crucial aspect of contemporary management. Because of the requirements for a diverse gender workforce, however, many companies are relying on the prescriptive gender diversity approaches, such as preferential treatment, that negatively affects the attractiveness of the institution to potential employees while also reducing the level of job satisfaction for existing workers (Terjesen, Couto & Francisco, 2015). Windscheid, et al., (2015) refers to this scenario as an “organizational gender (diversity) paradox” (p.11) since the firm’s initiatives meant to achieve a diverse gender workforce are perceived negatively by the employees. It would be correct to suggest that most women and their co-workers do not perceive the preferential treatment initiatives as effective in enhancing their job satisfaction with corporate value. Notably, most of them believe that it’s merely an approach to promote the firm’s image and reputation as a gender inclusive environment, yet very little attention is given to initiatives that enhance employee job satisfaction with corporate value.

Shaban (2016) views gender diversity as a “double-edged sword” (p.77) since it is a source of great strength for an institution while also being a major source of weakness. The advantages of gender inclusiveness are often acknowledged through cognitive outcomes such as creativity (Fujimoto, Härtel & Azmat, 2013). The negative consequences, however, can be seen in terms of the negative behaviors that affect the social outcomes such as cohesion, higher staff turnover, relational conflicts, and stereotypes about the dissimilarities amongst the employees (Lauring & Selmer, 2013). Ali, Metz, Kulik (2015) contend that adequate formal training is necessary for the employees to understand the problems of diversity.

Management of Gender Diverse Workforce and Improvement in Job Satisfaction with Corporate Value

Effective management of gender inclusive workforce requires particular skills and competencies from managers. It entails the cultivation of respect, understanding, tolerance, and the acknowledgment that men and women have significant differences. Consequently, managers need to alter their attitudes and values to promote effective gender inclusion (Sabharwal, 2014). The initial step should begin with the commitment to improve diversity by developing the “correct performance and business-oriented attitudes and the correct ethical values that allow them to make appropriate use of the diverse workforce” (Shaban, 2016, p.79). Thereafter, the management should promote diversity awareness where people become aware of the differences in attitudes, values, and behaviors. Shaban (2016) recommends the use of programs that reveal the stereotypes and biases and positively transform them to enhance understanding and, in turn, improved job satisfaction with corporate value. This will require that the company values gender diversity as an essential part of its objectives by continually promoting gender inclusiveness awareness through the selection, recruitment, and other human resources processes (Zoghbi-Manrique-de-Lara & Ting-Ding, 2016). Moreover, company managers can also reward employees who have effectively managed gender inclusiveness because the recognition of such contributions facilitates greater responsiveness.

Organizational leaders play a crucial role in promoting gender diversity. Reguera-Alvarado, de Fuentes, and Laffarga (2015) assert that gender bias in institutions epitomizes poor management. According to the agency theory, for instance, an increase in diversity has the potential for improving the firm’s performance. While many scholars have assessed this variable in terms of financial outcomes, it can also be examined in terms of the satisfaction of employees with corporate value (Marinova, Plantenga & Remery, 2015). The agency focuses on the relational conflicts that affect the attainment of a cohesive working unit such as gender bias and stereotypes (Rattan & Dweck, 2018). Most of these conflicts, according to Reguera-Alvarado, et al., (2015), are associated with internal issues such as weak corporate governance structures which are crucial drivers of improved job satisfaction among employees. Therefore, gender diversity increases the value for the company by reducing the conflicts and costs associated with problems.

The primary focus on gender diversity stems from the gender imbalances that routinely occur in various companies in several geographic locations. Researchers and practitioners, therefore, ought not only to look at the incorporation of women but also their participation and welfare during the continued presence within the workforce (Ali, Metz & Kulik, 2015). Although more women have been recruited over the last four decades, their satisfaction levels with their responsibilities and corporate value are still lagging behind (Fujimoto, Härtel & Azmat, 2013). Therefore, companies should consider implementing policies that promote appropriate gender diversity attitudes and eliminate the barriers to women in the organization (Marinova, Plantenga & Remery, 2015). As per Lauring and Selmer (2013) argument, job satisfaction relates more with assigned responsibilities and not just to the employment of more women in the organization. This suggests that the roles assigned to the women should be commensurate with their training, experience, expectations, and remuneration.

