REPOST ARTICLE SOURCE: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/dominance-discrimination-workplace-women-14563.html
According to social dominance theory, there are three main factors that determine group-based systems: age, gender and arbitrary group distinctions such as race and social class. Social dominance based on gender causes employers to discriminate against women in the workplace. This creates a hierarchical social construct that favors men and, if left unchallenged, perpetuates a culture of discrimination against women.
According to a 2009 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for women was 78.2 percent of men’s earnings, a small rise from the 77.7 percent of 2008. According to the same report, in all 50 states the average wages for women was lower than for men. The only exception was Puerto Rico, where women’s earnings were higher than men’s earnings.
Another aspect where gender dominance discrimination is evident in the workplace is the type of jobs women hold. According to a report by the United States Government Accountability Office, 49 percent of workers in non-managerial positions were women, while only 40 percent of managers were women. As the same report pointed out, this represents a modest improvement from the 2000 figures for women: 49 percent of non-managers and 39 percent of managers.
Unfair dismissal due to pregnancy is another type of discrimination which is prevalent in the workplace. According to a report by USA Today, the number of women complaining of being discriminated because of becoming pregnant is rising even as birth rates are dropping.This type of discrimination includes firing female workers who become pregnant or even encouraging pregnant women to terminate their pregnancy to keep their jobs.
The sameness-difference theory bases the treatment of women on their similarities or differences to men. For instance, women deserve equal pay because of their sameness to men, but also deserve the right of maternity leave because of their biological differences, which creates a kind of philosophical paradox. According to some scholars, such as Catherine Mackinnon, this view often helps men more than women and makes it hard for women to argue for special treatment if the standard applied is equality between genders. An alternative approach, championed by Mackinnon, is the dominance approach, where the standard is to not allow the abuse of women based on their gender.