As of 2017, women are outnumbering men across all levels of higher education, yet men still dominate academic environments, where on average, they make more money and are more likely to hold higher positions of power. But how could this be? A new study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology aimed to identify a potential cause of this gap: sexualized professional climates.
Context and climate matter for professional outcomes. Perceptions of workplace climate as sexist or tolerant of sexual harassment are associated with decreased job satisfaction, poorer job outcomes and higher exit intentions and actual withdrawal from the workplace, particularly among women.
This study provides evidence that sexualizing otherwise nonsexual professional environments increases people’s perceptions of that environment as sexist and ultimately undermines women’s (and, to some extent, also men’s) desire to pursue and succeed in these careers.
Check out my full article on Forbes!
What are your thoughts on this study? Let me know in the comments below!