Advertisement

Women in the Workplace: Feminism’s Potential Impact

  • Kendra SaundersEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

Despite advances for women in the workplace, several factors continue to negatively impact women’s sense of well-being at work. These factors include sex discrimination, gender role constraints, a male dominated workplace, and rigidity in work/family arrangements. This chapter will review ways a feminist perspective may assist women in the workplace by challenging traditional gender-roles, giving a context for discrimination, and providing a sense of competency in managing the work environment, perhaps leading to a greater overall sense of well-being. Lastly, using the feminist perspective, the chapter concludes with some recommendations for improving the workplace for women.

Keywords

Feminism Women Workplace Mental health Psychological well-being 

References

  1. Anderson, K. J. (2012). Is feminism good for women? In P. K. Lundberg-Love, K. L. Nadal, & M. A. Paludi (Eds.), Women and mental disorders (Vol. 1–4, pp. 3–15). Santa Barbara: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.Google Scholar
  2. Askari, S. F., Liss, M., Erchull, M. J., Staebell, S. E., & Axelson, S. J. (2010). Men want equality, but women don’t expect it: Young adults’ expectations for participation in household and child care chores. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 243–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ayres, M. M., Friedman, C. K., & Leaper, C. (2009). Individual and situational factors related to young women’s likelihood of confronting sexism in their everyday lives. Sex Roles, 61, 449–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bastain, L., Lancaster, A., & Reyst, J. (1996). The Department of Defense 1995 sexual harassment survey. Arlington: Defense Manpower Data Center.Google Scholar
  5. Betz, N., & Fitzgerald, L. (1987). The career psychology of women. Orlando: Academic.Google Scholar
  6. Bianchi, S. M., Milkie, M. A., Sayer, L. C., & Robinson, J. P. (2000). Its anyone doing the housework? Trends in the gender division of labor. Social Forces, 79, 191–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bird, C. E., & Ross, C. E. (1993). Houseworkers and paid workers: Qualities of the work and effects on personal control. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 55, 913–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bishaw, A., & Semega, J. (2008). Income, earnings, and poverty data from the 2007 American Community Survey (American community survey reports, ACS – 09). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau.Google Scholar
  9. Boye, K. (2009). Relatively different? How do gender differences in well-being depend on paid and unpaid work in Europe? Social Indicators Research, 93, 509–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brooks, L., & Perot, A. R. (1991). Reporting sexual harassment: Exploring a predictive model. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15, 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cady, K. A. (2013). Flexible labor: A feminist response to late twentieth-century capitalism? Feminist Media Studies, 13, 395–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Capodilupo, C. M., Nadal, K. L., Corman, L., Hamit, S., Lyons, O., & Weinberg, A. (2010). The manifestation of gender microaggressions. In D. W. Sue (Ed.), Microagressions and marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact (pp. 193–216). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Castro, Y., & Gordon, K. H. (2012). A review of recent research on multiple roles and women’s mental health. In P. K. Lundberg-Love, K. L. Nadal, & M. A. Paludi (Eds.), Women and mental disorders (Vol. 1–4, pp. 37–54). Santa Barbara: Praeger/ABC-CLIO.Google Scholar
  14. Correll, S., Bernard, S., & Paik, I. (2007). Getting a job: Is there a mother-hood penalty? American Journal of Sociology, 112, 1297–1338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crull, P. (1982). Stress effect of sexual harassment on the job: Implications for counseling. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52, 539–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cunningham, M. (2005). Gender in cohabitation and marriage – The influence of gender ideology on housework allocation over the life course. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 1037–1061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. DeSouza, E. R., & Solberg, J. (2003). Incidence and dimensions of sexual harassment across cultures. In M. Paludi & C. Paludi (Eds.), Academic and work-place sexual harassment: A handbook of cultural, social science, management, and legal perspectives (pp. 3–30). Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  18. Donaphue, N., & Fallon, B. J. (2003). Gender-role self-stereotyping and the relationship between equality and satisfaction in close relationships. Sex Roles, 48, 217–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Downing, N. E., & Roush, K. L. (1985). From passive acceptance to active commitment: A model of feminist identify development for women. Counseling Psychologist, 13, 695–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Estes, S. B. (2004). How are family-responsive workplace arrangements family friendly? Employer accommodations, parenting, and children’s socioemotional well-being. The Sociological Quarterly, 45, 637–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fine, M. (1992). Disruptive voices: The possibility of feminist research. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  22. Fisher, A. R., & Good, G. E. (2004). Women’s feminist consciousness, anger, and psychological distress. