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PSYC 3480 (233)
Chapter 7


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PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 7 Background Factors Related to Women's Employment The general term working women refers to two categories 1. Employed women or women who work for pay. They may receive a salary or be self employed 2. Non employed women or women who are not paid for their work. They may do work for their families in their own homes, or for volunteer for organizations, but they receive no money General Information about Employed Women – one of the best predictors of women's employment is her educational background – several decades ago one of the best predictors of women's employment was whether she had young children – however, the current U.S data show that women with preschool children do not differ from other women in their rate of employment – ethinicity is not strongly related to participation in the labor force – however, women of colour are underrepresented in most high salary occupations – immigrant women are likely to find low paying work on assembly line or in domestic settings – immigrants salaries are significantly lower than non immigrants with comparable training Women, Welfare and TANF – the previous policy called Aid to Families with Dependent Children was created to provide welfare payments for children whose parents could not supply economic support – 1996, AFDC replaced by (TANF), includes many regulations that could jeopardize economically poor women – former recipients who are currently employed; the majority of these women still live below poverty line – women in the TANF program in most states are specifically discouraged from pursuing education beyond the level of highschool – a few states include the option of higher education for TANF recipients – For example, Maine created “parents as scholars” program, which allows TAMF recipients to attend college, with long term goal of empowering them and helping them move out of poverty – women without college degrees are significantly more likely to live in poverty – The current TANF policy has not solved the employment problem – Discrimination in Hiring Patterns – access discrimination: refers to discrimination used in hiring- for example, rejecting well- qualified women applicants or offering them less attractive positions When doesAccess Discrimination Operate? 1. Employers who have strong gender stereotypes are more likely to demonstrate access discrimination 2. Access discrimination is particularly likely to operate when the applicant's qulaifications are ambiguous 3. Employers often discriminate against women candidates who are assertive, rather than feminine . People believe strong, assertive women are not socially skilled 4. Access discrimination is particularly likely to operate when women apply for prestigous positions 5. Access discrimination often operates for both women and men when they apply for gender appropriate jobs In summary, a women is less likely to be considered for a job when the evaluators hold strong stereotypes, when a women's qualifications are ambiguous, or when she is considered too assertive. She is also less likely to be considered when the position is prestigious, and when the jobs is considered appropriate for males How doesAccess Discrimination Operate – people's stereotypes about women may operate in several ways to produce access discrimination 1. Employers may have negative stereotypes about women's abilities 2. Employers may assume that the candidate must have certain stereotypically masculine characteristics to succeed on the job 3. Employers may pay attention to inappropriate characteristics when female candidates are being interviewed . They may ignore characteristics relevant to the executive position that she is seeking. Gender role spillover: beliefs about gender roles and characteristics spread to the work setting What is AffirmativeAction? – affirmative action means that an employer must make special efforts to consider qualified members of underrepresented groups during hiring, as well as decisions about salary and promotion – affirmative action also means that the employer has actively worked to remove any barriers that prevent genuine equality of opportunity – affirmative action specifies that 1) companies must encourage applications from underrepresented groups based on ethnicity and gender 2) companies must make good- faith effort to meet the affirmative action goals they have set – the goal of affirmative action is to make sure that fully qualified women and people of color are given fair consideration in the workplace, to compensate for past or present discrimination – research demonstrates that those U.S companies with affirmative action programs do indeed have greater workplace equality for women and people of color – Employment equity has shown similar success – reverse discrimination: a woman would be hired instead of a more highly qualified man (rare) – treatment discrimination refers to the discrimination that women encounter after they have obtained a job Discrimination in Salaries – the most obvious kind of treatment discrimination is that women earn less money than men do – the gender gap in salaries holds true for EuropeanAmericans,Blacks, and Latinos – other data show a similar gap forAsianAmericans – Salary discrimination cannot be explained by gender differences in education – women earn substantially lower salaries at every educational level – one important reason for the discrepancy in salaries is that men enter obs that pay more money – lawyers, who are