Sex Roles

, Volume 38, Issue 7–8, pp 521–537

Do Professional Women Have Lower Job Satisfaction Than Professional Men? Lawyers as a Case Study

  • Charlotte Chiu

DOI: 10.1023/A:1018722208646

Cite this article as:
Chiu, C. Sex Roles (1998) 38: 521. doi:10.1023/A:1018722208646


A central paradox in studies of gender and jobsatisfaction is why women's job satisfaction is notlower than men's, given that women's jobs are ofteninferior. The explanation most commonly used is that women have lower expectations than men becausethey compare themselves to women while men comparethemselves to men. However, general studies maybemasking a gender difference in higher occupationallevels. The current study explores this possibility byanalyzing the 326 lawyers in the 1990 National Survey ofLawyers' Career Satisfaction. Of the women, 9% wereminorities, and of the men, 3%. It is found that women have significantly lower jobsatisfaction. Women's lower job satisfaction is dueprimarily to their lack of influence and promotionalopportunity. The results support the assertion thatprofessional women have the same expectations asprofessional men, not lower, but because of inequalityin opportunity, the women have lower jobsatisfaction.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Chiu

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