Training Report on Addressing Gender Issues: Edema Ventures LTD

Senior (College 4th year) ・Psychology ・APA ・6 Sources

Gender inequality is one of the biggest mind boggling topics impacting employee efficiency in the workplace. There were complicated contact gaps between men and women. Women have always been regarded as the weaker relations in society, and little is required of them as a result (Carli, 2006). Women are often paid less compared to their male counterparts in the same roles because of the limited requirements expected of them. They are only assigned femininity-related duties, while the male equivalents are assigned the tougher and more physical tasks. These are just but a few examples of the different forms of discrimination experienced by employees in the workplace. This training program is designed to help the employee of Edema ventures to find appropriate ways of dealing with gender related issues in the work place. The program begins with a survey of employee prior experiences in the company. While the survey asked general questions on different forms of discrimination, its major focus was on gender discrimination. Participants were randomly selected from different operational levels; four strategic level managers, four tactical level managers and four operational employees. This was intended to provide a representative view of the population and to include generalization of the results to the whole employee population. The survey revealed different forms of gender discrimination experienced by most employees; sexual harassment, biasness in promotions and pay increases, assignment of duties, conversation, glass feeling effect, terminations and hiring. The training therefore aims at addressing each of these issues; sorting out one issue per session. At the completion of each session, employees are asked to give their views to gauge their understanding of the issues discussed. These are summarized in the eighth session and used to provide effective recommendations to help improve the work environment at Edema Ventures Ltd.

Female Participants

Lillian, a 38 year old woman narrates how she narrowly escaped what she believes would have escalated to sexual assault by a male colleague. Being in the food service industry, she states she has grown quite used to sexual stares from men; both customers and colleagues. On this particular day, she had just ended her shift and left for the changing room to fit into more comfortable home clothes when she was cornered by one of her co-workers. Steve, who was quite huge wouldn’t let her pass and insisted she would only pass if she handed over her phone number. He began putting his hands on her and moved closer as if to forcefully plant a kiss. Her only way to safety was the pocket knife she had always been advised to vary to keep away male scavengers. The fear of experiencing similar ordeals keeps her from enjoying her work.
The second participant, Melanie, is a 47 year old lady of Italian descent who serves as the company’s accountant. Melanie, who joined the company as an intern aged just 23 years, can only cite her confirmation as the company’s accountant as the single proud moment in her career. Since her confirmation, Melanie has not managed to convince her employers that she is worthy of a more superior position in the company. Currently, the company’s financial controller position remains vacant as the management is still sourcing for the right candidate. Although she possesses most of the qualities highlighted in the job descriptions, she believes they would bring in ‘one of their own’ just like they have always done. “Look at the company’s top management,” she says, “not even a single woman, it’s pathetic!” She states that when she enquired from management why she was denied a previous promotion chance, they vaguely answered her stating in calmness that she was not the right candidate because she was too soft. She sounds like a very disappointed employee; an attitude that has affected her relationship with most male colleagues in the company. But she also asserts that she might soon quit the company as the negativity had begun to affect her personal life too.
Beatrice, a 27 year old female lady has also had a harrowing discrimination experience with her employers. When she joined the company, she had just gotten married to her college sweetheart. She was given a two week off and asked to report to work at the end of her honeymoon. Three months later, she found out she was pregnant and was very overjoyed by this fact. She started displaying the usual symptoms of pregnancy; nausea, vomiting, occasional dizziness and mood swings. The human resource department learnt of her pregnancy and the accompanying behaviors. Although the management described her as a very productive employee, she was forced to go on compulsory leave until the first trimester troubles had faded off. She was equally destined to receive half salary as the management claimed she would not be beneficial to the company during the period. Her reprieve only came when she threatened to sue the organization for gender-based discrimination. The directors reconsidered their stance and ordered that she be recalled to her previous position. Although she has her position back, she fears for the other female colleagues as she believes they might not be strong enough to stand up for themselves if caught up in similar situations. Celestine also shares in the sentiments of her colleague, stating that pregnant women were often viewed differently by the management. “This view,” she states “has impacted greatly on the value of women and minimized their input at Edema ventures.” Both women express concern that the attitude negatively affects their work attitude.
Our fourth female participant is the 57-year old Camilla Maunga, who is one of the company’s directors. Betty had co-founded edema ventures with a college friend Daniel. While they had been purely friends and accorded each other the required respect during the period, the situation has gradually changed over the years. Previously, they had deemed one another as equal partners in the business always consulting on major issues prior to execution. In recent times however, her business partner has changed completely. He makes huge financial decisions in consultation with the financial controller and refers to her as ‘the old and brainless hug with no principles’. “This seems like an attempt by the two men to gradually displace me from the top management so as to have an all-men team at the top. Their unfair treatment has begun to take a toll on my performance; I feel like I am slowly losing grip of this company. I really hope this training will improve our current work situation not just for my sake, but for the sake of all women in the organization.”

