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WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO HIGH STATUS JOBS: The Sexism Effect

WOMEN WHO ASPIRE TO HIGH STATUS JOBS: The Sexism Effect

 

Abstract: Sexism seems to persist in Nigeria and is a perceived barrier to the advancement of women as a result of discriminatory practices in hiring
decisions. Such discrimination is informed by the gender belief system that ascribes men greater power and status. This study explored the effects of hostile and benevolent sexism on evaluation and hiring decisions of male and female candidates applying for a high status or low status job. The participants (N=300) were asked to respond to Glick and Fiske’s (1996) Ambivalent Sexism Inventory, following which they were randomly assigned to assess self profiles of agentic, communal or androgenous male and female applicants. The study was a quasi experiment, using scenarios. The results showed that hostile sexists were more conservative in evaluating women for the high status job than benevolent sexists. Male participants who scored high on hostile sexism perceived male applicants to be more suitable for high status jobs (Ms=3.09 and 2.14) t(72)=4.24, p<.001. The results further showed
that female participants who scored high on hostile sexism also perceived male applicants to be more suitable for high profile jobs than female
applicants (Ms=3.30 and 2.113) t(74)=6.52, p<.001. The results suggested that, despite global measures for gender equality, sexism is still an issue in the workplace for women, who are perceived as violating the prescriptions of traditional gender stereotypes by aspiring to high
status jobs.

JEL classification: J71

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