Research has shown that stereotypes and prejudice in the workplace are contributing factors of why disparities in income and treatment exist in the workplace, leading to overall gender inequality in this area. This paper will evaluate this phenomenon from the psychological perspective and will view the topic in regards to the theories of prejudice, discrimination, ingroup/outgroup bias, group interaction, theory of the self, and social identity theory, among others. These theories will be discussed because they are relevant in explaining the roots of inequality and the socialization that causes men to be in a certain role and women in another. Additionally, the consequences of disparities in the workplace will be presented in order to understand what may result from experienced inequality. This issue is significant because it is important to recognize issues such as these in order to enhance equality in the workplace and make further progress to enhance the inclusion of women in society on the whole. Furthermore, it is relevant to know how this inequality affects the sense of self of the parties involved so that strategies can be given to both men and women to make this inequality less prevalent in the future.
In their article, “Workplace Gender Bias: Not Just Between Strangers”, authors Nadler and Stockdale discuss the forms of gender bias that still exist in the workplace for women who have jobs in male-dominated fields. They suggest that “gender role stereotypes” and “subtle forms of gender bias” give women a harder time in these fields and may result in “reduced pay, harsher…standards in performance evaluation, and a reduced likelihood to advance” (282-84). Women that do not conform to societal expected gender roles experience discrimination in the workplace and women who violate prescriptive stereotypes, or the societal beliefs of what women should and shouldn’t do, can experience negative evaluation, which is known as the role congruity theory, named so by Eagly and Karau (286). Furthermore, these women can not only experience negative evaluation compared to men; they may also experience hostile sexism for violating “traditional roles”, according to Glicke and Fiske (286). Additionally, the authors state that women in top positions have the consequence of being disliked by those around them, including both men and women, even when the men and women are equally able to perform the given job (287). Lastly, sexual harassment may result when men wish to seek “retribution against women who threaten their power and privilege in the workplace” (288).
Gutek et al. penned an article concerning employment discrimination in organizations and the consequences of this on an individual, group, and organizational level. The authors give a definition of discrimination as “differential treatment based on membership in a social grouping” (795). Stereotypes are defined as “beliefs about particular social groups” and prejudice...