Not just underpaid, women also work more stressful, less flexible jobs

Study finds women at work are paid less than their male counterparts, are more stressed, and have less control over their schedules.
By Brooks Hays   |   March 4, 2014 at 1:15 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, March 4 (UPI) -- A traditional defense of compensation and hierarchical gender inequality in the workplace has been that women sacrifice higher pay and positions for the flexibility they need to meet their responsibilities as mothers.

But a new international survey, which analyzed the working conditions of 8,500 men and 9,000 women in 27 industrialized countries, including the U.S., suggests women not only suffer less pay, but also work more stressful jobs with more inflexible schedules.

The study relied on survey answers. Participants in the study were asked questions about how much control they had over their schedules, how interesting and/or stressful they found their jobs, and about their likelihood of promotion.

"The findings show that women lag behind men on most dimensions of job quality," researchers said of their work. "This result runs counter to the expectation that women's occupations compensate for their low wages and limited opportunities for promotion by providing better employment conditions."

The research was led by Professor Haya Stier, of Tel Aviv University, and Professor Meir Yaish, of the University of Haifa. The results of the study were recently published in the journal Work, Employment and Society.

"The findings indicate that women enjoy hardly any advantage over men in the labour market," the authors concluded. "Women lag behind men on most employment dimensions: their jobs offer lower salaries and fewer opportunities for advancement, but also lower job security, worse job content, less time autonomy and worse emotional conditions."

The study follows other evidence that women continue to lag behind men in the workplace. Recent analysis by the International Labour Organisation estimates that the pay gap around the world stands at roughly 23 percent.

[British Sociological Association]

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