Case Study: Healthcare -- Women in the Workplace

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Healthcare -- Women in the Workplace

What are the fundamental problems facing women wishing to improve on their employment within the workplace?

At its most fundamental level, the Australian industrial relations system has been evolved to support and reward the highest levels of employability and education, creating incentives for workers to gain these high-value skills. In so doing, the employees in the lower levels, the majority of which are women working part-time, are caught in a cycle of low wages, lack of support for educational progression of their careers, and little if any recourse in their labor and wage negotiations with their employers (Jefferson, Preston, 2010). The evolution of the Australian industrial relations system has been along a trajectory of favoring those jobs that bring in the largest tax base and also the more favorable, highly profitable industries as well. This aspect of the industrial relations system has created the unfortunate effect of creating cost pressures on manufacturing and other industries that are highly cost constrained already, and are relying on part-time employees, the majority of which are women. The net effect of this re-classifying of industries through the industrial relations systems has been to minimize or weaken the bargaining power of part-time workers across nearly all industries. Women are the majority of the part-time workforce in Australia, and are often not offered the health and pay benefits of their full-time equivalents (Baird, Cooper, Ellem, 2009). Their lack of financial and political influence has often led to trade-offs being made against their benefits further distancing the gender pay gap as well (Watson, 2010). The Fair Work Act only goes so far in protecting part-time workers, leaving women often at a disadvantage in negotiating for better working conditions and wages.

How would YOU prepare for the negotiations? The key word is "prepare."

The level of preparation would need to be very significant, as the cultural and perceptual biases regarding part-time workers in general and women specifically are very strong in the Australian labor market. The preparation of analysis and recommendation would need to change those perceptions. First, a graphically-based analysis and presentation of how acute the pay and benefit differences are for women vs. men in the lower-levels of the Australian industrial relations system would need to be completed. Next, an analysis of how the lack of equality of benefits and wages impacts each of these workers' ability to provide basic care for their families would need to be provided (Watson, 2010). This would show how the wide disparity of pay for women impacts their ability to take care of the families, specifically their children, which is one of the primary motivations they have for earning additional wages (Baird, Cooper, Ellem, 2009). Third, the stories of how part-time women are often the only breadwinners in their families needs… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Healthcare -- Women in the Workplace."  Essaytown.com.  June 11, 2011.  Accessed August 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/healthcare-women-workplace/81187.