The Existing Gap in Literature

Diverse gender workforces and the presumed improvement in financial performance have made some researchers contemplate how gender diversity relates to job satisfaction. While the economic results seem to be improving, there is little understanding of the association between gender inclusiveness and job satisfaction with the firm’s performance or corporate value. Tisserant, Wagner, and Barth (2013) argue that women and men bring different skills and competencies that promote creativity and innovation hence improving the corporate value. In this perspective, the heterogeneous groups are crucial drivers for growth and development of the firms yet little evidence exists on the correlation between gender diversity and job satisfaction with corporate performance (Nozadi, Spinrad, Johnson & Eisenberg, 2018). Similarly, Reguera-Alvarado et al., (2015) conclude that further inquiry is needed to identify the correlation between the variables. Because of the identified gaps in the literature, this qualitative study aims to analyze the perspectives of employees and human resource managers on how a diverse gender workforce relates to an employee’s job satisfaction with corporate value.

Purpose of the Study

This qualitative research seeks to assess how gender diversity relates to employee’s job satisfaction with corporate value.

Proposed Questions for the Research

  1. What is the role of gender diversity on the employee’s level of job satisfaction with corporate value?
  2. What are the main contributions of gender diversity towards employee job satisfaction?
  3. How does gender diversity facilitate the accomplishment of corporate value?
  4. Does gender diversity relate positively to member of staff job satisfaction with corporate value irrespective of gender?

Research Hypothesis

H1: There are significant differences among companies with a higher number of women than men.

H2: Gender diversity in a company improves job satisfaction with corporate value, especially among the women.

H3: Several factors limit a company’s quest to increase female representation in an organization’s gender diversity in company management.

Research Objectives

The primary aim of this inquiry is to assess how gender diversity relates to job satisfaction with corporate value. It will also assess the role of gender diversity on the employee’s level of job satisfaction with corporate value and how gender diversity facilitates the accomplishment of corporate value. The research will also seek to explore whether gender diversity relates positively to employee job satisfaction with corporate value irrespective of an employee’s gender.

The significance of the Study

Scholars on firm demographics have argued that the composition of gender in the workplace influences organizational behavior and satisfaction. As stated by Nielsen and Madsen (2017), “there is a wide range of meaning and consequences of workplace diversity, including gender diversity” (p.80). However, recent studies on the composition of gender in the workplace do not agree on the influence of the composition on employee satisfaction. According to Blalock (1967), as cited in Nielsen and Madsen (2017), the existence of a minority group in an organization causes hostilities which could pose a significant threat to the majority. This implies that the threat of a minority group grows with its size. Consequently, a raise in the number of women in an organization could translate to increase conflicts and hostilities among the groups (Ellemers, 2014). This study, therefore, will provide more insights into the factors and contexts related to gender diversity and its relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value. This qualitative assessment concentrates on the perspectives of both male and female workers concerning the character of the relationship between gender diversity and job satisfaction with corporate value (Ellemers, 2014). The study will also shed more light into how the organizations treat both and female employees because job satisfaction does not only rely on how many women but also how they are integrated into the firm and their relationships with co-workers.

Proposed Study Participants and the Inclusion Criteria

In order to achieve the aim of this qualitative investigation, the research will incorporate different categories of participants. They will include both male and employees who are working at the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for at least 3 years (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). To ensure that every job category is represented, the participants will be selected through a stratified random sampling approach (Jamshed, 2014). The researcher will interview these respondents to get their perspectives on the gender diversity and its relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). Also, this inquiry will also include corporate managers and institutional leaders tasked with creating and implementing policy decisions on an inclusive workplace in the organization, especially the improvement of gender diversity (Gaus, 2017). These managers will be selected using the purposive sampling approach with the inclusion criteria being human resource managers in the with at least 5 years management experience creating and implementing gender diversity.

Proposed Research Design and Methods of Data Collection

Study Design

Fifteen (15) employees from different job categories at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will be selected through stratified random sampling to participate in the study (Gaus, 2017). Only the participants with at least 3 years experience of work in the company will be selected (Jamshed, 2014). Further, the researcher will recruit 3 human resource managers for the study.

