Sex Roles

, Volume 38, Issue 7–8, pp 521–537 | Cite as

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

  • Charlotte Chiu


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.


Gender Difference Social Psychology National Survey General Study Lower Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Chiu

There are no affiliations available

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