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Women and Minorities Obtaining Executive Positions

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Women and Minorities Obtaining Executive Positions
Doreatha Stokes
AIU Online
Instructor: Dr. Sharon Felton
Unit 3 Individual Project/Argument Draft

Abstract This thesis first draft will detail an argumentative pattern of development to include the thesis claim, supporting reasons and evidence regarding the idea that women and minorities have the ability to obtain an executive position if they strive to succeed. This paper will demonstrate the use of formal tone and style, while avoiding any personal pronouns of why women should not allow negative influences to deter them from reaching their highest levels of perfection. This paper will display cited and researched information regarding the need for women and minorities to continue to hone in on their strong points, and the need to continue to pursue their strengths while helping to make a change in the way society views them in the work force. Recognizing the very thought that some organizations do not support or guarantee that there would not be some form of bias or bigotry, this paper will display alternatives to insure more effective way to control this very issue. Statistics will provide conformation that no one should allow negative influence to stop them from reaching their goals as an executives.

It is commonly known that in today’s society women are viewed as homemakers, and caregivers. When encouraging women to stay in the workplace it can seem as family unfriendly, says Lynn Utter, (2006) chief strategy officer for Coors Brewing Company. There are numerous reasons why there is low proportion of women leaders. Women’s life aspirations are diminished by their early childhood socialization. Because girls are trained to be submissive, passive, to avoid confrontations or aggression in every way possible to name a few. This is known as being feminine.
Survey finds female minority executives representation lagging, according to a recent survey by IMD International Search and Consulting, an international executive search firm, as reported by Deanna Hartley of Diversity Executive Magazine (2008). This article also expresses that progression of women and minorities C-suite (opportunities that usually cover all sectors in commerce, industry, public sector and academia high-level executive jobs) positions are slow. It goes on to say that, nearly half of the 400 respondents reported no females in C-suite positions, which includes chairpersons, CEO’s and members of the executive team. This survey revealed that only 20 percent of executive committee members are female. According to Deanna, Tom Fuller, general managing partner of Epsen Fuller/IMD International Search Group stated that “Corporations throughout the world are missing the boat on a talent pool that is out there available to them, and they’re not cultivating it”. This survey was titled “The Changing Face at the Top”.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau News (2009), Facts for Features states that 38 percent of females 16 and older working in management, professional and related occupations, compared to 32% of males (2007). There are still differences in jobs held by men and women. There is a difference in the types of jobs held by both men and women. About 97.7 percent of women work in sales and office occupations, whereas about 17.9 percent are men. The difference is also true in construction, extraction and maintenance; whereas 17.1 percent are men and 0.7 percent are women.
Now approximately 31.4 percent of men 16 and older worked in management, professional, and related occupations. The next highest categories were production, transportation, and material moving occupations with about 20.5 percent. As for sales and office occupation, it was listed as about 17.9 percent. American Community Survey reports.
Just because there are laws against discrimination, it does not guarantee that bias and bigotry will not exist. Consider the fact that women should be considered equal; according to civil rights laws. However, they are still under-represented politically and distinctly a minority voice in the creation and administration of laws.
This coexistence of positive and negative relationship is also evident in the practice of law. Women are discouraged from the practice of law by the refusal of state bars to admit them, courts to permit them to practice, or admittance to membership of the bar association. When the legal education shifted to law schools, many would not admit women until well into the twentieth century. Again, women were view as unfit for this profession. The U.S. Supreme Court in Bradwell v. Illinois validated this issue, where the Court upheld the denial of the admission of a married woman to the bar based on her sex. The famous concurrence of Justice Bradley found not only justification, but also necessity, for women’s exclusion. Bradley wrote in part:
[T]he civil law, as well as nature herself, has always recognized a wide difference in the respective spheres and destinies of man and woman. Man is, or should be, women’s protector and defender. The natural and proper timidity and delicacy, which belongs to the female sex evidently unfits it for many of the occupations of civil life.

Although women continued to practice law, they are excluded within the professional culture. In the 1970s, an increasing numbers of women began attending law school, and by the turn of the century, women constituted half of the students entering law school; in some law schools, women were a numerical majority. Despite this rapid and remarkable infusion of women into the profession, women have not then, and do not now, occupy a proportionate share of law firm partnerships, state or federal judgeships, or academic positions. Even more remarkably, legal education has barely accommodated women’s presence: despite qualitative and quantitative evidence of women’s adverse reaction to traditional legal education, and their contrasting success in the undergraduate sphere, there has been relatively little change in pedagogy or substance in the curriculum. Coupled with this professional educational picture is the widespread evidence of gender bias in the legal system with respect to both the judicial and executive branches, as evidenced in state reports concluding that significant bias exists in the administration of the law by police, attorneys, and judges.
Other hurdles women will need to conquer would consist of discrimination of promotions to supervisory positions, managerial opportunities, relocation mobility, the perception of women as being outsiders, because they don’t look the same, and of course the perception of our biological clock ticking away.
Women have large demands and responsibilities at home, which tends to cause women to ascend to leadership positions less than men, causing women to be over-looked. However, they have the managerial skills necessary to operate in the corporate world, due to the responsibilities of their family and home life.
One of the few reasons for advancement of women is due to affirmative action, the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The actual phrase "affirmative action" was first used in President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Executive Order 10925, (, which requires federal contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." The same language was later used in Lyndon Johnson's 1965 Executive Order 11246 ( In 1967, Johnson expanded the Executive Order to include affirmative action requirements to benefit women.

