Institutional-level Contributors to Inequality: The Existence and Impact of Gendered Wording within Job Advertisements
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The present research demonstrates a novel institutional-level contributor--that is, gendered wording used in job recruitment materials--that serves to perpetuate the status quo, keeping women underrepresented in traditionally male-dominated occupations. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the literature on barriers to women’s inclusion in traditionally male-dominated fields. Chapter 2 demonstrates the existence of subtle but systematic wording differences within a randomly sampled set of job advertisements. Results indicated that job advertisements for male-dominated areas employed greater "masculine" (e.g., challenge, analyze, lead) than “feminine” wording (e.g., support, understand, interpersonal; Studies 1 and 2). In Chapter 3, I tested the consequences of these wording differences across four experimental studies. When job ads were constructed to include more masculine than feminine wording, people perceived fewer women within these occupations (Study 3) and, importantly, women found these jobs less appealing (Studies 4-6). Men showed the opposite pattern, preferring jobs with masculinely-worded ads to the femininely-worded jobs (Study 4-5). Results confirmed that perceptions of belongingness (but not perceived skills) mediated the effect of gendered wording on job appeal (Studies 4 and 6). The system-justifying function of gendered wording and implications for gender parity and theoretical models of inequality are discussed in Chapter 4.
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Danielle Gaucher (2010). Institutional-level Contributors to Inequality: The Existence and Impact of Gendered Wording within Job Advertisements. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/5258