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Gender at Work

A Social Psychological Perspective

Series:

Melanie C. Steffens and Ma. Àngels Viladot

While many women receive equal education, such equality is nowhere in sight when it comes to women’s and men’s career success: men still earn significantly more than women and are more likely to be promoted. In this book, the authors offer a state of the art review of applied social-psychological research on gender at work, shedding light on all the different ways that work-related perceptions, attributions, outcomes, and the like differ for women and men. Focusing on domains (e.g., engineering) and positions (e.g., leadership) that are marked by women’s underrepresentation, the first part of the book looks at gender at work in terms of stereotypes, attitudes, and social roles, including parenthood, while the second part takes a social identity and communication perspective, exploring the situations in which men and women interact at work. Many chapters focus on applied questions, such as career choice, effects of role models, and sexual harassment at work. Theories and findings are applied to these topics, with conclusions and recommendations drawn throughout the book.
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Chapter 17. Conservatives Versus Liberals

Extract

← 190 | 191 → ·17·

Although the presence of women in the labor market has increased significantly in recent decades, we are still far from full gender equality in the workplace. And even more far the higher up we go in the hierarchy of organizations.

A recent study by the firm PayScale on salary increases provides new evidence in this regard. This study, conducted in late 2014 in the United States from a sample of more than 30,000 people has a positive outcome: It belies the widespread belief that women ask less than men for salary increases. It also shows that the percentage of employees who get the requested increase is similar in men and women.

However, when we apply the zoom, look up and focus on the group of professionals who have an MBA, what we see is worrying. When we look at what happens to these people, mostly directors, we discover that they don’t enjoy so much gender equality. Among the MBAs, 63% of men who requested a salary increase got everything they asked for, versus only 48% of women. But there’s more: Only 10% of men did not get anything, compared to 21% of women (PayScale, 2014).

Although most people prefer a male boss, this trend has decreased, and the preference for a female boss and the percentage of people “without preference” has increased (see Gallup Poll Survey, 2013). This is probably due to ← 191 | 192 → a general change in...

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