What are the main causes of increased social inequality around the world? To what extent could changes in HR practice help to reduce social inequality? Provide examples to support your answer.

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Social inequality is the effect of the uneven distribution of resources in society. Areas mainly affected include employment, housing, healthcare, income, and education. It is easy to depict this bias based on an individual’s occupation, family life, quality of the neighborhood, credit access, and even job satisfaction (Hours, 2019). However, another form of social inequality comes from society’s definition of gender roles and social stereotyping. Moreover, the implementation of discriminatory legislation might also result in social inequalities between religions, classes, and ethnic groups. Some of the primary causes of increased social inequality include;

Gender

Compared to men, women are at an increased risk of becoming poor as they hold a higher probability of being unemployed. According to (Atena and Tiron-Tudor, 2019) women in caring roles are not paid, while those in the workforce are often paid less than their male counterparts. While efforts have been made to reduce the gender pay gap since the 1970s, with a 22% drop, the fact remains that it still exists (Batruch, 2019). Influenced by factors such as discrimination and community norms, these gender disparities cause much harm to the female gender. The gender pay gap is still challenging despite accounting for years of experience, hours worked, and even education (Atena and Tiron-Tudor, 2019). The societal norms highly impact the women’s decisions on their careers and livelihoods; hence it is a struggle for the female gender to succeed in highly competitive workplaces with good pay due to their family commitments and stigma.

Social Class

The class gap between the rich and the poor is getting broader in several countries, with the rich growing richer and the poor losing their fundamental support elements in the system (Atena and Tiron-Tudor, 2019). The situation does not get any better, with the unequal distribution of wealth becoming more rampant between the two classes. Hence, it has resulted in a struggle for the underprivileged who struggle to find employment, and even when they do, their wages fail to meet their financial needs.

Race/ethnicity

Disparities among races have existed for decades, and despite the efforts to reduce the gap, it continues to be a significant cause of social inequality. Despite minority groups experiencing significant employment and educational growth milestones, they are still subjected to substantial pay penalties and pay gaps. According to Collins, (2019) the average pay of an African-American male working on a full-time basis is 17% lower than that of their white male counterparts. Similarly, white female graduates’ pay penalties are 9% lower than African American female graduates. From the stated figures, one can understand how the pay discrimination between races undermines the minority races’ quality of life. For instance, these disparities force the minority races to reside in deprived neighbourhoods with poor access to essential resources such as health care and security.

How Changes in Human Resource Practice Could Help Reduce Social Inequality

While not all social inequalities are organisational, people practice professionals have a vital role in reducing social inequality by encouraging equality and fairness in job opportunities and the treatment of employees. Human resource managers can ensure that recruitments have discriminatory cautions, thus eliminating discrimination and bias in the recruitment process. Furthermore, people professionals could benefit from enhancing their skills by engaging in diversity training. This training would place them in a central position in creating awareness at the organisation on diversity benefits (Atena and Tiron-Tudor, 2019). The main goal of the training is to equip HR professionals with an understanding of cultural differences and diverse beliefs, improve their skills in working and interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and improve their knowledge of diversity issues.

Besides equipping themselves with knowledge and skills, human resource managers can also help curb social inequality by addressing matters such as payment of liveable, fair, and secure wages (Batruch, et al., 2019). Therefore, they can ensure that employees who receive low-pay receive career progression and competitive pay. This strategy will address poverty pay, thus presenting individuals with upward mobility opportunities. It is the responsibility of human resource managers to create diverse environments at the workplace. Their roles include enhancing work opportunities for each individual regardless of their class and making work flexible (Atena and Tiron-Tudor, 2019). HR managers should also ensure no bias or prejudice in making decisions on recruitment, pay, or promotions. They should, therefore, challenge their organisations to matters that influence discrimination at the workplace.

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What are the main causes of increased social inequality around the world? To what extent could changes in HR practice help to reduce social inequality? Provide examples to support your answer.

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