Instruments for Data Collection

The researcher will select instruments that ascertain how reliable and valid the results are (Gaus, 2017). Apart from the researcher as the primary research instrument, the study will also rely on semi-structured interviews to collect data on the perspectives of employees and HR managers on gender diversity and its relationship to job satisfaction with corporate value (Jamshed, 2014). The investigator will conduct a pre-testing interview session to ascertain the steadfastness of the instruments prior to embarking on the main study. Findings from the pre-test will be used to enhance areas demonstrating ambiguity or insensitiveness to the participants in the survey (Jamshed, 2014). Thereafter, interviews and digital tape recorders will be used to record the participants’ perspectives on gender diversity and its correlation with employee job satisfaction with corporate value (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). As an essential research instrument, the researcher will seek to isolate personal views and biases from the investigation process (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). This is meant to ensure that participants are accorded due diligence and respect when giving their opinions and experiences regarding the issue under inquiry.

The Data Collection Process

Qualitative research entails a collection of concrete and rich data. The researcher will use the Seidman’s (2013) process of interviewing in collecting data. This interviewing procedure follows a three-step process where the participants respond to sets of structured questions assessing three different elements of the research process (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). Each of the participants will be required to respond to similar questions to enhance consistency in the inquiry (Jamshed, 2014). All interview sessions will be tape recorded to accurately capture information from participants (Gaus, 2017). The research process will be based on this research question: What is the relationship between gender diversity and job satisfaction with corporate value? Also, the researcher will pose several other questions including:

  1. How has gender diversity influenced the level of your job satisfaction with corporate value?
  2. What are the main contributions of gender diversity towards your job satisfaction?
  3. How does gender diversity facilitate the accomplishment of corporate value?
  4. Does gender diversity relate positively to your job satisfaction with corporate value irrespective of your gender?
  5. Do you believe your level of job satisfaction is influenced by the number of women versus men employed in your company?

Proposed Data Analysis Methods

From the qualitative assessment of the variables under inquiry, a lot of rich and subjective data will be gathered (Gaus, 2017). Given that the gathered information will be textual in nature, it will be essential to ascertain their accuracy before analysis. This will be achieved by providing respondents with recorded transcripts for verifying whether their opinions and perspectives have been captured accurately (Jamshed, 2014). Yin’s (2014) five-step analysis process will be utilized to organize, assemble, reassemble, and interpret the emerging the themes.

Ethical Considerations

Every researcher is expected to adhere to strict ethical guidelines when dealing with human participants. Ethical considerations begin with the process of data collection by ensuring the interview process does not intrude into the private lives of citizens (Jamshed, 2014). All participants will be assigned pseudo names to avoid the possibility of their identification (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). As such, they will only be referred to as ‘participants’ numbers from 1-13, used to differentiate one respondent from the others (Cleary, Horsfall & Hayter, 2014). Further, the participants will be informed of the ability to terminate their involvement in research. Besides, they will be needed to supply a verbal informed consent as a way of demonstrating the willingness to participate in the investigation process.

Potential Constraints and Limitations in Research

This qualitative inquiry will only be limited to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and its employees. The researcher anticipates some challenges such as limitations of time and difficulties in finding the HR managers (Cleary et al., 2014). Besides, non-cooperation from some employees as well as confidentiality policy in the organization could become a significant hindrance to the research process (Jamshed, 2014). Further, the research may not consider the attitudes of employees towards gender diversity, but will focus on how gender diversity relates to an employee’s job performance with corporate value.

Implications for Practice

Sustaining a diverse gender workforce that is highly satisfied remains a significant challenge for many contemporary organizations. The key influences in this challenge are the political pressure to promote a diverse gender workforce, high competition for labor, and the implementation of legislation meant to eradicate the socio-economic barriers women encounter in the workplace (Ellemers, 2014). This study suggests that organizations will be able to establish sensible ways of increasing diversity without compromising on the employees’ job satisfaction with corporate value (Ellemers, 2014). This suggests that the recruitment, development, and investments in women should be undertaken without jeopardizing their job satisfaction or that of the co-workers (Ellemers, 2014). Also, the findings will highlight some of the challenges of improving gender diversity and job satisfaction simultaneously.  Besides, gender diversity policies could benefit from the results of this inquiry.

Suggestions for Future Works

Several studies have focused on how gender diversity influences a firm’s financial performance and the current gender inequality in the workplace. This study seeks to delve further into the relationship between a diverse gender organization and the employees’ job satisfaction with corporate value. Importantly, it will highlight the factors sustaining improved gender diversity and job satisfaction with the corporate value among the employees. Future research needs to focus on investigating the impact on job ability and work conditions on the gender diversity and in turn job satisfaction and corporate value.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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