What comes to your mind when the field ‘human resource’ (HR) is mentioned? What’s your first impression of the field?
Did you know that the human resource field is mainly dominated by women? It is reported that in 2017, a whopping 86% of HR generalists were women. In this article, we’ll try to understand why the HR game is dominated by women and how they’re changing the HR game.
Companies are changing the way they manage their employees, and women in human resources positions are leading the way. However, what causes this drastic division between men and women working in human resources remains a mystery. Although the exact cause is difficult to rule out, a few theories have been floated out, and the cause might be more obvious than we think. It may be a case of reputation or just the complexities of our human biology.
Human resource management can be a challenge for businesses especially smaller ones, which typically don’t have an HR department or they only have one HR person to rely on. Sometimes, the responsibility still lies with the CEO. Regardless, as companies grow their company and the workforce, there are several HR challenges that may answer why there’s a disparity and why females are dominating the field.
First, let’s take a look at some of the challenges faced by HR managers. These include recruitment and selection, emotional and physical stability of employees, a balance between management and employees, training, development and compensation and performance appraisal.
The human resource manager should be able to maintain the proper emotional balance of employees. While doing so, they should also try to understand the attitude, requirements and feelings of employees, and motivate them whenever and wherever required. They also have a responsibility to balance the interest of management and employees, think of them as the bridge between the company and employees equating to a happy work environment for everyone.
Between the challenges, the commonality lies in the undeniable need to have someone who can understand the emotions and mindset of his/her employees and then, in turn, helping the organization benefit. Women are considered to have an advantage in that and various studies and researches also corroborate the same.
Emotional intelligence, also known as EQ or EI, refers to the ability to recognize emotions and use this knowledge to make informed decisions concerning thoughts and behaviours. It is based upon four central domains: social skills, empathy, self-awareness, and managing one's own emotions. While men have their own form of EQ, women tend to be more empathetic and show more advanced interpersonal skills, both of which are crucial to resolving intra-office disputes, managing employees, and negotiating contracts.
HR is a demanding job, they do more than just 'take care' of us, employees. That said, men are equally fit to be in the HR game and do have the required skill sets, however, the overlap between women's natural talents and HR skills is significant. Hence, why women are dominating the HR field and setting standards for change and equality within the office, workplace and industry. But, this disparity is showing signs of improvement, as recent trends seem to suggest that men are taking more interest in the field of HR. After peaking at 79.3% in 2007, the number of female HR workers in the UK has been in a slight decline, with men making up a more significant percentage in recent years.
What are your opinions on females dominating the HR field? Do you think it’s fine to have this imbalance as there are other fields such as nurses, hairdressers, cosmetologists and more that are female-dominated, while there are jobs such as software developers, programmers, firefighters and more that are male-dominated?
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