Chapter 5: Participation in the Workplace in Bangladesh: Gender Integration Issues for Organizational Leaders
Syed Saad Andaleeb Introduction An organization’s effectiveness is largely embedded in its human resources. Yet, many organizations ignore this source of strength and become deeply mired in problems that arise from communication difficulties, unhealthy organizational climate, prejudice, conservatism and other performance inhibitors. In addition, poor recruitment policies, little opportunity for employees to build capability through training, lack of incentives, faulty evaluation procedures, inadequate rights and entitlements, and a host of related issues contribute to systemic problems and organizational ineffectiveness. Consequently, many organizations operate at levels of efficacy that could be significantly improved. In the context of Bangladesh, there is brewing another large and contentious issue that many organizations are seemingly unprepared for – the growing number of working women among their ranks. From service establishments to manufacturing organizations, from government bodies to multinationals, and from non-governmental organizations to voluntary organizations, all have seen a steady increase in the number of working women as decision makers. This development is recent and represents a departure from the era when the military and orthodox regimes before the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 wielded their conservative ideology and made women’s place in the workplace uncomfortable and insignificant. As organizational citizens, their role and involvement in organizational affairs are vitally important. While the number of working women in the organizations has mostly been at the lower to middle tiers, they will seek greater opportunities over time, suggesting the need to integrate them more completely in organizations of the future. How this will be accomplished in economic...
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