Workforce Composition, Essay Example

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Essay

As of 2010, 53.6 percent of the employed workforce consisted of women (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Baby boomers in the workforce were estimated at 28 million in 2010 or about 55 percent of people ages 60 to 64 were employed during the first eleven months of 2010 (Cauchon). As far as immigrants are concerned, they were estimated at about 1 in 7 U.S. workers (National Conference of State Legislatures) or a little more than 14 percent of the total workforce. These workforce demographics have important implications for the future state of employment policies adopted by organizations.

Now more women than men are part of the workforce and the trend is likely to persist in the near future. This means more companies will adopt flexible employment policies such as flexitime and provide on-site services such as childcare in order to attract women. Women usually assume a greater responsibility towards children, thus, companies will adopt policies that will help women more effectively balance their work and family life. The wage gap between men and women has considerably decreased over the years but there still needs to be made substantial progress to fully close the gap. Women earned only 62 percent of what mean earned for the same or similar job in 1970 but the figure had improved to 80 cents for women for every dollar earned by men in 2004 for the same or similar work (Schepp). As women continue to increase their participation in the workforce, they will gain more influence which should help further narrow the gender wage gap. Globalization may also increase demand for women leaders because research indicates women on the average have more open management style and similarly, more effective at consensus building (Moran, Harris and Moran).

Similarly, companies fear that the retirement age for many baby boomers has been fast approaching which could create huge knowledge gap. Some companies may also provide more flexible work schedule to baby boomers to persuade them to keep working (Schneirder). More companies may also invest in information management systems in order to capture as much knowledge and experience of the baby boomers as possible. It is also quite likely that more companies will introduce mentorship programs so that older workers can train newcomers.

The participation by immigrant workers may also continue to increase, to some extent due to globalization also. This means there will be more competition for U.S. native-born workers. The immigrant workers may even lead to lower wages, particularly in industries with low education requirements such as agriculture and construction. More diverse workforce means more companies will hold cultural sensitivity training programs in order to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce as well as improve collaboration and teamwork among the workers. The immigrant workers may also help U.S. meet its labor shortages in some professional fields such as nursing in order to meet the challenges of an aging population.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Table 1: Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by age and sex, 2010. 9 May 2012 <http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook-2011.pdf>.

Cauchon, Dennis. American workforce growing grayer. 15 December 2010. 9 May 2012 <http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2010-12-14-older-workers-employment_N.htm>.

Moran, Robert T., Philip R. Harris and Sarah V. Moran. “Women as Leaders in Global Business.” Managing Cultural Differences. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007. 173.

National Conference of State Legislatures. Immigrants in the Workforce: Some Fast Facts. 9 August 2005. 9 May 2012 <http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/immig/immigrants-in-the-workforce.aspx>.

Schepp, David. The Gender Wage Gap: A Historical Perspective [Infographic]. 10 October 2011. 9 May 2012 <http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/10/10/the-gender-wage-gap-a-historical-perspective-infographic/>.

Schneirder, Laura. Impact of the Aging Workforce on the Technology Industry. 9 May 2012 <http://jobsearchtech.about.com/od/techcareerstrends/a/aging_workforce.htm>.

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