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Chapter 7 Women and Work
Terms in this set (42)
women who work for pay
-may receive a salary or be self-employed
women who are not paid for their work
-may do work for their families in their own homes, or for volunteer organizations, but they receive no money for these services
1970-43% of women over age of 16 were employed
2010- increased to 65%
increased dramatically in some fields that were once reserved for men-
2010- 49% of U.S. medical school graduates are women
2010- 47% of U.S. law school graduates are women
college and labor statistics
U.S. women with at least a master's degree are more likely than women with less than four years of high school to be employed outside the home.
-Several decades ago, one of the best predictors of a woman's employment was whether she had children. Currently, women with preschool children do not differ from other women in their rate of employment. Also, ethnicity is not strongly related to participation in the labor force, but women of color are underrepresented in most high-salary occupations. Immigrant women face different barriers to employment because of language and discrimination.
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
program that was created to provide welfare payments for children whose parents could not supply economic support
-far from perfect, but did benefit numerous low-income families
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996
-includes many regulations that jeopardize economically poor women- individuals can only receive benefits for a lifetime maximum of 5 years
-the long-term goal is for a mother to earn enough money for the family to be self-sufficient, but very few families reach this goal
-each state has different policies and some discourage women from pursuing higher education, but a few, like Maine allows recipients to attend college, with long term goal of empowering women and helping them move out of poverty
discrimination used in hiring
-for ex, rejecting well-qualified women applicants or offering them less attractive positions
When access discrimination operates
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 qualifications are ambiguous.
3. Employers often discriminate against women candidates who are assertive, rather than feminine.
4. Access discrimination is particularly likely to operate when women apply for a prestigious position.
5. Access discrimination often operates for both women and men when they apply for "gender-inappropriate" jobs.
How access discrimination operates
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.
beliefs about gender roles and characteristics spread to the work setting
means that an employer must take special efforts to consider qualified members of underrepresented groups during hiring, as well as decisions about salary and promotion
-Current U.S. federal law- every company that has more than 50 employees must establish a ________ _________ plan.
-also means that the employer has actively worked to remove any barriers that prevent genuine equality of opportunity- (most often underrepresented groups are women and people of color)
affirmative action specifies that
1. companies must encourage applications from underrepresented groups, based on ethnicity and gender, and
2. companies must make a good-faith effort to meet the affirmative action goals they have set
goal of affirmative action
to make sure that fully qualified women and people of color are given a fair consideration in the workplace, to compensate for past or present discrimination
In this, a woman would be hired instead of a more highly qualified man. However, this is relatively rare.
-Research shows that affirmative action can provide an advantage for White employees by teaching them more cognitive skills and conflict-resolution skills if they interact frequently with people from other ethnic groups.
refers to the discrimination that women encounter after they have obtained a job
discrimination in salaries
As of 2010, U.S. women who worked full time earned only 77% of the median annual salary of men.
-Salary discrimination cannot be explained by gender differences in education. Women earn substantially lower salaries at every educational level.
-For instance, studies have shown that men with associate degrees earn about $200 more each year than women with bachelor's degrees.
-The salary gap is smaller in countries in which the government has instituted a policy of pay equity.
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
-Strategy behind this 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.
People who favor comparable-worth legislation point out that we can attribute much of the gender gap in wages to this; as we noted, 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. These female-stereotypical jobs pay less, simply because it is women-rather than men- who do this work.
With respect to salary, men seemed to have a greater sense of this; based on their membership in the male social group, they believed that they a right to high rewards. (in studies, men have asked for more money when no additional information was provided)
denial of personal disadvantage
many women are reluctant to acknowledge that they-personally- are the victims of discrimination
-If a woman continues to deny, she is not likely to fight for pay equity and other social justice issues.
the glass ceiling
an invisible but rigid barrier that seems to prevent women and people of color from reaching the top levels in many professional organizations
-Alice Eagly and Linda Carli point out that this metaphor is no longer appropriate because it implies that women and men have had equal opportunities-throughout their early employment-until they suddenly encounter this glass ceiling.
Eagly and Carli propose this concept-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 this, women must be extremely competent, and they also need to develop flexible strategies that blend warmth and compassion with strength and decisiveness.
Labor theorists have created a different metaphor that describes the situation of women who are employed in low-level, dead-end jobs with no chance of promotion. Many women are office workers, cashiers and waitresses and many will likely never be considered for positions with greater responsibility.
phenomenon applies to men who enter fields that are often associated with women, such as nursing, teaching, library science, and social work; in these occupations, men are more often quickly promote to management positions
-this whisks them up to a more prestigious position
other types of treatment discrimination
-women in workplace are more likely than men to receive negative evaluations
-women are often downgraded for their performance, especially if they are assertive
-women teaching at colleges, students rate young male professors as more conscientious and interested in their material, compared with young female professors
-student think their male professors should be entertaining, but female professors caring, nurturing
-students assume male professors have more training than female professors and call them "Miss" or "Ms." instead of "Dr."
discrimination against lesbians in workplace
-many employers refuse to hire individuals who are known to be gay- for ex, public schools often discriminate against hiring lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as teachers- unjustified argument is they may persuade young people to adopt a nonheterosexual orientation
-many jobs seem to require that gay individuals remain in the closet
-lesbian workers earn higher salaries than heterosexual female workers (may be due to education and nontraditional careers)
What to do about treatment discrimination
1. Women should be aware of the conditions in which stereotypes are least likely to operate, for example, when the job applicant's qualifications are clear-cut rather than ambiguous. Find work you enjoy. Then develop skills and experiences that are especially relevant to your occupation, so you are clearly well qualified.
