Wal-Mart and Women -- Research Paper
I was interested in problems of Wal-Mart after reading some articles about it. Wal-Mart is a famous store in small towns, and E. Locke said, “Wal-Mart is one of the most impressive success stories in the history of business” (2004, par. 4). And Wal-Mart will move into banking, used car sales, travel and internet access. However, Murphysboro and Carbondale might deny Wal-Mart’s entry into the area because Wal-Mart will make small business have some problems regarding whether people will go to buy some groceries with small business or not. One problem is that Wal-Mart does not have equality between men and women. Women feel unsatisfied about that. According to David Kravets (2005, par.5), Wal-Mart is defending itself against a “lawsuit filed on behalf of 1.6 million former and current women employees”. There are many problems with this. One of the reasons is Wal-Mart denies raises and promotion to women and pays less money to women than men. Another problem is women have no health care or maternity leave, even though they work from 7.30 A.M. to 8 P.M. seven days per week (Quinn, 2005). Wal-Mart’s bad conditions for women have caused some shoppers to be angry, and some women have started a boycott, but in general many people still shop there because they cannot resist low prices on pants, towels or canned goods.
There are many ways that Wal-Mart treats women differently from men.
The first and most important way is Wal-Mart has paid less money to women than men with the same seniority, even though they have the same position as men. For instance, men assistant managers at the store will get $60,000 a year, but women will get $23,000 or less than that (Quinn, 2005). Even top women senior vice presidents at Wal-Mart make an average of $279,772 a year; on the other hand, men senior vice presidents make an average of $419,435 a year (UFCW, n.d). Women also do not get promoted or get better jobs as often from Wal-Mart; moreover, “Wal-Mart loves to see them shopping, but hates to pay them equal wages” (Finkelstein, 2005, par. 2). However, Women should get the same wage as men because they can work like men do also. For instance, if women do work seriously, they should get a good income. I think it is unfair if they are industrious workers and work as many hours as men, but they did not get wage equality with other men. Sometimes, men may be lazy or not do work seriously, so how do they manage that? Wal-Mart should not discriminate between women and men. It is not fair, if females earn less money on average per year than males, even though women work the same quantity as men.
In addition, Women should deny oppose the arrival of Wal-Mart “when they are paid less than men for the same or comparable work, shut out of high paying jobs and occupations, subjected to sexual harassment and denied promotions and training opportunities” (ERA, 1974, par. 2). Moreover, if women did not get equal rights, they should not work at Wal-Mart, or people should stop shopping at Wal-Mart in order to resist or boycott Wal-Mart. Then Wal-Mart may not get as much as money as they want, so Wal-Mart may do something so that people will come back to buy some groceries at Wal-Mart again.
In addition, Wal-Mart has paid more money to men than women because Wal-Mart thinks men have a family and children to support. Another reason is that Wal-Mart management feels that the job is for men, it is not for women; women should stay at home and be housewives (Quinn, 2004). However, Wal-Mart should still not discriminate between women and men in promotions opportunities, compensation and job assignments. Otherwise, Wal-Mart can pay more money to male “employees who work in hazardous jobs” (Sixel, 2005, par. 8) or most risk danger.
Not only does Wal-Mart pay less money to women than men, but it also has no health insurance and no maternity leave. Women should get benefit from Wal-Mart or should have some promotion to give them. R. Kalra said, “Employees do not receive the employer’s health coverage” (2006, par. 7). However, women work seven days a week, sewing shirts and pants for Wal-Mart, so I wonder why women did not get health insurance from Wal-Mart. Women should require health insurance or do something. Or, Wal-Mart ought to get women in positions by job description. This method may be good for Wal-Mart because if Wal-Mart does that way, they may get more quality work from women. For instance, if women can do the same things as men, such as lifting something heavy, they should be able to have those jobs, so Wal-Mart should consider that. It helps Wal-Mart to have good employees, and then Wal-Mart can give some benefits to women such as health insurance or promotion.
In addition, every employee should have benefited, not only men, but women also, so that some people are poor; they do not have to pay too much for medicine cost. It can save their money and help people who cannot afford enough money. Moreover, health insurance is important for employees because if they die, their children can have money to provide for themselves. “less than half of Wal-Mart workers receive company health insurance, and 46 percent of its employees’ children are either uninsured or on public assistance” (Kalra, 2006, par. 11).
In addition, “Wal-Mart uses a business model of paying as little as possible for health coverage; these practices have three negative effects. It shifts costs to the public… it harms working adults who often go without coverage of any sort for themselves and their children. And it also sets up an unfair business climate for fair-minded employees who do provide health care” (Joseph, 2006, par. 7).
Furthermore, women cannot work in some departments in Wal-Mart. Most women cannot work in a technical job such as a hardware department. Wal-Mart would like women to work in toys because they are women. Sometimes, women know some information about hardware or a technical department. For instance, some women can know well about hardware because they might have experience from their work. On the other hand, some men might not know about this information, so women should work in the hardware department if they know well about hardware. Therefore, Wal-Mart should survey about women’s jobs or what kind of jobs that women know well. If Wal-Mart knows about that job, they can focus on the position and find the best employee to work in their company. For example, some women are good at organization, so they may organize material or check stock. Some women know well about medicine and want to work about that, so they can work in the medicine store.
In addition, women should show some abilities, or give their information to Wal-Mart, so that it is not only in the toy department that they can do well, but they can do well in some other departments also. Men make up the ranks of management, comprising 92 percent of cashiers, and 76 percent of sales associates of Wal-Mart store are women. “Wal-Mart employs fewer women in management today than its competitors” (UFCW, n.d). And “90 percent of Wal-Mart store manager positions are men” (Finkelstein, 2005, par. 5).
In addition, “Male managers at Wal-Mart Stores required their female counterparts to attend meetings at strip clubs and at Hooters” (USA TODAY, 2003, par. 1). And Williams said, “The fact that a man might force female associates to bars and places like that to have meetings, it is very offensive to me and everybody else at Wal-Mart" (2003, par. 8).
In conclusion, there are many ways that Wal-Mart treats women differently from men. First, Wal-Mart has paid less money to women than men with the same seniority, and has paid less money to employees than employees of union.
Second, Wal-Mart should get people in position by job description in that it can help Wal-Mart to get a good employee to work in there. Last, Wal-Mart should survey about women’s job so that Wal-Mart will know well about the capabilities of women. Which person can do well in which department? In the end, Wal-Mart will change its policy only under pressure, so Women who do their jobs and speak out when they feel that Wal-Mart has treated them unfairly can change the way they do business. Women can be as good as employees as men. Some women have good ability to do any work, so how does Wal-Mart know that men should get more wage than women? However, Wal-Mart should do the right thing for women; so, do you still shop at Wal-Mart?
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