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 437–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fisher, A. R., & Holz, K. B. (2010). Testing a model of women’s personal sense of justice, control, well-being, and distress in the context of sexist discrimination. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 34, 297–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fisher, A. R., Tokar, D. M., Mergel, M. M., Good, G. E., Hill, M. S., & Blum, S. A. (2000). Assessing women’s feminist identity development. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, 15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Foster, M. D. (2000). Positive and negative responses to personal discrimination: Does coping make a difference? The Journal of Social Psychology, 140, 93–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Franks, M. M., & Stephanes, M. A. (1992). Multiple roles of middle-generation caregivers: Contextual effects and psychological mechanisms. Journal of Gerontology, 47, 123–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gruber, J. E., & Bjorn, L. (1982). Blue collar blues: The sexual harassment of women autoworkers. Work and Occupations, 9, 271–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gruber, J. E., & Smith, M. (1995). Women’s responses to sexual harassment. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 17, 543–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gupta, N., Jenkins, G. D., & Beehr, T. A. (1983). Employee gender, gender similarity, and supervisor-subordinate cross evaluations. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 8, 174–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hamilton, J., Alagna, S., King, L., & Loyd, C. (1987). The emotional consequences of gender-based abuse in the workplace: New counseling programs for sex discrimination. Women and Therapy, 6, 155–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harris, K. L., Melaas, K., & Rodacker, E. (1999). The impact of women’s studies courses on college students of the 1990s. Sex Roles, 40, 969–977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hausmann, R., Tyson, L., & Zahidi, S. (2009). The global gender gap report. Geneva: World Economic Forum.Google Scholar
  34. Henderson-King, D. H., & Zhermer, N. (2003). Feminist consciousness among Russians and Americans. Sex Roles, 48, 143–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hong, J., & Seltzer, M. M. (1995). The psychological consequences of multiple roles: The nonnormative case. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 36(4), 386–398.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hoobler, J. M., Wayne, S. J., & Lemmon, G. (2009). Bosses’ perceptions of family – work conflict and women’s promotability: Glass ceiling effects. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 939–957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Illies, R., Hauserman, N., Schwochau, S., & Stibal, J. (2003). Reported incidence rates of work-related sexual harassment in the United States: Using meta-analysis to explain reported rate disparities. Personnel Psychology, 56, 607–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Institute for Women’s Policy Research. (2012). Pay equity and discrimination. Retrieved from http://www.iwpr.org/press-room/press-releases/most-women-working-today-will-not-see-equal-pay-during-their-working-lives
  39. Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationship of core self-evaluation traits – Self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability- with job satisfaction and job performance. A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 80–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Judge, T. A., & Livingston, B. (2008). Is the gap more than gender? A longitudinal analysis of gender, gender role orientation and earnings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 994–1012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Keil, J., & Christie-Mizell, C. (2008). Beliefs, fertility, and earnings of African American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white mothers. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 30, 299–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Leaper, C., & Arias, D. M. (2011). College women’s feminist identity: A multidimensional analysis with implications for coping with sexism. Sex Roles, 64, 475–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Leaper, C., & Brown, C. (2008). Perceived experiences with seism among adolescent girls. Child Development, 79, 685–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Leicht, K. T. (2008). Broken down by race and gender? Sociological explanations of new sources of earnings inequality. American Review of Sociology, 34, 237–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Major, B. (1987). Gender, justice, and the psychology of entitlement. In P. Shaver & C. Hendrick (Eds.), Review of personality and social psychology (Sex and gender, Vol. 7, pp. 124–148). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  46. Malkin, C., & Stake, J. E. (2004). Changes in attitudes and self-confidence in women’s and gender studies classroom: The role of teacher alliance and student cohesion. Sex Roles, 50(7/8), 455–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mauthner, N. S. (1998). It’s a women’s cry for help: A relational perspective on postnatal depression. Feminism and Psychology, 8, 325–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Milner-Rubino, K., Settles, I. H., & Stewart, A. J. (2009). More than numbers: Individual and contextual factors in how gender diversity effects women’s well-being. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 33, 463–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Milner-Rubio, K., & Cortina, L. M. (2004). Working in a context of hostility toward women: Implications for employees’ well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 9, 107–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moen, P., & Roehling, P. (2005). The career mystique: Cracks in the American dream. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.Google Scholar
