Gender Equality in the Workplace: Theory and Practice for Decent Work and a Climate of Inclusion

A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760). This special issue belongs to the section "Gender Studies".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 4 June 2025 | Viewed by 21489

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Educational Science, Section of Psychology, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: work and organizational psychology; individual and collective specific determinants in organizational contexts; consumer psychology, with emphasis on the role played by emotions (positive or negative) in consumer behavior; psychology of tourism, and development and validation of measurement instruments in the field of psychology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Education Sciences, University of Catania, 95124 Catania, CT, Italy
Interests: work psychology; organizational culture; human resource development; motivational psychology; brand management; consumer psychology; safety climate and organisational behaviour
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Gender equity in employment is currently central to international debates, and promoting it is one of the priorities put forward by the Sustainable Development Goals. Gender equality and equal opportunities emerge as some of the most reliable and effective ways of countering poverty and social exclusion, contributing to employment for all and to important economic growth and development. Despite social policies and society imagining a world full of choice and with no gender inequality, the reality stands that women are significantly underrepresented in various work contexts, have less access to the employment sector, and face culturally based and stereotype-driven challenges and barriers on a regular basis. The barriers women are forced to face generate a sense of isolation, discomfort, and a perceived lack of social protection and support over time. These barriers can be categorized into two types: an internal type, caused by, for example, the presence of family–work conflict or multirole conflict; and an external type, which is related to the presence of discrimination in the educational–occupational context and professional gender stereotypes. Therefore, it is increasingly necessary to focus on this phenomenon from a multidisciplinary perspective in order to provide valuable insights for both theory and practice.

Dr. Martina Morando
Dr. Silvia Maria Platania
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • gender inequalities
  • sexism in the workplace
  • climate of inclusion

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 344 KiB  
Article
Physical Activity and Quality of Life among High School Teachers: A Closer Look
by Danijela Živković, Ljubica Milanović, Anđela Đošić, Ana-Maria Vulpe, Tijana Purenović-Ivanović, Milan Zelenović, Dragoș Ioan Tohănean, Saša Pantelić, Constantin Sufaru and Cristina Ioana Alexe
Soc. Sci. 2024, 13(3), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci13030172 - 18 Mar 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Background: Understanding the relationship between teachers’ physical activity (PA) and quality of life (QoL), which is impacted by work-related stress, could help develop guidelines for improvement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of physical activity on high school teachers’ [...] Read more.
Background: Understanding the relationship between teachers’ physical activity (PA) and quality of life (QoL), which is impacted by work-related stress, could help develop guidelines for improvement. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of physical activity on high school teachers’ quality of life and the differences in QoL and PA between male and female teachers. Methods: The sample consisted of 499 respondents (193 men and 306 women), all working in the educational system. The International Physical Activity Questionnaire (short form) was used for PA assessment, and the WHOQoL questionnaire to measure QoL. Results: Physical health and Psychological health domains were areas where male teachers scored better (p < 0.01, both), while female teachers had higher scores in Social relationships domain (p < 0.05). Regression analysis showed that PA affects Physical health: Sig. = 0.056; Psychological health: Sig. = 0.000; Social relationships: Sig. = 0.001; Environment: Sig. = 0.021 in men, and Physical health (Sig. = 0.009) and Psychological health (Sig. = 0.039) in women. Conclusions: The findings of this study allow us to conclude that, whereas female teachers’ PA primarily impacts their physical and psychological domain, male teachers’ PA has an impact on their overall QoL. Full article
15 pages, 889 KiB  
Article
Gender Roles, Gender Bias, and Cultural Influences: Perceptions of Male and Female UAE Public Relations Professionals
by Sang Lee, Raya Hamad Alsereidi and Samar Ben Romdhane
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(12), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12120673 - 06 Dec 2023
Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Research into gender dynamics in the Public Relations (PR) industry has suggested that the gendered perceptions of PR roles, gender bias, and cultural norms may contribute to gender-related issues in the field. The current study, framed as an exploratory investigation, examines how PR [...] Read more.
