Race, Gender, and Occupational Stratification in the Workforce – Interview

Assignment Instructions

The purpose of this assignment is to explore race, gender, and occupational stratification in the workforce.

To complete this assignment, perform the following tasks:

  • Choose a person to interview. This person should have experience with race, gender, and/or occupational stratification, either as a human resources manager, a hiring manager, or someone similar, OR you may choose someone who personally experienced race, gender, and/or occupational stratification.
  • Create at least five interview questions related to racism, sexism, and stereotypes in the workforce. Interview this person.
  • Discuss the interview in an organized paper, supporting your analysis of the interview with the text, lectures, and appropriate other resources. Be sure to address issues of racism, sexism, and stereotypes in the workforce.
  • Finally, apply your own experiences to your interviewee’s responses. Be sure to include your interview questions and the person’s responses to the question in your paper.
  • Provide a minimum of three references and apply the correct APA standards in the format of text, citations, and references.

Sample Answer – Interview with human resource manager of organization X on racism, gender and occupational stratification

  1. Q. Occupational stratification is an issue that can arise in an organization. The effect of this issue in workplace can never be underestimated. According to you, what are the major causes of occupational stratification?

I could agree with more on two things that occupational stratification can arise in an organization and that the effects can be devastating. Occupational stratification usually affects the socioeconomic status of individuals and often leads to social standing with long lasting effects on them and their dependents. The underlying causes of occupational stratification are hard to determine due to interrelatedness of factors causing it. Perhaps sociologist would address this question from an elaborative perspective , however just to mention , observable factors associated with occupational stratification have roots  to structural factors in society where by the some people are cut out from accessing some resources  while some have access to these resources,. Disparity comes in in terms of wealth accumulation, education, and social networks.

Dontigney (2015) argues that  occupational stratification  fall under the broad field of social stratification and in essence it is a term that refers to how gender , race and social class influences kinds of work people do  and how occupations is affected . Issues such as slavery, which falls under the category of structural factors, in a country like US contributed a lot to occupational stratification. Mostly African America had no access to resources and as such educational levels and difference between them and the whites was significantly evident. The implication is that access to resources, contributes to access of better services in society, another most important factor that contribute to this stratification is gender inequality. This is evident whereby a qualified woman may face difficulty in securing executive positions, holding majority of jobs in science fields among others (Dontigney, 2015).

  1. As human resource manager, sometimes it is purported that racial discrimination can be in various form. According to you and the racial cases you have handled in your organization, how does this happens?

Cases of discrimination come to my desk or office mostly. Some are of them so open that it does not require any further investigation to uncover. An employee would for instance yell at a fellow colleague deliberately claiming that their race is inferior or are not in a position to hold such a task or job effectively. This is an example of direct behavior towards, which can also be in form of direct actions. In other cases employee can throw insulting comments which can be indirect but are discriminatory in nature. A couple of days ago i overheard women black women and white women arguing. The white asking the African America how often do white black women wash their hair? Such comments directed racial minorities are forms of discrimination.

Karsten (2006) argues that there are indeed some forms of unique harassing comments which might be directed towards racial and ethnical minorities. The behaviors such asking questions that seems provocative are mostly influenced by racial and ethnic stereotypes and characterizes form of workplace discrimination; racial in nature. Racism is rooted on believe that some people are superior to others and racial attitudes than comes afterwards are expressed in form of racial prejudice and can be either direct or indirect (Racismnoway.com.au, 2015).

  1. What are some of the ways you use to address racial discrimination cases that may end up in your office?

Cases of racism in the organization are handled very seriously. The approach is always straightforward, whereby investigation is done to verify the validity of allegations upon which necessary actions can be taken to perpetrators of this act. The actions taken include termination of employment.

A study by McPherson (2007) to uncover management of racism in workplace, indicates that managers are expected to more sensitive to people’s needs , improve their leadership skills through gaining insight into  how the management behaviors  affect people they manage . Most importantly among the issues addressed is that incase workplace  is characterized by bullying and harassment  or even discrimination , then managers must take actions , sets standards of behavior and make their expectations known.

  1. Most organizations have been charged and accused of supporting racism and gender discrimination from recruitment through to employee management. How do you ensure that such situation does not happen?

Organizational direct contribution towards racism and discrimination of any kind particularly gender causes a lot of damages to organizational reputation. I can’t argue that cases where management has contributed to racism and discrimination, in our country history such cases are numerous. As a human resource manager, we have set policies which ensure fair employment right from job advertisement. Through such policies the organization tries to be fair and considerate to all people, the guiding principle being the qualifications. Other than the policies the company observes the necessary employment laws and regulations.

Organizations tend to be fair by adhering to laws and regulations that guide against any form of discrimination. In US for instance Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to address race discrimination. Furthermore most all employment inquiries and decisions made are usually based job related factors and not personal characteristics. Use of anonymous application procedures where names and other identifying characteristics are eliminated from candidate application documents also helps ensure fair and equitable employment (Flynn, Mathis, Jackson & Valentine 2015).

  1. What challenges do you face as a human resource manager in fighting racism, gender and social stratification in your organization? What do you think is the way forward?

Nothing is more demanding, devastating and heartbreaking such as handling these issues in an organization. Sometimes when you look at the effects these discriminations do to a person you feel so low considering the looks in the victims’ eyes. Challenges that we face as an entire management are that most victims do not want to come forward because of fear or shame. Some of the cases are contributed by members of the management or supervisors and thus employees painfully admit their position since they don’t want to lose their jobs.  The way forward in addressing this issue is having all people working together,seeing one another as brothers and sisters.

Management indeed faces a number of challenges when addressing issued of race, gender and occupational stratification.  Race discrimination can be fought jointly by an understanding that racial superiority is a mere pigment of imagination and most importantly being color blind as it is the most basic and easy way of preventing racism (Robinson, 2003). This also applies to the other two.


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