Impact of gender roles on job satisfaction
Job satisfaction has made its way
recently in to business research. According to Greenberg and Baron, job
satisfaction as a feeling that can produce a positive or negative effect toward
one’s roles and responsibilities at work and added that it is important to
understand the concept of job satisfaction as there is no single way to satisfy all workers in the workplace (Baron, 2008). Job satisfaction is defined as “the extent to which
people like (satisfaction) or dislike (dissatisfaction) their jobs” (Spector, 1997)
Gender refers to the socially constructed
characteristics of women and men – such as norms, roles and relationships of
and between groups of women and men.
It differs from society to society
and it can be changed. Generally, most people are born either male or female,
they are taught the believed norms and behaviours to be followed– including how
they should behave with others of the same or opposite sex within their
surroundings like communities and work places.
Men’s and women’s
jobs differ greatly, across sectors, industries, occupations, types of jobs and
types of firms. While these differences evolve with economic development, the
resulting changes in the structure of employment are not enough to eliminate
employment segregation by gender. All over the world, women are concentrated in
low-productivity, low-paying jobs. They work in small farms and run small
firms, they are over-represented among unpaid workers and in the informal
sector, and they rarely rise to positions of power.(Gender Differences in
Employment and Why They Matter)
be seen a lot of change in today’s world with regard to women and employment.
We have a long way in this regard. Many women are breaking the glass ceiling
and achieving success in the top management. For example, two of the four
executive directors of ICICI bank were women in the year 2002-2003.
differences in worker characteristics (especially in human capital) and returns
matter, it is primarily differences in jobs that account for the gender gaps in
productivity and earnings. Three main factors lead to gender segregation in
access to economic opportunities among farmers, entrepreneurs, and wage
workers: gender differences in time use (primarily resulting from differences
in care responsibilities), gender differences in access to productive inputs
(particularly land and credit), and gender differences stemming from market and
institutional failures. (Gender Differences in
Employment and Why They Matter)
History of Job Satisfaction
Hoppock was first one who bought
job satisfaction to lime light in 1935. Prior to 1933, he reviewed around 35
studies on job satisfaction after which he said that job satisfaction is
combination of psychological, physiological and environmental circumstances
Pestonjee(1973) and Morse(1953)
also defined job satisfaction. One of the biggest introductions to the study of
job satisfaction was the Hawthorne study. Since the Hawthorne studies in
1939 and the emergence of the human relation movement, many pieces of research
and studies discuss this job attitude and its related subjects (Judge,
Thoresen, Bono and Patton, 2001).
are many factors that affect job satisfaction. Financial rewards, for instance,
affects an employee’s job performance. The employee’s perception about the wage
he is paid in comparison to the amount of work he does in an organization will
affect his job satisfaction. Also, if the organization does not increase the
employee’s pay using a fair job evaluation technique will lead employee
dissatisfaction. Similarly, other factors that affect job satisfaction are
employee’s relationship with supervisors, respect from co-workers, workload and
stress level (Hill).
One of the major issue faced by women employees are
unequal opportunities for growth and advancement. Women employees are often
stuck under glass ceiling effect. Hence, their promotions are often at a stake.
Most of the organizations do not have a well established appraisal system.
Another factor can be working conditions because
employees spend major portion of their time in the physical work space every
day so it is important for the organizations to elevate working conditions. The
employee should be provided favourable conditions like adequate lightning,
spacious work area, lunch room, medical aid, etc. Adding another factor to this
that will lead to efficient working of an employee is providing them with
upgraded technology to accomplish task(Hill).
Also, according to Herzberg’s motivational theory
factors like recognition and respect from others are equally important for an
employee. Often women employees are not valued in an organization. They are
policies is also one of the factor that affects job satisfaction, an autocratic
and highly authoritative structure causes resentment among the employees as
compared to a structure which is more open and democratic in nature.
gender equality in organization
There can be seen a lot of change in today’s world
with regard to women and employment. We have a long way in this regard. Many
women are breaking the glass ceiling and achieving success in the top
management. For example, two of the four executive directors of ICICI bank were
women in the year 2002-2003. However,
there still exist a huge pay gap between men and women performing the same
tasks in a job across the world. Most of the women have far less salary than
men. Hence, this pose a major challenge for the managers in today’s scenario
where women are progressing in obtaining higher organizational positions. Many
such issues prevail in the organization.
The rationale behind studying this topic is that in
most organization there are always issues in relation to gender equality. Hence
the aim of this article is to study if these factors in turn affect the job
satisfaction of women and whether there exist a difference in the job
satisfaction of men and women.
Review of literature
Job satisfaction has been one of the most widely
studied concepts in business and industrial psychology. It has been studied in
a variety of contexts, including manufacturing industries, government, public
and private entities, and education. This review of the literature provides an
overview of the studies which have addressed job satisfaction. In particular,
the review will provide a summation of the studies which have addressed gender
as a variable related to job satisfaction(Oliveira, 2011)
The 1st study was done by Keith A. Bender, Susan M.