Research into gender dynamics in the Public Relations (PR) industry has suggested that the gendered perceptions of PR roles, gender bias, and cultural norms may contribute to gender-related issues in the field. The current study, framed as an exploratory investigation, examines how PR professionals in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) perceive gender equality issues within their industry. Drawing on survey responses from 152 PR practitioners in the UAE, this research investigates the extent to which these professionals perceive gender equality issues in the PR sector. The survey results reveal positive perceptions of gender equality issues, although some specific gender-related concerns emerge. One key finding is that there are minimal gender differences in perceiving gender equality issues between male and female professionals. Respondents also expressed confidence that their organizations are implementing practices in support of gender equality and recognizing the impact of such practices on employee performance. Given the lack of data on gender equality in the UAE, this exploratory study contributes to a better understanding of gender equality among professionals and provides insights into the strategies for advancing gender equality in the sector. Full article
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9 pages, 293 KiB  
Article
Comparative Analysis of Employment Disparities, Precarity and Decent Work between Trans and Cis People in Portugal
by José Baptista, Dália Costa and Sónia P. Gonçalves
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(9), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12090510 - 11 Sep 2023
Viewed by 806
Abstract
While the societal acceptance of trans people has made strides, discrimination remains prevalent in professional settings. The concept of decent work denotes the minimal acceptable standards for the workforce. Conversely, precarity encompasses a multifaceted construct with various indicators, including unemployment. Achieving decent work [...] Read more.
While the societal acceptance of trans people has made strides, discrimination remains prevalent in professional settings. The concept of decent work denotes the minimal acceptable standards for the workforce. Conversely, precarity encompasses a multifaceted construct with various indicators, including unemployment. Achieving decent work necessitates the absence of discrimination, ensuring inclusivity for all individuals. Nevertheless, when trans individuals encounter discrimination in professional contexts, and considering the interconnectedness of precarity and gender identity, along with the literature suggesting elevated levels of unemployment among trans people, it becomes crucial to explore their professional integration experiences. Consequently, this study seeks to compare disparities in unemployment, precarity and decent work between trans and cis individuals. A questionnaire, featuring previously validated instruments (Decent Work Scale, α = 0.86, and Employment Precariousness Scale II, α = 0.86), along with custom questions, was administered to a sample of 202 participants (97 trans and 105 cis) between 11 October 2022 and 14 November 2022. The collected data underwent analysis using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Statistics 28 and Mplus. The results underscored distinctions between each group’s professional realities, concluding that trans people exhibit higher rates of unemployment and precarity while experiencing lower levels of decent work when compared to cis people. This prompts inquiries into the factors contributing to these differences and an exploration of the consequences of trans individuals limited professional integration. Full article
22 pages, 1662 KiB  
Article
Reverse Sexism and Its Impact on Job Satisfaction and Career Planning: Italian Validation of the “Belief in Sexism Shift Scale”
by Martina Morando, Miriam Katharina Zehnter and Silvia Platania
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(6), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12060357 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4211
Abstract
The belief that men are the new victims of sexism and anti-male bias is gaining traction globally. The concept of reverse sexism, called the belief in sexism shift, is a new and particularly insidious form of contemporary anti-female sexism that combines the prejudice [...] Read more.
The belief that men are the new victims of sexism and anti-male bias is gaining traction globally. The concept of reverse sexism, called the belief in sexism shift, is a new and particularly insidious form of contemporary anti-female sexism that combines the prejudice of hostile sexism with the subtlety of modern sexism. Facilitating the cross-cultural study of a rising form of sexism, in this paper, we provide an Italian translation of the BSS and examine its psychometric properties. In Study 1, we confirmed that the Italian BSS scale has the same uni-dimensional factor structure as the English version. In Study 2, we established that the Italian BSS scale measures the same construct among women and men. In Study 3, we found that the Italian BSS scale was a better predictor, compared to other measures of sexism, of numerous perceived career constraints. Subsequently, explorative analyses revealed that BSS escalated the effect of perceived career constraints on perceived job satisfaction and development opportunities among women and men. Together, our results suggest that BSS is a prevalent form of sexism in Italy that has the potential to negatively affect women and men. Full article
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17 pages, 844 KiB  
Article
Habitus of Masculinity in Chilean Miners: Efficiency, Control, and Consumption of the Bodies
by Jimena Silva Segovia, Paulina Salinas Meruane and Estefany Castillo Ravanal
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(3), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030119 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
From a gender perspective, the persistence of the habitus of masculinity in Chilean male miners in their family relationships, relationships with their partners, sexuality, and work was analyzed, delving into a construction that drives them toward the satisfaction of desires and consumption. The [...] Read more.