  51. Monserrat, S., Duffy, J., Olivas-Lujan, M., Miller, J., Gregory, A., Fox, S., Lutuchy, T., Punnett, B. J., & Santos, N. (2009). Mentoring experiences of successful women across the Americas. Gender in Management, 24, 455–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Moradi, B. (2012). Feminist social justice orientation: An indicator of optimal functioning? The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 1133–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Morandi, B., & Subich, L. M. (2002). Perceived sexist events and feminist identity development attitudes: Links to women’s psychological distress. The Counseling Psychologist, 30, 44–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Morandi, B., & Yoder, J. D. (2011). Current status and future directions in research on women’s experiences. In E. M. Altmaier & J. C. Hansen (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of counseling psychology (pp. 346–374). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Murnen, S. K., & Smolak, L. (2009). Are feminist women protected from body image problems? A meta-analytic review of relevant research. Sex Roles, 60, 186–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ossana, S. M., Helms, J. E., & Leonaryd, M. M. (1992). Do “womanist” identity attitudes influence college women’s self-esteem and perceptions of environmental bias? Journal of Counseling and Development, 70, 402–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pence, D. (1992). A women’s studies course: Its impact on women’s attitudes towards men and masculinity. NSWA Journal, 4, 321–355.Google Scholar
  58. Rao, K., Apte, M., & Subbakrishna, D. K. (2003). Coping and subjective well-being in women with multiple roles. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 49, 175–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rederstorff, J., Buchanan, N., & Settles, I. (2007). The moderating roles of race and gender-role attitudes in the relationship between sexual harassment and psychological well-being. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31, 50–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Reid, J., & Hardy, M. (1999). Multiple roles and well-being among midlife women: Testing role strain and role enhancement theories. Journals of Gerontology Series B – Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 54, S329–S338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Ridgeway, C., & Correll, S. (2004). Motherhood as a status characteristic. Journal of Social Issues, 60, 683–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Rudman, L. A., & Phelan, J. E. (2007). The interpersonal power for feminism: Is feminism good for romantic relationships? Sex Roles, 57, 787–799.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Saunders, K. J., & Kashubeck-West, S. (2006). The relations among feminist identity development, gender-role orientation, and psychological well-being in women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30, 199–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Schmitt, M. T., Branscombe, N. R., Kobrynowicz, D., & Owen, S. (2002). Perceiving discrimination against one’s gender group has different implications for well-being in women and men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 197–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Schneider, B. E. (1982). Consciousness about sexual harassment among heterosexual and lesbian women workers. Journal of Social Issues, 38, 75–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Steffens, M. C., Jelenec, P., & Noack, P. (2010). On the leaky math pipeline: Comparing implicit math-gender stereotypes and math withdrawal in female and make children and adolescents. Journal of Education Psychology, 102, 947–963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Swim, J. K., Hyers, L. L., Cohen, L. L., & Ferguson, M. J. (2001). Everyday sexism: Evidence for its incidence, nature, and psychological impact from three daily diary studies. Journal of Social Issues, 57, 31–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2009). Women in the labor force: A databook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook-2009.pdf
  69. U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2011). Gender-based wage gap persists, experts agree at EEOC forum. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/4-28-11a.cfm
  70. Yoder, J. D. (2012). Finding optimal functioning in a sexist world: A social justice challenge. The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 72–80.Google Scholar
  71. Yoder, J. D., Perry, R. L., & Saal, E. I. (2007). What good is feminist identity? Women’s feminist identification and role expectations for intimate and sexual relationships. Sex Roles, 57, 365–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Yoder, J. D., Snell, A. F., & Tobias, A. (2012). Balancing multicultural competence with social justice: Feminist beliefs and optimal psychological functioning. The Counseling Psychologist, 40, 1101–1132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Zucker, A. N. (2004). Disavowing social identities: What it means when women say, “I’m not a feminist, but…”. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 28, 423–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Millersville UniversityMillersvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations