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The Implicit Association Test (IAT) that was done was based on gender-career. This test provides the measure of the strength with which the respondent responds to the association of female and male with the career and the family. As the cards are sorted, it will be relatively easier to sort female with the family and the male with the career than sorting female with career and male with the family. The IAT provides the association an individual place in their mental constructs between both categories, such as family and career and on the other hand female and male. The test is able to establish the connection between these categories considering the time it takes to pair the categories with each other and the number of errors that are classified by the respondent when trying to answer the questions rapidly (Greenwald, p. 197-199).
What is your reaction to IAT result?
My IAT result gave a moderate automatic association of males with a career and female with the family of 32 percent. The result came out as expected because I believe that females have a natural bonding and association towards the family, their relatives and children. This is the basic medium of their life with which they like to associate themselves, and the male partners have a natural inclination towards career, business, and profession (Nosek, pp. 166-170). This certainly does not mean that females should be restricted with family responsibilities and the male counterparts have no role in the household chores and the females have no role to play as far as career, profession and the abilities are concerned. I believe that women should work and they must have a strong professional and career association, but my mindset is moderate in this regard because I have been brought up in the system where my birth mother was a housewife and was able to give her children full attention, likewise I would like to do the same with my children and keep a moderate approach towards practicing my profession as compared to my family responsibilities (Greenwald, p.200).
How might this information affect you as a leader / manager?
The problem of gender discrimination is prevalent in every organization. The IAT results will impact me as a leader / manager in this regard that it will increase my focus and attention towards the cause that even though females are more inclined towards their family responsibilities,but if they have a career and they want to pursue their professional life, there should be no hurdle or glass ceiling created in this regard and that my organization should respect a diverse workforce channel their expertise for the betterment and progress of the company. This information will positively impact my managerial skills because my professional work is separate. I would prefer to follow democratic leadership style that will help in tasks delegation and will also assist in brainstorming and effective decision making with the help of my subordinates. This will not help in developing strong communication in the department, but also lead to achievement of goals and objectives in a timely manner (Nosek, p.172).
What if anything organizations should do to combat inequality based on implicit biases?
The inequality or discrimination is a form of inequality or bias that takes place in a workplace. It is important that the senior managers should promote equality and discourage any inequality based on gender, race, sex or ethnic relations at the workplace. The culture is established by the top management and once the senior managers discourage the practice of inequality, the workforce will not practice it too. Second, any individual found in practice of inequality should be counseled well. Third the teams should be formed that have a diverse workforce so that the employees work and coordinate more and the culture of inequality is not promoted (Greenwald, p.201).
The problem of gender discrimination is prevalent in every organization. This discrimination practice state that gender becomes a factor when the management considers whom to hire for the job, who should be given a promotion or other benefits of employment. With the improvement in the education and awareness among females, the issue of gender discrimination is reducing at workplace, but even then the practice is common in the workplace. Many organizations implement glass ceiling practices that are highly influenced by the gender stereotypes. The glass ceilings, block the women to get promoted or rise in their salary regardless of what their achievements and qualifications are. The male counterparts at workplace are considered to be stronger, less emotional and more efficient as far as the work related issues are concerned and, as a result, most employees prefer male employees over female employees.
There is a lot that can be done to reduce gender discrimination at workplace. It is important that the organizations should focus upon enhanced managerial skills of their managers. As mentioned earlier, it is important that diverse teams should be created. These teams will be unstable and less effective in the initial stages as compared to the homogeneous group. When the organization is creating a team to reach decisions quickly, for example, in a crisis driven situation, the homogenous teams will work best, but diverse teams will learn to function and operate effectively over time (Greenwald, p.210).
The implicit biases have an enormous impact on the performance and productivity level within the organizations. Hence, it is important that the organization must address these implicit inequalities in a disciplined and organized manner in order to achieve the complete benefits of diversity within the company. If the top level managers implicitly associate that females are with the family and the men are with career, then they are less likely to promote women as managers or give them leadership responsibilities. On the other hand, if the middle managers implicitly link the performance level with the presence, the work-life balance efforts will fail and the potential and the efforts of many female executives will not be recognized well within the organization. Hence, a serious effort is required from management’s side to overcome any attempts of unbiasedness or inequality within the company (Greenwald, p.210).
How can IAT be used to reduce discrimination at workplace?
Even though IAT does not meet the legal defensible standard, but still it plays an integral role to reduce gender discrimination and adverse impact in the workplace. The basic advantage of implementing IAT is that it helps to measure the esteem and the self-association one has with oneself. If during the IAT the person is identified with a positive connection with few negative associations with his own self or has a gender or race bias issues the company is in a position to counsel the employee and ensure that his activities do not negatively impact the work environment (Nosek, p.172). With the help of the Implicit Association Test (IAT), the organizations can make the top management or the employees, creating issues aware of their implicit biases through providing them with training. The training sessions should be the ones that help in maintaining the individual behavioral changes as well as follow-up sessions after some time to evaluate the result of training and whether the training sessions has helped the individual change his implicit behavior and concepts.
The IAT that was undertaken was on gender-career. It provides the association an individual place in their mental constructs between both categories, such as family and career and on the other hand female and male. The test is able to establish the connection between these categories considering the time it takes to pair the categories with each other and the number of errors that are classified by the respondent when trying to answer the questions rapidly. It is important that organizations should provide training to the workforce who have been identified with implicit biases that females are associated more with family and males are linked with career.
Greenwald, A. G., Nosek, B. A., & Banaji, M. R. (2003). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: I. An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, pp.197-201 and 210.
Nosek, B. A., Greenwald, A. G., & Banaji, M. R. (2005). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test: II. Method Variables and Construct Validity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, pp.166-172.
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