usually men, earn more than twice as much as social workers, who are usually female – however, males earn more than females even in the same job – in Canada and U.S, women are simply paid less than men, even when other factors are taken into account – the salary gap is smaller in countries which the government has instituted a policy of pay equity Comparable Worth – comparable worth: argues that women and men should receive equal pay for different jobs when those different jobs are comparable- that is when the jobs require equal training and equal ability – occupational segregation: men and women tend to choose different occupations – the work that women do is devalued in terms of the actual dollar value placed on their accomplishments in the workplace – female stereotypical jobs pay less, simply because women rather than men who do this work – the strategy behind comparable worth is to pay the same salaries for “men;s jobs” and “women's jobs” that have been matched on characteristics such as education, previous experience, skills, level of danger, and supervisory responsibilities – comparable worth legislation has had only limited success – women specify lower salaries, suggesting they are satisfied with less money – men seem to have greater sense of entitlement based on their membership in the male social group, they believe they have a right to high rewards – both women and men know that women actually earn lower wages – women are typically more concerned about women's lower wages than men are – denial of personal disadvantage: many women are reluctant to acknowledge that they personally are the victims of discrimination – they know that women in general experience discrimination. However, if a woman acknowledges that she herself is underpaid, she must explain this inequity Discrimination in Promotion – women earn lower salaries than men even in comparable occupations – women are less likely than men to be promoted into the top leadership positions in universities, corporations, and other organizations – glass ceiling: an invisible but rigid barrier that seems to prevent women and people of color from reaching top levels in many professional organizations – Alice Eagly and Linda Carli point out that the glass ceiling metaphor is no longer appropriate since it implies that women and men have had equal opportunities- throughout their earlier employment- until they suddenly encounter this glass ceiling – they proposed labyrinth metaphor: women in search of a promotion will encounter many difficulties along the route, including dead ends, detours, and puzzling pathways – to successfully reach the goal at the end of the labyrinth, women must be extremely competent, and they also need to develop flexible strategies that blend warmth and compassion with strength and decisiveness – labor theorists created sticky floor which describes the situation of women who are employed in low level dead end jobs with no chance of promotion – glass escalator: applies to men who enter fields that are often associated with women; in these occupations men are often quickly promoted to management positions – the glass escalator whisks them up to a more prestigious position – women generally face discrimination with respect to promotion Other Kinds of Treatment Discrimination – women in the workplace are more likely than men to receive negative evaluations – women are often downgraded for the performance, especially if they are assertive – students rate young male professors as more conscientious and interested in their material, compared to female professors – students also think that their male professors should be entertaining, but their female professors should be caring and nurturing – male students are more likely than female students to give their female college professors poor rating on their teaching performance and classroom interactions – students often assume that male professors have had more education than female professors – sexual harassment: refers to unwanted gender-related behaviour such as, sexual coercian, offensive sexual attention, sexual touching, and hostile verbal and physical behaviours that focus on gender – women in blue collar jobs are typically more likely than men to report negative interaction in the workplace – women of color are especially likely to be left out of the social interactions and mentoring – women do not have equal opportunities in informal social interactions Discrimination Against Lesbians in the Workplace – heterosexism is a belief system that devalues lesbians, gays, bisexuals- any group that is not heterosexual – many employers refuse to hire individuals who are known to be gay – in some parts of the U.S, employers can fire employees for any reason they choose, including being a lesbians or gay male – research suggests people who are open and accepting of gay identity are higher in self esteem – bias is less likely when people are already familiar with an employees high quality work – lesbian and gay male workers sometimes find that their labor unions can support them when they encounter workplace discrimination – several studies show that lesbian workers earn higher salaries than heterosexual female workers – lesbians are more likely than other women to pursue nontraditional careers, which also pay better than traditionally feminine careers What to do about Treatment Discrimination 1. Women should be aware of the conditions in which stereotypes are least likely to operate 2. Join relevant organizations, use the internet, and make connections with other supportive people 3. locate so
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