Recently, a female worker named Carol whose sexual orientation is lesbian) has expressed being passed over for a promotion three different times after being told she is “next in line”. She has faithfully worked for Walmart for the last five years, yet instead of being promoted, she watched three different men receive the promotion and title of store manager. Since Walmart has set up shop, some local business owners went out of business, while others have taken a hit financially. Aside from Walmart, other investors have since started buying property for future development.
In response to this, the community has started coming ogether to voice their concerns about the future of their town. Engaging the Community Due to the fact that the Walmart employees already make up the majority of the community, the intervention will be a collaborative effort of Walmart employees and other community members. Members of Smallville have already began meeting as a community to voice issues of concern and it would be an appropriate place for the issue of Walmart and gender inequality to be brought to light.
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Brining the issue to attention, mustering support, and then collectively engaging about the issue are the initial steps. Surveying Walmart employees with close attention to women will be a tool used to measure the scope of the problem. Guiding Theories When looking to an appropriate guiding macro theory, several could be applied including the Theory of Radical Community Organizing along with empowerment and the Social Planning Theory.
In combination, they can be utilized as the framework for the community intervention in Smallville. Radical Community Organizing is based on a view of social change that emphasizes the basic humanity and equality of all individuals. (Weil, 2013). According to Weil, (2013) “The radical theory rejects the conservative view of ociety as the aggregation of individual self-interest, and incorporates the marginalized populations such as people of different color, members of the GLBT community, the disabled and women” (p366).
Radical Community Organizing is an appropriate theory for Smallville to utilize, as it promotes the inclusion of the already marginalized and oppressed populations. Saul Alinksy was a radical organizer who was not afraid Of conflict, and sought after illogical practices to challenge, for the sole purpose of restructuring them in the favor of justice and equality. First wave feminism was developed out of his theory, eventually leading us into the empowerment theory.
The Empowerment Theory has deep roots in the radical community organizing process however, it wasn’t until the 1 970’s that it was used in the social work field (Weil, 2013). According to Weil (2013), “from an organizing perspective, empowerment theory looks at the dynamic of a communitys material, emotional and physiological needs by combining both political-economic and psychological perspectives” (p367). It is a way for members in the community to develop an awareness of issues, and evaluate their own capacities to promote change in their environments (Weil, 2013).
The Empowerment theory relates to Smallville, because the community is already tight knit and they are in the beginning stages Of community organizing. TO further the group cohesiveness and motivation, empowerment is used to give power back to the disenfranchised. Helping individuals realize their actual potential and strengths, is a big part of unification when working in a group setting. Advocating and mustering support for the issue will unite the community, empowering them to provoke change and stand by their female group members.
According to Gilbert and Specht (1 977), “Social planning in theory is conscious attempt to solve a problem and control a future event by analyzing a set of value preferences embodied in a culture or agency which lead to the choice of a particular line of action”. In a handout provided by Dr. Stoddard at APSU, York (1982) outlines five elements of social planning “it is future oriented; it is a continuous process; it is separate from decision making and provides systemic procedures for decision making; it is goal directed, and it relates a means to an ends” (York, Handout).
Social planning is a way to plan services or efforts to improve the quality of life in communities. The social planning theory relates to the case in Smallville due to the fact that gender inequality or unequal employment opportunity is an ongoing problem not just in Walmart, but in many work settings, and can be applied accordingly. For the case of Smallville, the Model of PREPARE in combination with the planning model IMAGINE will be the methods utilized to strategically plan an organized protest to combat unequal employment opportunity practices in the Smallville Walmart.
PREPARE is a useful tool for analyzing what problems are troubling the whole community and evaluate what tools can be utilized in ixing the issues. While IMAGINE provides guidelines and gives a process on how to go about implementing changes for the community. Each theory is applied to the intervention models through strengthening the female employee’s resolve while providing guidance on how these women can collaborate in order to organize. Intervention plan The method for taking on Walmart in Smallville will be done in two phases. The first phase will follow the PREPARE model.
The second phase will follow the IMAGINE model. PREPARE is a way to bring the issue to light, establish goals, and find people of relevance to work with. After the problem has been deemed important and worth addressing, the IMAGINE model can be used to guide the the planning and implementation process. PREPARE PREPARE stands for; P-problems to address, R-review macro and personal reality, E-establish primary goals, p-people of influence identified, A-assess potential cost and benefits to clients and agency, R-review professional risk, E- evaluate the potential success of the macro change (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2001, p. 99). PREPARE can be used initially to create awareness of the problem, which is Walmart and gender inequality in workplace. Discussing the problem and setting goals are the first steps. The goal for Smallville is for Walmart to enforce and follow equal employment opportunity laws. To get a realistic scope of the problem data is needed to support the claim. Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used. Qualitative research methods such as interviewing the Walmart employees at community meetings will be used to receive an initial and detailed scope of the problem from the perspective of the employees.
