Gender and Use of Workplace Policies

Gender, Definition(s) of

“Gender is determined socially; it is the societal meaning assigned to male and female. Each society emphasizes particular roles that each sex should play, although there is wide latitude in acceptable behaviors for each gender” (Hesse-Biber, S. and Carger, G. L., 2000, p. 91).

“Gender is used to describe those characteristics of women and men, which are socially constructed, while sex refers to those which are biologically determined. People are born female or male but learn to be girls and boys who grow into women and men. This learned behaviour makes up gender identity and determines gender roles” (World Health Organization, 2002, p. 4).

“Gender is the division of people into two categories, “men” and “women.” Through interaction with caretakers, socialization in childhood, peer pressure in adolescence, and gendered work and family roles women and men are socially constructed to be different in behavior, attitudes, and emotions. The gendered social order is based on and maintains these differences” (Borgatta, E.F. and Montgomery, R.J.V, 2000, p. 1057).

Gender Relations, Definition of
“Gender relations refer to a complex system of personal and social relations of domination and power through which women and men are socially created and maintained and through which they gain access to power and material resources or are allocated status within society” (IFAD, 2000, p. 4).

Glossary Source: 

Hesse-Biber, S. & Carger, G. L. (2000). Working women in America: Split dreams. New York: Oxford University Press.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (2000) An IFAD approach to: Gender mainstreaming: The experience of the Latin America and the Caribbean division. Rome, Italy: U. Quintily S.p. A.

World Health Organization. (2002). Integrating gender perspectives into the work of WHO. Switzerland: Author.

Borgatta, E.F. & Montgomery, R.J.V. (2000). Encyclopedia of Sociology (2nd ed., Vol. 2). New York: Macmillan Reference, USA.

The Provider Myth, Definition(s) of

“The provider myth assumes the woman should stay home to care for the family, yet the job with its responsibilities is created for an employee who will not take an extended leave for any reason” (Swanberg, 2004, p. 14).

Glossary Source: 

Swanberg, J.E. (2004). Illuminating gendered organization assumptions. An important step in creating a family-friendly organization: a case study.  Community, Work & Family, 7(1), 3-28.  

Organizational Commitment (OC), Definition(s) of

“Organizational Commitment is typically measured by items tapping respondents’ willingness to work hard to improve their companies, the fit between the firm’s and the worker’s values, reluctance to leave, and loyalty toward or pride taken in working for their employers” (Maume, 2006, p. 164).

Glossary Source: 

Maume, D. J.  (2006). Gender differences in taking vacation time. Work and Occupations, 33(2), 161-190.

Organizational Citizenship Behavior, Definition(s) of

“Organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), defined… as behavior that (a) goes beyond the basic requirements of the job, (b) is to a large extent discretionary, and (c) is of benefit to the organization” (Lambert, S.J., 2006, p. 503-525).

“OCBs are employee behaviors that, although not critical to the task or job, serve to facilitate organizational functioning” (Lee and Allen, 2002, p 132)

Glossary Source: 

Lambert, S.J.  (2006) Both art and science: Employing organizational documentation in workplace-based research.  In Pitt-Catsouphes, M., Kossek, E.E., & Sweet, S. (Eds.). The work and family handbook: Multi-disciplinary perspectives, methods, and approaches.  (pp.503-525).  Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.  

Lee, K., & Allen, N. J.  (2002). Organizational citizenship behavior and workplace deviance: The role of affect and cognitions.  Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(1), 131-142.

Generalized Compliance, Definition(s) of

“Generalized compliance is an impersonal form of conscientiousness that indirectly helps others within the organization; this includes behaviors that define what a good employee ought to do, such as attendance, punctuality, working overtime, and not spending time on personal telephone calls” (Smith et al., 1983, p. 657).

Glossary Source: 

Smith, C. A., Organ, D., & Near, J.  (1983). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature and antecedents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 68, 653-663.

Emotional Labor, Definition(s) of

“Emotional labor applies to both men’s and women’s work, but is the ‘softer’ emotions, those required in relational tasks, such as caring and nurturing, that disappear most often from job description, performance evaluations, and salary calculations” (Guy, M. E. and Newman, 2004, p.289).

Glossary Source: 

Guy, M. E., & Newman, M. A.  (2004). Women’s jobs, men’s jobs: Sex segregation and emotional labor. Public Administration Review 64(3), 289-298.

Organizational Culture, Definition(s) of

“A pattern of shared basic assumptions " invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration" that have worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein, 1992, p. 9).

Supportive Organizational Culture:
“One that has adapted varying personal and family nuances evident in today’s workforce” (Swanberg, 2004, p. 5).

Glossary Source: 

Schein, E.H. (1992), Organizational Culture and Leadership: A Dynamic View, 2nd ed., Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

Swanberg, J.E.  (2004). Illuminating gendered organization assumptions. An important step in creating a family-friendly organization: a case study.  Community, Work & Family, 7(1), 3-28. 

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