Gender at Work: Comparing Employee Mental Health in Masculine and Feminine Workplace Cultures
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AbstractPurpose of Study: Draw out interconnected aspects of individual employee experiences amidst their “social locations” in relationships and families and also the workplace practices and policies. We collected and analyzed views and experiences about work, gender and mental health from employees in one feminized workplace and one masculinized workplace. Mixed methods research study: Surveys (n=41 and n=84) and interviews (n=30) with participants from two workplaces in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Site 1: A feminized workplace in the “disability services” sector. Provides supports for disabled children and their families, with nearly 200 employees who provide residential, vocational, educational, early intervention and therapy programs. All supervisors were women. Site 2: A masculinized workplace in the “energy” sector. Has 400+ employees. A producer of light and medium oil as a publicly-traded company. Has a bar on site that serves alcohol to employees. A mix of both women and men as supervisors. Target audience: Employers. Goal: How to understand and better resource employees concerning gender and mental health issues in the workplace. Key results: Work Culture is a key dynamic for explaining gender differences and how they influence (good and bad) employees of both sexes in the workplace. Work Culture is thus where to intervene for change – to greater effect than treating consequences of gender discrimination and stigma for mental health and addictions at the individual level.
DescriptionOverview of a research study in Canada. Study goals, context, methods, data and results and implications for EAPs.
CitationAttridge, M., & Lashewicz, B. (2021, June 9). Gender at work: Comparing mental health in masculine and feminine workplace cultures. [Virtual keynote address]. Annual Conference of the Northern Illinois Chapter of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), Hoffman Estates, IL.
SponsorsThis project was funded by the Government of Alberta’s Department of Occupational Health and Safety Futures Research Funding Program; 2018-2020 grant.
Employee assistance programs
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