The performance appraisal process is meant to help the management establish how well or how poorly the employees are performing with regard to the company’s key performance indicators and specified performance metrics based on the employee's job description. Therefore, during the performance evaluation, an employee is judged not based on personal attributes or demographical categories but by his/her job description. For instance, if an employee is hired in the Sales Department and is tasked with selling the company's products or services, this individual will only be evaluated based on how much he/she can sell. An employee’s gender should not arise in the evaluation process, since it is not in any way related to the roles and responsibilities in the organization. Strangely, however, the performance of men and women are often appraised differently with a clear gender bias, especially in corporate America where men always enjoy the superior position compared to women. Furthermore, in the United States of America, the women get lower compensation than men, despite working in the same job positions. Irrespective of the claims for gender parity in corporate America, the distinctions between males and females are still present and are largely reflected in compensation packages.
It should be noted that within the business world, men are more likely to get promoted than their women colleagues. A study conducted by McKinsey & Company has recently discovered that women are 15% less likely to get to the next tier in their corporate contexts when compared to the men, even in organizations with just as many female employees as their male counterparts (Sharma, Sharma, & Agarwal, 2016). Employers comfortably promote the women within the organization but often only up to the middle management levels. Even the most highly qualified female employees face difficulties while getting to the executive positions, and they are often substituted for the male employees. There have been several attempts to justify this phenomenon with the most plausible one being the fact that women are more expensive as employees. They often need more time out of the office to maintain their social and family life unlike men who seem to be able to spend more time at work.
Nevertheless, in a patriarchal corporate culture such as the one in the US, managers prefer promoting men to women, because the latter are perceived as a liability rather than as a competent employee who can perform better than a male (Schraeder & Jordan, 2011). When the workforce has as many qualified women as they have men, it is often more likely that the men will more frequently get promoted than their female colleagues, thus demoralizing the female colleagues and causing them to question their value to the organization. Ideally, each employee should have an equal chance of promotion based on his/her merits. Under the circumstances of the meritocracy, the performance appraisal should inform the promotion process. The reality, however, is that promotions in the corporate world are not always given according to one’s achievements. In addition, being a woman often implies an automatic disadvantage concerning the employee's promotion.
In the corporate world, it is clear that men are considered as more valuable employees than women. Regardless of how untrue this assertion may be, the statistics indicate that men are the preferred employees when the organization aims to promote someone to the higher ranks, even when there are many qualified women in the organization. Bosses seem to be more appeased by the performance of female employees, but they rarely recommend women to senior positions within the organization due to their perceived values and ability or inability to be present in the workplace (Hargis & Bradley, 2011). Similar prejudices mean that a performance appraisal in the current corporate environment is only significant up to a certain level where promotion is no longer based fairly on merit. The gender of the employee in question may also become an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on whether they are males or females. The whole concept of performance management is based on the ability of the management to evaluate the employee's importance in the organization fairly, and thus position them where they will be of an optimal advantage to it.
Hence, when seeking to promote an employee, the organization would conduct a performance appraisal of the qualified personnel and pick the one with the best performance records for the position. On the contrary, competence and skills advantage are not always applied when appraising women (Cross et al., 2010). The actual practice in the corporate world limits the performance appraisal to achieve the desired results, especially on the top tier administration levels of a given corporation. The management may conduct a performance evaluation, but when it comes to promoting an employee, merits and performance are frequently ignored. The employers would rather consider whether the employee will need to take frequent breaks and days off, and whether they would be able to spend as much time as they need in the office. In essence, the management considers the gender aspect of an employee before deciding on whether or not they will be promoted.
Long Term Effects of the Male and Female Differentiation in Performance Appraisals
A healthy work environment is one in which all members of staff are valued for their input and where their gender is not an issue of prejudices. Considering gender as a crucial factor in the performance appraisals ensures that the company does not promote women when there are men who are qualified enough for the same position. Therefore, since there is a responsible male employee in the workforce, the chances of a qualified woman being promoted are always minimal. In the short term, the organization is likely to benefit as they spend less on employees' needs, personal time, or even maternity leaves based on the absence of women in the top positions within the organization (Hargis & Bradley, 2011). When the employees at the top are men, the company is certain that these workers will not need time off to have children or to take care of their families.