Male Participants

Vincent is a 47 year old man heading the cashiering department of the restaurant. He has been with the company for over a decade now. Vincent believes most company rules are reluctantly applied to female employees while their male counterparts are expected to observe the policies to the latter. He narrates of different instances where female employees have often been ‘softly’ treated owing to their gender; while men in similar circumstances receive different forms of treatment. As a cashier, the requirements of his job dictate that he works late into the night together with other female waitresses. On normal occasions, all employees who work late shifts commute to their residences using a staff van designated for this purpose. However, most male workers including Vincent are often given last priority while the female attendants are granted a first priority to use the van at night. This is because femininity is associated with vulnerability to other male predators exploring the night. “The management does not realize that just like the female attendants, we also require utmost security during these times,” he states before finally yelling “Pathetic!”
Michael is the manager in charge of drinks, dining and accommodation at the hotel. He has been in this position for the past 3 years. Over the years, the company has experienced tremendous growth in sales through increased room bookings. As a holder of this position, Michael has received two major awards recognizing his outstanding achievements as a sales manager. Despite this achievement, he is a discouraged man. Michael married his wife, Emily in a colorful traditional wedding eighteen months ago. Twelve months later, he was overjoyed when his wife delivered a bouncing baby boy. “That was the highest moment of my life!” he exclaimed. With this excitement, I requested to be granted the usual paternity leave so I could spend some quality time with my baby.” To his surprise, the leave was denied on the ground that only maternity leave was stipulated in the company’s Human resource manual. Vincent does not understand why women are granted so much privilege.
Patrick Siyanda, a South African citizen with Chinese descent believes the company still has a long way to go in just administration of duties. Patrick has been with Edema ventures acting as a tour guide for tourists residing at the hotel. In his view, the company allocates duties to its employees based on gender rather than ability. Over the past two years that he has been with the company, he has on several occasions been made to stand in for his female colleagues who could not manage to undertake certain functions just for the mere fact that they were women. Often times, he is assigned long and riskier ventures than his colleagues. Where the journey involves transportation over a long distance, there is increased likelihood that he will be assigned the task. “This interferes greatly with my personal life,” he states “why are we the ones who always have to sacrifice if we all earn the same in the long run? It’s unfair!” he sighs and leaves the room.
Emmanuel believes the manager’s discrimination against him is based not just on gender but also on the complexities of gender definition. As a teen, Emmanuel resorted to undergo a gender re-assignment procedure that saw him transition to a man. While he was initially known as Emmanuelle, he hated herself and would rarely associate with other girls her age. It was her parent’s decision to help her transition into what she felt most comfortable with. Upon submitting his application at the company for a position in the room maintenance department, he was invited for an interview which she duly passed. It was quite surprising to find out later on upon reporting to work that he had been placed in the waiting area to act as a service lady; a position he had not even interviewed for. The position also came with a ‘take or leave’ ultimatum. His desperation for independence pushed him into taking the position; although he states it is the least satisfying thing he has done in his life.
Clifford is a charming middle aged man; working at Edema ventures as a logistics planner. He has been in the company for about five years. Cliff states that his issues began when he first joined the company. He was duly welcomed by one of the directors- Camilla Maunga. “She undertook to orientate me on a number of things, moving from one department to another.” A few months later, she began to make romantic advances at him; each time using gestures that signaled romanticism between the two of them. He has tried to continually dismiss her advances to no avail. Over the years, he has learnt to ignore her advances but is currently overwhelmed by the intensity of these advances. He states that these issues have not only affected his overall performance at the organization but also strained his relationship with his wife. He states that he is afraid he might be forced to quit his job in order to save his marriage.
Our last male participant is named Christopher; a 21 year old Asian interning with the company. Upon his recruitment, he had been promised future promotion to a permanent position. He interns in the room maintenance department cleaning customer tables and doing laundry. He describes himself as a hardworking employee who is both self driven and happy to do what he does. Over the past one year several opportunities have arisen in the company. The most previous is the case of a waiting vacancy that arose in the restaurant section of the hotel. Upon learning of this vacancy, he made a formal application seeking to be promoted to this section as the job specifications corresponded with what he had majored on in college. It was turned down. A new sassy and classier waitress was hired with the help of an external placement agency. The human resource manager believed I was ‘not classy enough to handle the complexities of the position’. “This is a lady’s position,” he explained, “because only ladies know how to deal drunken customers with bulky wallets.” While this has not deterred me from making any further applications, I believe this training will help correct such iniquities and bring sanity in this organization.

