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Ethical Dilemmas: Integrity Focus



  Sep 07, 2023

Ethics and Integrity:Ethical Dilemma


CASE STUDY: Sexism in Civil Services and Their Dealings

Background:

Maya, an astute female civil servant in a government department, is faced with implicit sexist behavior impeding her career progress. A glaring instance was during a pivotal project discussion where, after suggesting an innovative solution, she was overruled by a senior male counterpart who presented her idea as his own. Maya is now contemplating the best route to tackle this issue.
 

Potential Solutions:

Direct Confrontation:
 
Description: Maya might choose to privately discuss the situation with her male colleague, clarifying her perspective on the interruption and emphasizing the significance of respectful exchanges.
 
Outcome: This might lead to an immediate resolution if the colleague acknowledges the oversight, providing Maya clarity on the underlying issue.
 
Consult a Mentor:
 
Description: Maya could approach an experienced mentor within or beyond the department to deliberate her experiences and obtain advice.
 
Outcome: It can offer Maya strategies on addressing such issues, while possibly bolstering her confidence to assert her professional contributions.
 
Raise the Issue:
 
Description: Maya might elect to address the problem during a team meeting or via an official communication route, spotlighting the detrimental effects of subtle sexism.
 
Outcome: This might instigate increased self-awareness within the team and promote a more inclusive work atmosphere.
 
Report to Higher Authorities:
 
Description: Maya, if seeing no resolution, has the option of taking the matter to higher echelons or the HR department, initiating a formal grievance process.
 
Outcome: This could lead to departmental intervention, potentially culminating in awareness sessions, corrective actions, or punitive measures.
 

Recommended Course of Action:

Maya's best initial approach is to Consult a Mentor. Gaining insights from someone seasoned can provide clarity on the situation and help sculpt strategies for communication. Should the situation not see amelioration, she should then consider Raising the Issue within the team. If all else fails and the sexist behavior remains uncurbed, Reporting to Higher Authorities would be a warranted step.
 

Rationale:

Starting with mentorship allows Maya a non-confrontational avenue to understand the underlying dynamics and helps in honing her communication abilities. Addressing the issue within team discussions can initiate a broader change in behavior. Yet, if sexism remains unabated despite these efforts, formal escalation ensures that the department upholds a respectful and inclusive environment.


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