Attitudes toward Female Labor Force Participation in Eastern and Western Europe

Tianyue Ma

Abstract


Fair employment opportunities for women are considered as a strong indicator for achieving gender equity. Despite a steady growth in the rates of female labor force participation, chances for men and women to get employed and promoted in the workforce remain uneven. Moreover, the gender pay gap still exists and widens as educational attainment and job tenure increase (Bonvillain, 2006). The unfairness for women’s employment provokes researchers to examine the belief system on women’s role in work and family. Previous research has documented a strong association between gender attitudes and the actual social opportunities for women.  For example, studies on attitudes about gender, work and family among scientists contend that stereotypical attitudes about women’s occupations in science might create interactions and structures that help legitimatize the gender hierarchy and maintain science as a male domain (Hanson et al. 2004). Other research argues that as the rate of women’s labor force participation increases, attitudes change toward a greater acceptance of women’s non-familial roles (Cherlin and Walters, 1981; Mason and Lu, 1988).This paper examines attitudes toward women’s labor force participation which can influence and be influenced by the actual work environment for women, in order to gain a thorough understanding of gender inequality that  exist in the workforce.


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