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Assignment Questions

The Taboo of Women in Management

International management consulting firm Burns & McAllister is listed by Working Mother magazine as one of the top 50 firms in the United States for employment of working mothers and by Working Women magazine as one of the top 10 firms for women. The firm has earned this reputation for several reasons. First, nearly 50% of its partners are women. Second, it has a menu of employee benefits that includes such things as flex hours, sabbaticals, family leave, home-based work, and part-time partner-track positions.
However, B&M recently has been the subject of a series of reports by both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times that scrutinize its policy on female executives in certain nations. B&M has learned, through its years of consulting, that certain countries in which it negotiates for contracts prohibit the use of women in the negotiation process. The cultures of many of these countries do not permit women to speak in a meeting that includes men. Consequently B&M has implemented a policy prohibiting women partners from being assigned these potential account negotiations and later the accounts themselves. Clerical help in the offices can be female, but any contract which clients must be through a male partner or account executive.
For example, Japan still has a two-track hiring system with only 3% of professional positions open to women. The remainder of the women in the Japanese corporate workforce becomes office ladies who file, where uniforms, and serve tea. Dentsu, Inc., a large Japanese Firm, had A picture of the typical Dentsu ?working girl? in its recruiting brochure. Surrounding the photo or comments primarily about her physical appearance: such as (1) her breasts are ?pretty large?; and (2) her bottom is ?rather soft.?
In response to criticism regarding B&M?s posture, the head of the firm’s New York office has explained:
Look, we’re about as progressive a firm as you’ll find. But the reality of international business is that if we try to use women, we can’t get the job. It’s not a policy of all foreign accounts. We’ve just identified certain cultures in which women will not be able to successfully land or work on accounts. This restriction does not interfere with their career track. It does not apply to all countries.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) would like B&M to apply to all its operations the standards that it employs in the United States. No restrictions are placed on women here, NOW argues, and other cultures should adapt to our standards; we should not change our standards to adapt to their culture. NOW maintains that without such a posture, change can never come about.
The questions that need to be answered are as follows:
1. Identify primary components of the situation.
2. Define exactly the problems and or issues that are involved. (Research)
3. Describe what makes this an ethical issue.
4. As much as possible describe the background of the issues or problems.
5. Are there terms that have to be defined(define them)
6. What are your options?
7. Why did you choose this option? (Be very precise)
8. What are the possible ramifications of your decision (personal , professional , for the organization )
9.Why is your decision and ethical decision?

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