2. Join relevant organizations, use the Internet, and make connections with other supportive people. Feminist organizations may be especially helpful.
3. Locate someone who has achieved success in your profession; ask whether she can serve as a mentor.
types of traditionally female jobs
dental hygienist, secretary, registered nurse, bank teller, librarian, domestic work, garment work
Immigrant domestic workers come to live and work in private homes, doing child care and other domestic work until they can earn a green card.
-Many report their employers insult them, do not let them leave the house, and treat them much like modern-day slaves.
-Many immigrant domestic workers do not know their legal rights.
a factory that violates labor laws regarding wages and working conditions
-maquiladoras or maquilas in Latin America- often owned by U.S. corporations
-about half of all the clothing you can buy in U.S. was made in another country, typically under extremely poor working conditions- poor wages and long inhumane working hours (still some operate from Los Angeles to Toronto-2003)
women employment in male, high-prestige jobs
-women who pursue nontraditional careers tend to be high achievers their specific area of expertise
-men are more self-confident than women
-chilly climate may continue for some women in their graduate training and in their professions
-women typically receive less mentoring than men do
-when women apply for jobs, they may find that they are evaluated by physical appearance rather than job-related competence
-female scientists are also much less likely than men to be hired by prestigious universities
-after they're hired, they may feel that their male colleagues have negative attitudes toward women and ignore women's contributions, also seldom nominated for prestigious national awards
-sexism, patronizing (referring to scientists only as "he"), sexual harassment are all issues for women in high-prestige, traditionally male positions
women employment in male blue-collar jobs
-women may be held to stricter standards than male coworkers
-men often claim women are physically unable to do the work
-sexual harassment is common
-fortunately, some women report developing good working relationships with their male colleagues and a sense of pride in their own strength and serving as a role model
person-centered explanations or the individual approach
-female socialization encourages women to develop personality traits and skills that are inappropriate for these "male occupations"
-one example would be to claim that women are less motivated than men (but women and men are similar in areas of motivations and achievement)
situation-centered explanations or the structural approach
-the characteristics of the organizational situation explain why women are rarely employed in these traditionally masculine occupations; personal skills or traits cannot be blamed
-for ex, access discrimination may block women's opportunities, and if women do get hired, they face several kinds of treatment discrimination
-people in prestigious positions may be unwilling to help new female employees
employment and marriage
-In 52% of married couples in U.S., both wife and husband are employed (2008)
dividing household responsibilities
-women spend more time on housework than men each week
-several studies suggest that men do somewhat more housework if they are married to employed women
-however, men still perform only 30-40% of the household tasks in two-job families
-Because women spend so much time on housework, there is also a leisure gap for employed men and women.
-Men may feel entitled to do less housework- and many women do not express anger toward more.
satisfaction with marriage
-some studies show that marriages are more stable if the woman is employed
-an employed woman is usually happier with her marriage if her husband performs a relatively large percentage of the housework; a woman whose husband performs little housework is at risk for depression
-women who work outside the home may be busier than nonemployed women, but the two groups seem to be equally satisfied with their marriages
taking care of children
-research suggests that North American fathers have substantially increased their child-care responsibilities since similar studies were conducted 30 years ago
-still, mothers perform most of the child care
-in general, fathers tend to spend their child-care time playing with their children, whereas mothers are in charge of tasks such as diapering and discipline
-mothers perform between 60-90% of child care tasks
-when fathers perform a high proportion of child care, children show greater cognitive and social skills~ children are higher in self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems
maternal employment and children
-many people respond negatively to "nontraditional" families, with mothers employed full time
-research contradicts beliefs that children are harmed
-nature of conclusions depends on variables such as the quality of the child care, the age of the child, the economic background of the family, and the mother's sensitivity to her child's needs
-in general, cognitive development is similar in children who have been in a day-care setting to that of children cared for by their mother at home
-employed mothers are models of competent women in workplace
occurs when people have difficulty fulfilling all their different role obligations
mental health in regard to role strain
-depends on job satisfaction
-employed women are often happier and better adjusted, if their work role is an important part of their positive self-concept and if their work allows them some degree of independence
-buffer effect against problems in different settings
-research demonstrates woman's self-esteem is often enhanced by employment
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