Gendered Organizations

American sociologist Joan Acker first wrote about the theory of gendered organizations in 1990, and since then, it has been used to explain gender inequality in many types of businesses and organizations. Specifically, this approach helps scholars explore two main questions: (1) How and why does gender (masculinity and femininity) make a difference in organizations? (2) Why does gender inequality occur in organizations? This entry describes the theory, some examples of its empirical applications, and some limitations of the framework.

The gendered organizations theory maintains that women are disadvantaged in workplaces because gender is embedded in organizations. Most organizations are characterized by ideal worker norms that favor workers who demonstrate a complete devotion to work, and who prioritize work over family. Because women more often ...

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