Donohuet, and John S. H. (Keith A. Bender, 2005). The findings from
the 1st study indicates that the share of female workers in the NSCW reporting
being ‘very satisfied’ increases monotonically as the share of males in the
workplace declines and also, the job satisfaction of men increases with
additional earnings while that of women does not.The 2nd study was
done by Donna L. Hall (Hall, 1995)
ll. The findings from this study indicate that men and women defence lawyers
share similar work values, career orientations, and perceptions of work. Both
genders were relatively satisfied with their work because they valued the most
positive aspects of their jobs. However, perceptions of peer support and job
prestige correlated with the job satisfaction of men, while promotional
opportunities and workloads correlated with job satisfaction of women. These
differences were unrelated to marital status. The 3rd study was done
by Karyn A. Loscocco and Christine E.
Bose (Bose, 1998).
The results of the 3rd study indicate that Chinese women are less
satisfied with their jobs than are men, contrary to much research on other
countries. Like results in other countries, however, there are few gender
differences in the impact of specific determinants of job satisfaction. The
gender differences in satisfaction that do emerge reflect women’s economic
disadvantage; men’s satisfaction, however, is more closely tied to individual
features, such as education and age. The 4th study was done by Nancy
C. Jurik and Gregory J. Halemba(Halemba, 1984). The 4th
study results support the job model, which suggests that the attitudes of
working women are a function of their position in the organizational structure
and immediate working conditions. The 5th
study was done by Charles N. Weaver (Weaver, 1978). The results of 5th
study indicates that the sexes do not differ significantly in job satisfaction
in the estimated effects of comparable determinants when a number of variables
thought to have moderating effects are held constant.
The results of 1st study suggest that
policies which mandate changes in gender composition or equality in the bundles
of job attributes associated with gender composition (including earnings) could
lower the job satisfaction of both men and women.
The 2nd study has
policy relevance in a variety of contexts. It appears that when organizations
are unable to offer job benefits such high salaries and attractive customers,
they can retain committed workers by increasing opportunities for growth.
The results show a mixture of
findings. The 3rd study findings illuminate how the structure of
work and a country’s gender ideology combine to shape women’s and men’s work
The 4th study
indicates that female respondents, more often than men, cited intrinsic reasons
for employment in corrections. They were less likely than men to report
entering corrections work because of a desire for increased job security,
benefits, or salary. Hence, comparisons should be made
between males and females holding the same position in a wider variety of
occupational groups. Further, data should be drawn from a wider variety of
sources-in particular, more information on the subjects’ past work history,
multiple indicators of job satisfaction, and information on the structural
characteristics of local labour markets (i.e., male and female unemployment
rates in related fields) should be considered. These structural factors are
quite likely to differentially affect the work orientations of men and women.
The 5th study shows
that job satisfaction will be highly similar for both males and females when
several other variables are held constant. Therefore, it is unnecessary for
researchers to distinguish between job satisfaction and the determinants
included in this study nor should management expect male and female workers to
differ in the way their morale is affected by changes in the conditions of work
which are related to these determinants.
It seems that the findings differ
greatly in terms of difference in the job satisfaction level between males and
females. It seems to depend to a large extent on how the Independent variable
have been defined. Also the difference in the results shows that there are differ
number of factors that affect an employee’s satisfaction, for example, values,
job orientation, job position, economic status, etc.
The topic of women and job satisfaction have raised
many research articles, each with a different and a novel finding. All the
studies mentioned shows us a different angle of these two variable. Some of the study shows that there is a
difference in the job satisfaction level between males and females; whereas
others claim that there is no difference. Each study has found a different
relationship between these two variables. It shows how broadly the two
variables can be compared. Each study shows a different aspect/facet as the
determinant of job satisfaction. The difference in the findings could be
attributed to either the difference in their sample or it could be because of
the way the two variables have been defined. Hence, in order to reach a
conclusion regarding the relationship between the two variables, a meta
analysis may be required.
Baron, G. a. (2008). UKessays.
Spector. (1997). Retrieved from Work and family researchers network: https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/glossary/j/job-satisfaction-definitions
Hill, B. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Keith A. Bender, S. M. (2005). Job satisfaction and gender segregation. Oxford
Economic papers , 479-496.
Hall, D. L. (1995). Job Satisfaction Among Male and Female Public
Defense Attorneys . The Justice System Journal , 121-139.
Bose, K. A. (1998). Gender and Job Satisfaction in Urban China: The
Early Post-Mao Period. Social science quarterly , 91-109.
Halemba, N. C. (1984). Gender, Working Conditions and the Job
Satisfaction of Women in a NonTraditional . The sociological quarterly
Weaver, C. N. (1978). Sex Differences in the Determinants of Job
Satisfaction. The Academy of Management Journal .
Oliveira, D. S. (2011). The Impact of Gender and Rank on Job
Satisfaction Among Rehabilitation Counselor Educators. Florida State
University Libraries .
(n.d.). Retrieved from GSDRC Applied knowledge services.