To belong or not to belong: Evidence that women's occupational disidentification is promoted by lack of fit with masculine occupational prototypes

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Abstract

Women continue to be underrepresented in traditionally masculine occupations. We argue that this may be explained in part by women's perceptions that they do not fit in with the dominant identities in these occupations, contributing to occupational disidentification and an inclination to "opt out."We tested this argument in two samples of trainee surgeons. Study 1 (N = 129 female trainees) showed that women perceived a lack of fit with the masculine surgeon prototype and that, as expected, this perception was associated with a reduction in occupational identification and an increased desire to opt out. Study 2 (N = 216 male and female trainees) showed that women's perceived lack of fit with the surgeon prototype was greater than men's, and that this accounted for women's relative disidentification. © 2012 Hogrefe Publishing.

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Peters, K., Ryan, M., Haslam, S. A., & Fernandes, H. (2012). To belong or not to belong: Evidence that women’s occupational disidentification is promoted by lack of fit with masculine occupational prototypes. Journal of Personnel Psychology, 11(3), 148–158. https://doi.org/10.1027/1866-5888/a000067

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