Session 1: Opening Remarks and Introduction of Program

This training session began with opening remarks from the consultants each introducing themselves before finally stating the reasons for which they had been invited to the organization. The head consultant gave a brief introduction of the company and enlightened various stakeholders of its intentions to improve relations between men and women at the organization. The performance of any organization depends highly on the productivity of each individual employee. Positive productivity can only be attained where a positive working environment is established. To gauge the current state of the organization, the consultant issued open ended questionnaires to all employees and directors of the company. Each was allowed to give honest views on the organization’s hiring, promotion, training and responsibility assignment process among other things. The questionnaires were then collected and sampled appropriately to find out the different issues employees raised. Throughout the sampling, it was apparent that gender played a key role in most human resource decisions at Edema Ventures. These issues were communicated in summary in the arena and all employees asked to air their views on each. Employees were informed that further discussions would be undertaken in the sessions that follow.

Session 2: Glass Ceiling Effect

The main aim of this session was to the theoretical principles of effective leadership to help improve organizational understanding of this concept. It uses key training tools such as skits and power point presentations to help show the difference between effective leadership and management. Using a script initially developed by the consultants, employees are picked at random and asked to play different roles in a two different roles; first as a team leader and next as a manager. While a team leader encourages its members to work together to build and improve one another, a manager tends to maintain the skills at a particular level. Through this skit, the management was made to understand the importance of allowing individuals to excel without fearing that they would surpass superior’s level of understanding. According to Merida (2013), women’s educational achievement has increased tremendously over the years and so have the duties they undertake. In line with these changes, it is appropriate that women receive equal pay rises to their male counterparts with similar qualifications. The session was also facilitated with the help of quantitative data analyzing women achievement in superior positions in various companies.

Session 3: Sexual Harassment

For a better understanding of this concept, it was vital that we give an explanation of what amounted to sexual harassment. As defined by equal employment opportunity commission, sexual harassment refers to unwelcomed sexual advances and requests, verbal or physical that tends to create a hostile or offensive work environment (Carli, 2006). Employees were thereafter asked whether they had previously experienced any form of sexual harassment within the organization. While only a few of the male employees appeared to have been victims, all female employees had apparently suffered one form of sexual harassment or the other. With this understanding, the discussion then proceeded to enlighten employees on their rights to report any form of sexual offense to the relevant authority. The law provides adequate protection to employees experiencing any form of discrimination (Heathfield, 2016). While conversing with the employees, it was apparent that most received minimal support from their superiors especially because the industry in which they served required specific type of sexist behavior. It also emerged that the employer was oblivious of the financial effects of law suits instituted by harassment victims on the organization. The management was also made to understand the importance of having a policy governing sexual harassment in the institution. Policies are the major guiding tool of organizations and all regulations pertaining to operations and administrations can only be implemented with the help of organizational policies. These could entail the code of conduct, Human resource policy and staff manual among others.

Session 4: Bias in Termination and Hiring

The objective of this session was to help the management understand the importance of basing termination and hiring on workers’ overall performance rather than physique and make up. It began with a question and answer session where employees were requested to pose probing grey areas in the company’s recruitment process. The views were collected in small unidentified notes from volunteering employees for anonymity. The consultant’s main document of reference was the EOCC which explicitly explained the level of injustice committed by any organization, private or public that attempted to classify jobs as either male or female (Government publishing office, n.d). Organizations are disallowed from maintaining separate lines of seniority or progression; i.e. both men and women have equal chances of being promoted if all of them have similar qualifications. Discussing this issue with the employees as well as the employers was quite vital as both were deemed to benefit from it. The consultants used a five slide power presentation to showcase the importance of making quality hires. Previous research in management relates organizational performance to the quality of employees in its employee pool. Denying an employee a fair chance of competing with other employees on the basis of their gender was not just an injustice done to the individual but also injustice to the organization and economy as a whole (Carli, 2006). At the end of this session, each employee was asked to complete a three line prompt that sought to gauge their understanding of a just recruitment and selection process.

Session 5: Organizational Politics

Organizational politics, like any other form of politics is a platform upon which various organizational stakeholders exude their power. The main aim of this session was to help ensure women are accorded similar opportunities in organizational management just like their male counterparts. Often times, women in high positions are treated with less reverence compared to their male counterparts in the same position. Men are viewed as conservatives who adhere to the rules of conformity, order, stability and traditional rules while women are viewed as liberalists who prefer progress, rebellion, flexibility and equality (Heathfield, 2016). To help address the power play problem between the directors, we developed and presented a power point presentation highlighting how powerful governments have been effectively ruled by women. The four-slide presentation showed how Camilla and Daniel could effectively divide managerial functions between administrative and operational so as to provide clear distinction between the two sets of power. According to Henley (2014), the principle of separation of power can apply in organizations to help directors and managers understand their boundaries while undertaking various duties. Owing to the fact that all functions are integrated, it is vital that every major decision is undertaken after thorough consultation with other key stakeholders. The slide discussed the varied relevance of every single employee hired by the company; often highlighting the lapses that would occur if any particular employee did not undertake their duties as required.