Is this a gender issue, or sexual orientation issue? Quantitative methods such as a survey will be given to all Walmart employees to help reduce bias and increase accurate and anonymous feedback. Surveys will be distributed at community meetings, and via door knocking methods to all Walmart employees for the purpose of insuring that they all have an equal chance of being heard. people of relevant influence can be identified as employees who are affected by discriminatory practices in the workplace. Walmar& human resource director is another important person of influence as they have the ability to enforce the policies and laws.
It would also be good to identify a journalist who can rite about the problem and update the public on the progress or lack thereof. When assessing the cost and benefits to the clients and reviewing professional risk, we have to ask the question, do the benefits outweigh the risk? For the clients, they could be at-risk for losing their jobs if they speak out. If employees lose their job for standing up for equal opportunity, its possible a lawsuit could be filed against the social worker who is leading the intervention.
However, the benefits to a successful intervention are huge in the case of Smallville. An evaluation of the potential success determines that f the intervention works, women and minorities will be treated as equal to their male counterparts in Walmart, and promoted accordingly. The community will become more empowered and united, raising the overall morale. Going through the initial intervention will serve as a future oriented model for Smallville to follow for each big issue that arises in their small, tight- knit community.
IMAGINE IMAGINE stands for; I-innovative idea, M-muster support and develop action system, A-assets identified, G-goals are specified, I-implement the plan, N- neutralize the opposition, E-evaluate progress (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2001 IMAGINE serves as a guide for the planning and implementation process. The goal for the intervention is to achieve equal employment opportunity for the workers, in particular the woman who are employed by Walmart. Coming up with an idea to relate a means to an ends is the first step in planning. We have to ask ourselves how this problem can be realistically resolved.
Organizing a protest on behalf of Walmart employees is the intervention that will be used in Smallville. By organizing and demonstrating as a group, the community as a whole will feel more empowered. Initially, a letter of concern hould be sent to the Walmart human services department to inquire about discriminatory practice that is currently taking place. They should be included on the matter to allow time for a remedy if they choose to put forth one. If Walmart refuses to put forth a solution (for purpose Of this assignment, Walmart has refused to address the situation), community members will take the steps and organize a peaceful protest.
Protest have been proven as an effective intervention in the past. Recently, after years of employee protest, Walmart has passed a wage increase to $9. 00 per hour for 40% of its minimum wage employees. This is an example of how when people gather in large numbers to protest for change, change happens. Protest are also reflective of an ongoing process and can relate a means to an end. Advocating through social media and news sources along with emails and advertisements to alert the public should be utilized to bring light to the issue and get the word out about the protest.
Making sure dates, times and locations are known to everyone is important. The journalist that was referenced as a person of influence in the PREPARE model, should be reached at this point so they can cover the details of the intervention. Other groups from other cities, as well as other Walmart employees may be interested in supporting the workers in Smallville. Radically Organizing with other groups to gain numbers and additional support is a way to expedite the issue to being heard. It will also serve as an important component to empowering the movement, as there are power in numbers.
The opposition can be neutralized with education. If the community members, workers and employers are educated on the Equal Employment Opportunity laws, along with case law that has previously been used against Walmart, they won’t have uch of a choice but to comply. If Walmart complies, the protest will end. Progress will be evaluated on whether or not employees see a difference in the way they are treated in the workplace. Are they seeing promotions and breaking through the glass ceiling? Are they receiving an equal pay for the same work and qualifications?
If obstacles are presented, or progress is minimal, the plan will be re-evaluated and modified accordingly. Diversity, Policy and Justice Within the community lies a diverse group of people with different ethnic backgrounds, gender and sexual orientation. Since Smallville is a tight-knit community where everyone has known each other from community gatherings, work, or church there are definite signs of community appreciation. The residents of Smallville appreciate and are tolerant of each other’s values, beliefs and biology, however, the same cannot be said about the Walmart super-center in Smallville.
Not only is the company insensitive towards female empowerment they are also avoidant towards appreciation of ethnic diversity and sexual orientation. Basically, unless the worker is a Caucasian male it is highly probable that a female of any background will be urned down from promotion opportunities. Walmart has had several class action lawsuits in the past about unequal opportunity in the workplace. According to Reed (2013) female Walmart employees have been receiving less pay than their male coworkers.