Assessing Gender Equity in the Workplace: A Case Study

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2015

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Background: Women currently represent 47 percent of the workforce, and these rates have been steadily climbing since the 1970s. The presence of gender discrimination in the workforce has been documented and measured, although not extensively, in the form of qualitative and quantitative studies, court cases, and legislation passed. There has been even less effort focused on its reciprocal, the fostering of gender equity in the workplace. This study examines staff perceptions of gender equity in the workplace, both in the office setting and in the overseas programmatic efforts of the organization. Methods: The organization in the case study, Lutheran World Relief, is a small-scale faith-based international development organization, and the study population is its domestically-based staff located at its headquarters office. This study utilizes a cross-sectional quantitative methods approach by conducting an anonymous survey. Results/Summary: The survey had a 53% staff response rate. This study showed that the organization's staff have overall positive perceptions of its gender equitable workplace culture as well as its programmatic efforts overseas. Main areas of improvement include financial resources allocated for gender integration and improving technical capacity of staff. The study results will guide the organizations' efforts to improve its office culture and programmatic efforts, and this organization sets a strong example of the importance of organization-wide reflection around and prioritizing of gender equity.

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