Gender in Organizations
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Gender in Organizations

Are Men Allies or Adversaries to Women’s Career Advancement?

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Debra A. Major

Diversifying the workforce is becoming increasingly important, with gender equality being a central feature of overall equality. Men seem to be part of the problem and a necessary part of the solution. This collection ties these themes together in the context of talent management and organizational effectiveness.
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Chapter 11: Male backlash: penalties for men who violate gender stereotypes

Corinne A. Moss-Racusin


Imagine that you are a man working a grueling job on an offshore oil rig. The hours are long, the labor is difficult, and the workplace culture on the rig is based around a set of clearly defined masculine norms. You and your fellow (all male) employees have been trained not to complain about rough physical conditions, to ëtough it outí when you experience injuries, and that the job requires consistently enacting your masculinity by demonstrating your strength, taking risks, and proving your superior technical skills. Simply put, this is not a professional environment in which it is acceptable to ask for help or admit weaknesses. Under these circumstances, what do you do when a piece of equipment begins to malfunction, and you have not received training on the proper way to fix it? What if you get a migraine headache while youíre operating potentially dangerous equipment, and your vision is compromised? If you know your co-worker is running a high fever and may be jeopardizing the safety of the entire crew, do you inform your superior? In each case, you may refrain from asking for help or reporting a serious illness due to fear of negative reactions from others for failing to behave ëlike a man.í

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