In the case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, the Respondent was a senior manager in an office of petitioner professional accounting partnership when she was proposed for partnership in 1982. She was neither offered nor denied partnership, but instead her candidacy was held for reconsideration the following year. When the partners in her office later refused to re-propose her for partnership, she sued petitioner in Federal District Court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, charging that it had discriminated against her based on sex in its partnership decisions. The District Court ruled in respondent's favor on the question of liability, holding that petitioner had unlawfully discriminated against her based on sex by consciously giving credence and effect to partners' comments about her that resulted from sex stereotyping. The Court of Appeals affirmed. Both courts held that an employer who has allowed a discriminatory motive to play a part in an employment decision must prove by clear and convincing evidence that it would have made the same decision in the absence of discrimination, and that petitioner had not carried this burden.
JUSTICE BRENNAN announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which JUSTICE MARSHALL, JUSTICE BLACKMUN, and JUSTICE STEVENS join.
Ann Hopkins was a senior manager in an office of Price Waterhouse when she was proposed for partnership in 1982. She was neither offered nor denied admission to the partnership; instead, her candidacy was held for reconsideration the following year. When the partners in her office later refused [p232] to re-propose her for partnership, she sued Price Waterhouse under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., charging that the firm had discriminated against her on the basis of sex in its decisions regarding partnership. Judge Gesell in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in her favor on the question of liability, 618 F.Supp. 1109 (1985), and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed. 263 U.S.App.D.C. 321, 825 F.2d 458 (1987). We granted certiorari; [sur-shee-uh-rair-ahy, -rair-ee], to be informed, certified, lit., made surer, pass, to resolve a conflict among the Courts of Appeals concerning the respective burdens of proof of a defendant and plaintiff in a suit under Title VII when it has been shown that an employment decision resulted from a mixture of legitimate and illegitimate motives. 485 U.S. 933 (1988).
However, on the other hand boys are raised to pursue careers, be forceful, self-confident, and task initiators to name a few. This is often called the masculine trait. Whereas, if a woman plans to be successful in the business industry taking a firm stance in the executive sector, she must first overcome her childhood socialization and the stereotypical opinion that men are perceived as the best choice for management or leadership. Again, Tom Fuller of Epsen Fuller/IMD International Search Group, noted, “If talent acquisition is so hard, why aren’t companies developing a previously untapped talent pool, the pool of women and minorities?”
In conclusion, there are many ethical contributions to the lack of representation of women in executive positions. One of these is due to the work life and parenting choices of women. For the past decades according to Fuller. It was popular for women of the baby-boomer generation to wrestle with child-bearing and child-rearing issues, typically taking a three to ten year sabbatical from their careers, Fuller would further go on to say. Xavire Phisel, partner at Sirca Executive Search in France, said, “Its not easy being a mother-come-businesswomen. “You will always have someone in your environment who will tell you or let you think you’re not a good mother and that you’re not playing the right role and that your choices are complicated,” she says.
Fuller also said companies need to be proactive in the recruiting process by aggressively targeting female and minority communities. Companies must develop a strong employment brand by maintain a reputation as an employer that nurtures and encourages women and minorities to progress into C-suite positions, he said. It is imperative that we consider individuals qualifications based on experience and expertise, and not to become so complacent with the thought of “if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it” attitudes. Just because it may seem easier to continue to promote men in executive positions, because of repetition and to not promote women because they do not look the same. Therefore, being a women or a minority does not stop a person from obtaining the highest level of confidence or position within a company. People should not limit themselves to just settling for what comes along, but that they should try to strive for more at all times. While women can manage their personal lives, it does not interfere with their business relationships or employment. Women are often known for their abilities to manage effectively. We must also consider everyone’s civil rights in America. If a person thinks that their civil rights have been violated, they have a right to be heard in our judicial system for guidance and relief.

Cornell University Law School. (1988, October 31). J. Brennen Opinion of the Court, Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins (No. 87-1167) No. 87-1167 Argued: October 31, 1998 -- Decided: May 1, 1989:
Dowd Nancy E. "Gender and Law" The Oxford Companion to American Law. Kermit L. Hall, ed. Oxford University Press 2002. AIU Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press Career Education Corporation (Greenspoint). Retrieved April 11, 2009 Hartley, Deanna. (2008, Augusst 8). Survey Finds Female Minority Executive Representation Lagging. Retrieved April 11, 2009, from Diversity Executive Magazine:
Johnson, L. B. (1965, 28 September). Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from The White House Executive Order 11246:
Kennedy, J. F. (1961, March 6). The White House, Establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity Executive Order 10925. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from University of Michigan:
Utter, L. (2006, February 13). Corporate America Needs More Female Leaders. Retrieved April 5, 2009, from Mccombs School of Business:

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