Discrimination is a topic that I, before my most recent google search, had only associated with the workplace in the United States. Ironically, the first news article that popped up after a google search on discrimination to find this week’s topic, was about Britain. When considering discrimination abroad, I feel that it is safe to say that Britain is the last place that I would think of as having a problem. I of course would have focused more on countries in Africa and in India for examples of discrimination due to their being viewed more as developing countries rather than being already developed. However, as it turns out, like the United States, Britain and many other countries around the world still suffer from constant discrimination.
The statistics emerging from Britain are staggering. Over a quarter of British women report being discriminated against in the workplace. This has resulted in an incredible fashion change in the British workforce. In order to avoid sexual discrimination, women are now wearing longer skirts and less revealing shirts. Many women also reported that they believe having children is viewed as a setback in the business world. David Saul, a corporate owner of the newspaper Business Environment was even quoted as saying, “What these results show is that employers are still discriminating against women who choose to have children as well as work. The ‘you can have it all’ generation are being failed by their employers.” Although obviously a serious problem, not much is being done to change the discrimination and sexism in British society. Unlike the United States, it is not as frequently reported about online or in newspapers. There are also fewer support groups for working women in Britain.
With first world super powers like the United States and Britain still experiencing gender discrimination in the workforce, it is obvious that other struggling first and second world countries such as India, China and South Africa are also suffering discrimination. China especially has one of the highest gender discrimination percentages in the world. However, Chinese discrimination is especially acute because of its early beginning (the abortion of female fetuses). This discrimination continues into the Chinese workforce. Only 21 percent of females upon graduation last year were able to find jobs within two months. This was almost half of the 40 percent of males that were able to find jobs. Gender discrimination in China is also highly sexualized with many women complaining of no getting hired simply because of their physically appearance.
In India, women suffer discrimination due to gender, religion and social class. It is not uncommon for employers to pay more attention to religion than resumes when regarding future employees. Similarly, untouchables in Indian society are considered not hirable by many employers. Due to the amount of discrimination, it is up to the United States, the most developed country in the world, to set the bar involving discrimination in the work force. Although there are currently laws against discrimination, more attention needs to be brought to the issue. With more negative attention being brought on businesses and employers that discriminate, discrimination will hopefully become less common in the United States. This trend will hopefully also continue to influence other governments and countries around the world.
Obviously, discrimination is not simply localized to the United States. Females around the world are battling for positions in government and in businesses that are typically primarily male. The United States has made great gains in recent years to promote the gender fairness and equality. Now it is time for the rest of the world to catch up and continue to make the workforce free of discrimination. Although it will take time and effort for many developing and developed countries, equality is something that has to be fought for.