From a gender perspective, the persistence of the habitus of masculinity in Chilean male miners in their family relationships, relationships with their partners, sexuality, and work was analyzed, delving into a construction that drives them toward the satisfaction of desires and consumption. The discourses of 13 workers between 25 and 62 years old were obtained through individual and group interviews. The findings constitute an axis of the research Fondecyt 1180079 carried out in Antofagasta, the region with the highest mining production in Chile and the third largest in the world. The conclusions reveal notions of bodily habitus, mediated by gender hierarchies, where binary masculinity is accentuated, reproducing the extractive logic of the industry in the workers themselves. Men recognize a self-demand between fulfilling the mandate of economic provider vs. a relentless disciplining of male bodies in favor of efficiency, control, and exacerbated consumption, which underlies the industry. Full article
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19 pages, 779 KiB  
Article
Are Companies Committed to Preventing Gender Violence against Women? The Role of the Manager’s Implicit Resistance
by Arístides A. Vara-Horna, Zaida B. Asencios-Gonzalez, Liliana Quipuzco-Chicata and Alberto Díaz-Rosillo
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12010012 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2030
Abstract
This study aims to provide evidence that managers’ commitment towards preventing gender violence against women is affected by implicit resistance from the patriarchal culture. A structured questionnaire was given to 673 managers of 243 small, medium, and large private companies in Metropolitan Lima, [...] Read more.
This study aims to provide evidence that managers’ commitment towards preventing gender violence against women is affected by implicit resistance from the patriarchal culture. A structured questionnaire was given to 673 managers of 243 small, medium, and large private companies in Metropolitan Lima, Peru. We design and test a conceptual model using covariance-based structural equation modeling. Even though 90.3% of managers report being committed to and in favor of preventing gender violence in companies, 48.6% have intense implicit resistance against it. In general, 3 out of 4 managers do not believe in violence against women because they consider it “biased”, and think that policies should only talk about family or partner violence. In addition, 2 out of 4 believe that equality policies have “hidden interests” that generate mistrust. The structural equations show that implicit resistance, directly and indirectly, decreases managers’ commitment and actions towards preventing gender violence in organizations. Gender biases, irrational beliefs about sexual violence, and a lack of appreciation of gender equality strongly predict these resistances. Business involvement in the prevention of gender violence is a more complex process than expected, requiring a reinforced strategy aimed at overcoming managers’ implicit resistance. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 2074 KiB  
Review
Women and Leadership in Higher Education: A Systematic Review
by Mónica del Carmen Meza-Mejia, Mónica Adriana Villarreal-García and Claudia Fabiola Ortega-Barba
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(10), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12100555 - 04 Oct 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4470
Abstract
The theoretical postulates of gender studies demonstrate that inequality, when it comes to women, is more of a sociocultural construct than the result of nature. Gender inequality is typical of higher education, where inclusion of women was a milestone and where the “female [...] Read more.
The theoretical postulates of gender studies demonstrate that inequality, when it comes to women, is more of a sociocultural construct than the result of nature. Gender inequality is typical of higher education, where inclusion of women was a milestone and where the “female advantage” phenomenon refers to the rise of women at this level. Thus, this study aims to investigate the patterns of action that women take in academia when exercising leadership positions. It aims to understand the social behavior related to this phenomenon based on scientific research. The study followed a quantitative method, systematizing the process based on the PRISMA. 2020 guidelines to work with the bibliographic material identified in the Scopus database, and another qualitative method was used in conjunction for a resulting descriptive documentary analysis of the results obtained. This study concludes that women exercise leadership in higher education in teaching, research, and management roles with unequal participation in each of them. Full article
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15 pages, 1206 KiB  
Review
Social Inclusion of Transgender People in Intercollegiate Sports—A Scoping Review
by Liliana Mendes, Elsa Gabriel Morgado and Levi Leonido
Soc. Sci. 2023, 12(6), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12060335 - 06 Jun 2023
Viewed by 4149
Abstract
Transgender individuals face discrimination and exclusion in various areas of society, including sports. Notably, intercollegiate athletics suffer criticism for their lack of inclusivity towards transgender athletes. Despite the increasing visibility of transgender individuals and ongoing efforts towards greater inclusivity, there is a significant [...] Read more.
Transgender individuals face discrimination and exclusion in various areas of society, including sports. Notably, intercollegiate athletics suffer criticism for their lack of inclusivity towards transgender athletes. Despite the increasing visibility of transgender individuals and ongoing efforts towards greater inclusivity, there is a significant lack of research on their social integration within college sports. This scoping review aimed to explore the then-current state of research on the social integration of transgender individuals in intercollegiate athletics, identify gaps in the literature, and suggest areas for further investigation. The study examined articles published between 2013 and 2023, using databases such as PubMed, ERIC, and EBSCO Essentials, as well as relevant citations from selected articles. The inclusion criteria for articles were their focus on the social integration of transgender individuals in sports events, publication in English, and relevance to the research question. A standardized technique based on the PRISMA flow diagram 2020 was used to locate, assess, and extract information from eligible research. The results of the study are expected to inform policy and strategy in transgender participation in college sports and promote greater inclusivity for transgender individuals in sports institutions and groups. Full article
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