In the long term, however, the differentiation will demoralize female employees who were initially motivated and willing to struggle and work hard in the hope of getting promoted at some point in their career. Owing to the fact that every employee works diligently to get a promotion and improve their contribution to the organization over time, this unfair situation stifles organizational performance as the employees start seeking career growth opportunities outside the organization. Moreover, while companies may ignore their female employees in a bid to strengthen the top tier management and lower organizational expenditure, they expose themselves to higher employee turnover rate as they lose qualified female employees who leave for the less biased corporations. Eventually, these companies spend more money finding, hiring, and training new employees on a regular basis. Apart from this, the performance appraisals soon lose their relevance, and the employees even stop considering the recommendations for improvement that are given during the assessments.
Trends in Gender Differentiation
As the world grows more sensitive to such concepts as feminism, it must be stated that gender-based inequality in the corporate world is on the rise. Managers are acutely aware of the negative impact that favoring male employees over their female colleagues has on the organization in the long term, but they are still unwilling to embrace the worth of a female employee along with the costs involved. In a male-centered corporate culture, a female employee is perceived as “baggage,” even though women are just as competent, if not more, as their male colleagues. The performance appraisal process is still based on the ability of the employees to deliver their job description, but the employee's chances of promotion are carefully analyzed with regard to their gender (Sharma, Sharma, & Agarwal, 2016). The version of the performance appraisal that these companies are using when considering a promotion perceives gender as one of the critical factors, where being female is considered to be a demerit but being male puts the contender at an advantage. In this case, even when the female employee is fully qualified for the promotion, but there is a male contender, the female employee can be sure to lose. Despite the interest that gender parity has attracted in this area and the several studies that have been conducted to establish the potential dangers of this practice, the corporations do not seem implement some measures to change the situation (Sharma, Sharma, & Agarwal, 2016). It can thus be anticipated that the business world will continue to discriminate against women when promoting employees to the top tier management positions at the risk of sustainability of organizations in the long term. The risks that they are trying to avoid as they restrict the promotion of women only to the middle level management positions are, however, minimal compared to the effect of demoralizing all the women in the organization.
Differences in Achievement between the Two Genders
A man's definition of success is often based on their personal achievements and accolades, while a woman is likely to look at the overall improvement in the quality of her life and that of the organization. Similarly, there is a difference in what a man will seek to achieve and what a woman will strive to achieve while working for the same organization. While a male employee will focus solely on projects that improve his credentials, a female employee will aim at improving the organization as a whole. In the end, the organization gains benefits more from the female employee compared to the male employee. The irony, in this case, is that the organization will appreciate and thus reward the more individualistic work of the male employee than that of the female employee. In the process, the organization encourages the employees to focus on the outcomes of their individual efforts rather than working as a team. Considering that most organizations are built on the teamwork, this philosophy projected in support of masculine character traits amongst the employees endangers the success of the organization (Schraeder & Jordan, 2011). In the future, women will be forced to embrace individualism, which, consequently, makes the ability to work effectively in a team rarer and in some cases even impossible. Women, similarly to men, want to be promoted, but with the organizations openly favoring the men, it is likely that the female employees will start adapting some male perspectives in an attempt to improve their competitiveness for the promotion.
It is clear that modern corporate world performance appraisals, even when conducted fairly, are not longer considered important when offering promotions. The employees may be evaluated based on their job descriptions, but they predominantly have to be male to be easily promoted to the executive management positions. In the short term, it can be stated that the employees learn to adapt and continue to strive for success, but in the long term, they start seeking better employment opportunities in organizations that will offer them promotions based on their merits. This explains the rise of all women companies where there are no male employees on the payroll.