Session 6: Communication

The main aim of this session was to help all employees understand the differences between their modes of communication. It is important to note that in every organization, some employees will always be more vocal than others. According to Helgeson (2012), male employees are deemed to be stronger in character and talk with great assertion. Women on the other hand are soft speakers always seeking to communicate indirectly on issues that men will approach upfront. Similarly, there are a number of sexual-related terms that would always be used by men when referring to women. While this could mean no harm, most women would feel offended by the mere mention of such terms. Employees were each asked to write down the pet names that most colleagues of the same sex and opposite sex had assigned to them. It was noticeable that same sex colleagues addressed each other using official names while opposite sex were referred to using such terms as ‘baby, sweetheart, cute pie’ among others. Most female participants thought this was demeaning and should as a result be stopped. This session was important as it helped the management understand the different modes of communication between genders so as to understand how to effectively converse each group of employees.

Session 7: Implementation

Upon completing the first six sessions, it was vital that the highlights of each section be documented as this could be provided to the management for future references. The main aim of the seventh session was to provide a summary of the major events in the previous sections. In this session, the management was made to understand the importance of policy review and implementation. It was vital that everything learned during the sessions be incorporated in the company’s policy to act as a guideline in the future operations. The consultants obtained the summaries from the participants through session review. Participants were divided into three groups with each group expected to provide a summary of two issues discussed. The summaries would later on be used by the management in the modification of the relevant policies. The participants were then awarded a minute each to express their views on any milestones attained through this training. Most expressed a positive belief in the gender based principles discussed by consultants and believe that the training was a big success.

Session 8: Meeting with Directors

Once the summaries had been done, the consultants had an additional private session with the decision makers of the company. This session was aimed at providing the management with the real diagnosis of what ailed the organization. Employee views were anonymously discussed and each manager provided a chance to react to each of the twelve views initially provided by the participants. Most managers were surprised to find out that most of their employees were not only dissatisfied with their work but were also on the verge of deserting the company. They were equally glad that the training had been conducted at such a time and expressed positivity on potential outcomes.

Final Training Report

The aim of any employee training program is to improve the welfare of individual employee as well as the organization as a whole. This is often attained with the establishment of a collaborative environment within which employees feel free to air their view. The training program implemented by our company would be quite effective owing to the fact that it encouraged open but confidential communication between employees and the consultants. Following our engagement with the company as well as the findings from the participants, a number of recommendations were made. We advised the management to first and foremost seek to create a safer working environment for all its employees by commencing an investigation on all issues on sexual harassment. Employee safety should be every organizations top priority and should be treated with utmost seriousness. If guilty of these offences, these employees should receive prompt dismissal pending further actions by the legislative department.
Once this implemented, the company can begin working on its internal HR decisions covering hiring and terminations, promotions and leave terms. Most of the employees initially interviewed expressed their level of disappointment at the failure of the organizations top management to practice effective leadership. The management should review the staff van usage policy and ensure all staff have equal opportunity to use the van as appropriate. It should also look into its human resource manual and ensure than men just like the women are granted the 10-day paternity leave in line with the equality act. This would bring a sense of sameness in the environment and limit the extent to which men viewed women as weaker links. By recognizing the important of quality hire, the management should evaluate its placement program to ensure employees are effectively placed in positions that match their qualifications. Stern disciplinary measure should also be put in place as an accompaniment of these new regulations to deter all employees from non-adherence.


Carli, L. (2006). Gender Issues in Workplace Groups: Effects of Gender and Communication on Social Influence. In Mary Barrett and Marilyn J. Davidson (Editors), Gender and Communication at Work. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
Government Publishing Office. (n.d). Guidelines on Discrimination because of Sex. Retrieved from
Heathfield, S. (2016). How Employers should address an Employee Sexual Harassment Complain. Retrieved from
Helgeson, V. (2012). Psychology of Gender (4th ed.) Upper saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Henley, Daniel. (2014). Gender Bias in the Workplace. Senior Honors Theses. Paper 409. Retrieved from
Merida, J. (2013). Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Structural, Cultural and Organizational Barriers preventing Women from Achieving Senior and Executive Position. Retrieved from

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