Masculinity and Femininity in the Work Place

The effect of psychology of the feminine and masculine gender on work, performance and productivity is a paradigm of the most controversial issues subject to debate. Femininity is a physical and psychological state that is often associated with tenderness, care, patience, and submission. On the other hand, masculinity is associated with roughness, responsibility and strength.

Masculinity is theorized as having a rigid definition of its roles in the society while femininity is theoretically assigned ill defined roles in the same society.

Some psychology experts argue that the two scenarios are implicitly related and that the characteristic associated with each one them is just a state of mind, and may not reflect the real case (Bem, 1993). This dogma, normally created by the society, has lasted for several years and endured controversy regularly.

Masculinity relates success with the extent of accumulation of material assets, being in control of other people, and the overall level of accomplishment in various aspects. However, such an approach cannot adequately measure the level of success.

The durability, quality and moral standing of the present achievements must be considered in order to adequately gauge success. Women represent a blending of the two extreme cases of masculinity and femininity, and may present a more appropriate characteristic. Archaic principles used by the society to judge human ability do not give the most accurate measure of individual abilities in today’s society (Karsten, 2006).

The current psychological state of the society complicates the woman’s ability to achieve success because the society offers limited opportunities to the feminine gender. At the workplace, a role that is generally performed by the masculine gender may go unattended to because the concerned authority assume that a feminine person may not endure the vigorousness associated with the task in question.

This generalizing of a gender’s ability and talent sometimes stunts or bogs down development at the workplace. Nature has indisputably endowed the masculine gender with physical strength and endurance, but this may not be the same for the case of mental ability, accurate and rational reasoning, and emotional strength.

For generations, human psychology has been nurtured to believe that a woman is inferior in all aspects without appropriate justification. Therefore, a woman is assigned tasks that are considered to be less important effectively camouflaging any talent or positive attribute of the individual.

This persistent lopsided psychological state of most individuals at the workplace propagates under-utilization of talent and innovativeness at the workplace. Women who have been assigned positions of significant responsibility and importance at the workplace have shown exemplary performance and proved that gender stereotypes are not incontrovertible.

The utmost undoing of the society especially concerning the workplace is that most individuals in position of authority are psychologically tuned to judge their subordinates’ reliability by prima facie appearance until proven otherwise.

This psychological tuning usually starts from the early stages of an individual’s development and becomes deeply embedded in their persons thinking. This explains the unusual persistence of this trait in most human beings even at the workplace. The physical, emotional and temperamental difference between the feminine and the masculine gender should not be used to judge a person’s performance since the two genders are unique and not comparable.

The belief that performance ability and character traits are uniform throughout a particular gender is a misguided one. The mention of a feminine person holding a leadership position in an organization should not arouse a feeling of lack of control and poor leadership.

However, it seems that people are more at ease when they know that a masculine person is in charge (Kalbfleisch, 1995). Most hiring bodies in organizations tend to hire more men than women for authoritative positions.


Bem, S. L. (1993). The lenses of gender: transforming the debate on sexual inequality. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kalbfleisch, P. J., & Cody, M. J. (1995). Gender, power, and communication in human relationships. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.

Karsten, M. F. (2006). Gender, race, and ethnicity in the workplace: issues and challenges for today’s organizations. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers.

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