The business world today is far different from what it once was. Women have fought years to try and become equals in what was a mostly a male dominated business world. Now that they have gotten their foot in the
door they want more. This means that they do not just want entry-level jobs, they want the managerial and executive positional that have usually been reserved for men. The old way of doing things is over and the business world has to adjust for the way that women operate. One of the largest concerns in business between men and women is their decision processing. In this paper I will argue the position that gender differences influence are likely to cause unethical actions to occur.
An example of this conflict is seen in an article that was run in 1997 in the New York Times. This article discusses how male executives from Detroit’s “big three” auto makers entertain their potential clients through the lure of sex and alcohol. A poll taken in this article states, “that 49 percent of the men polled had entertained clients in the top-less bars, but only 5 percent of 66 saleswomen had (Meredith). It also states that after looking at expense reports from the previous year it was found that some executives had spent some $40,000 in this type of entertainment. Since these bars are right down the road, executives say that this is the easiest place to meet and work out possible deals. After reading this article, one thing that comes to mind is the differences in the choices that men and women made with this unethical behavior. I consider entertaining at a top-less bar an unethical practice because I do not believe that business should be conducted in this type of forum.
According to Dane Peterson, “gender differences in ethical beliefs are largely determined by how males and females perceive acceptable behavior for them by society” (47). The male executives in this article believe that taking other males to a top-less bar is acceptable by society because supposedly all men go to them one time in their lifetime. Women however see the situation in a very different light. They believe that this is a very degrading activity to conduct a business environment. This is why it is not very common for women to take potential clients to a top-less bar.
A person’s perception of acceptable behavior is typically a normal facet of their everyday life. Michael Betz says, “the ‘gender socialization’ approach asserts that the sexes bring different values and traits to their work roles, which, in turn, differentially shape their work-related interests, decisions, and practices” (322). For a normal male, interests usually include women, sports, and alcohol. Because of these interest males try to include them whenever possible in a setting when other males are present. The reason that the male executives from the auto firms chose to take their potential clients, which were usually male, to a top-less bar is because they shared similar interest and it made getting to know one another better. This is also the case of why many business deals are constructed at sporting events where there is usually alcohol and women around to make the environment more to the liking of males.
Men and women have different views on how they should strive to succeed in business. Betz says, “men are more likely to work long hours and break rules because men view achievement as competition, as a game to be won. Conversely, woman are though to place less emphasis on competitive success and more on doing task well and promoting harmonious relationships” (322). In the New York Times article it states that when the CEO’s of the three auto manufactures were asked if they condoned lunches at top-less bars they said not at all, and if people from the company were practicing that type of entertainment to bring in business they will be dismissed. Most of the executives that were hosting these parties were male. They did not care if they were breaking the rules through an unethical action; all they cared about was the competition of getting another client. They were not interested in getting to know their new friends or how much they spent to get them, they just wanted their business. If presented with the same situation a woman would not go to such extravagant measures to buy a client. A woman in business tries to establish a long-standing relationship with the client. This attention to detail is what makes them so appealing because they cannot rely on excessive spending to attract prospective clients.