HR Director’s Challenge

The public sector utility of the organisation is currently experiencing human resource challenges based on gender, age and work cultures. This is certainly because it has adopted an ‘ideal worker’ policy, where an assumption is made that the workers will be available on fulltime basis and also during overtime or long hours. This has lead to the organisation viewing men as the most appropriate ‘ideal workers’, thus making their population in the organisation higher than that of the female. Again, young women are more likely to fit the characteristics of an ‘ideal worker’ but they lose this characteristic soon after they start their own families. It is for this reason that women in the age bracket of 19-29 are higher in number as compared to the older women.

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From the perspective of an ‘ideal worker’, another disparity has emerged from the two distinct employees cultures. The two cultures are plant/ blue-collar
and managerial/ white-collar workers. For instance, men have dominated in the blue-collar jobs, as they are considered as the all-time wage earners for their families. However, in the white-collar jobs this is not the case, as gender is less considered with both men and women being considered appropriate as long as they are ‘go getters’ and have a ‘can do’ attitude, thus enabling them to commit to long working hours. Finally, there had been a recent review in regard to the part time employees that had assisted in evaluating their challenges while working for the organisation.

Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of this report are to provide a clear outlook on how the structure and policies of the organisation have led to the challenges being faced in the human resource department. The report will seek to evaluate the entire human resource policy and provide an answer to the imbalances that exist among different groups, especially those relating to the family-friendly policies. Again, this report will act as a reference point in the future management of human resource of the organisation.


The report covers a wide range of issues that cause the challenges that are currently being faced by the human resource department of the organisation. However, this is not to mean the coverage of each and every challenge that has been put under review in this case. It therefore means the coverage of those challenges that affect the human resource but are emanating from wrong policies that are not too friendly to the family values. The report will thus provide recommendations on the findings that have been made.

Analysis of Ideal Worker’s Notion

Effects of ‘ideal worker’ notion on gender

Over the years, women have faced discrimination in the job opportunities, as they are largely considered as not meeting the full characteristics of an ‘ideal worker’. In reference to this, the organisational human resource policy is not an exception. In fact, the human resource policy in this organisation is largely disadvantaging women leading them to only accounting for twenty three percent of all employees in the organisation. One of the major reasons why this has existed is the fact that normally an ideal worker is incompatible to those ideals it considers as being of a good mother, who should always be there for their children. However, this is different from what is considered ideal for a ‘good father’. For instance, according to Nicholas Townsend’s study in the year 2002, most fathers consider their personal commitment to work as the best way to express their paternal love to their children, as they regard themselves as the breadwinners in their families. It is such social expectations that have largely contributed to gender inequality at the work station. These expectations are well defined by the term ‘ideal worker norm’.

In most occasions, women are faced with challenges while working in a continuous full-time job. Such challenges have led to few women getting to work in these job positions. When this is the case, women fail to reap the benefits that are delivered from these job positions as do their male counterparts. As can be noted, the percentage of women employees in the age bracket 19-29 is higher than that of their male counterparts, but it reduces as the age of the employees get higher. For instance, their percentage reduces from 41.8 percent for the young employees to 20 percent in considering all women employees. This clearly indicates that they are less likely to cope with the job responsibilities without hurting their family responsibilities. However, the case of men is different. The ration of men to women is rising from 58.1 percent for the young workers to 80 percent of the total employee ratio. This is most likely because most men will be taking up those jobs that have been left by their female counterparts. Finally, women are more likely to less aggressively pursue their objectives and aims in the organisation as they are more influenced by intrinsic as opposed to the extrinsic factors.

Effects of ‘ideal worker’ notion on age

From the information provided, age has become the other form from which causes of inequalities in the job areas have been experienced. As can be noted in their young age, the ration of men to women employee is close indicating that there exist fewer inequalities which are caused by factors that could not be avoided. However, the gap starts to widen as the employees grow older with women getting more involved in the family affairs, especially raising their kids, which is considered as their core responsibility in the family setup. Furthermore, women employees who have young families find it extremely difficult to take transfers from one location to another, leaving such positions to younger unmarried women or the employees of the male gender. Where this is the case, these women lose out on the promotions, growth in career as well as other economic benefits that accompany the job. For example, a family woman may find improper to keep changing the environment of their families and much more because this may not be good enough for the kids as it makes them lose their friends and struggle to adapting to their new way of life. To avoid such situations, most of these women stick to one permanent location which they consider comfortable to them. This is, however, not the case when it comes to unmarried women, who are free to move and reside to any location without influencing the relocation of the entire family.

For instance, older women with families opt to take part time jobs, working for four days a week or a number of hours on the daily basis, while utilising most of their left time with their families. This has not gone down with them as organisations avoid such instances as they seek to utilise their human resource to their fullest. They thus terminate the services of part-time employees or pay them poorly with no proper training as do to their counterparts in the full-time jobs. Conversely, age is also a challenge for the male gender with young male adults concentrating more on how to raise their young family and stabilise them with little commitment to their places of work. The organisation thus deems it fit to employ male workers aged over 35 years as they are still energetic and take the responsibility of being a breadwinner as they do not want to see their young families take off financially.

Effects of ‘ideal worker’s’ notion on the work cultures

Finally, there exist work cultures that are greatly influenced by characteristics of an ‘ideal worker’. They as well will have conflicting interests with the family structure. However, they are not as influential as the other two factors that have been discussed above. For instance, as for white-collar jobs, women are well accommodated regardless of the family responsibilities they have. For white-collar jobs only commitment and the attitude of ‘can do’ and ‘go getter’ is required. This is different from the blue-collar jobs as they require skills and much commitment to ensure performance to the fullest.


In conclusion, the three factors, as described above, make a provision of how inequality has existed in the organisation. From the above evaluation it is clear that gender, age and work cultures have influence on the relationship between the employee’s working environment and their own families. In all this, women are the hardest hit by this kind of inequalities and are seen to earn less than their male counterparts as well as achieve very little in the career growth.


To rectify such inequalities, there are a number of recommendations that can be implemented. First, the organisation needs to start a child care centre where young mothers would keep their children within the organisation while they are working. This will highly reduce the number of women seeking to work on the part-time basis. Again, it will enable these women to improve on their skills at ease as they will be more involved in the career development programs.

Secondly, the company needs to adopt the policies that will seek to bring equality to the work station. For instance, the organisation should break from the norms that work conditions should favour male gender as the breadwinner for the family, as some families consist of a single mother who might be offended by such policies. To solve such a problem, the organisation may opt for a two-shift working formula where the majority of each gender works in the shift that they deem most suitable for them.

Finally, to eliminate negative effects caused by the work cultures, the organisation needs to do job subdivision and allocate the work to groups that are most suited to perform that kind of work. Moreover, more training should be provided to all the groups on how to carry out the managerial duties to allow each of them to fairly compete for the positions. Again, where women are on part-time duties due to their family responsibilities, there should be no salary discrimination so as to allow good relations between the interest of the organisation and those of the family.

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