The Backlash of Forward Thinking: The Relationship between Gender Quota Beliefs and Attitudes towards Women (2016)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Science
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsSletcher, Jessica Anneshow all
Whilst gender quota use is gaining momentum, many organisations and countries worldwide are yet to implement this policy. New Zealand is one such country where gender quotas are not used in organisations. However, people may mistakenly believe that such quotas exist. Understanding the nature and influence of such beliefs in the workplace is crucial when establishing successful policies and cultivating healthy work environments for both men and women. The focus of the present study was to investigate how beliefs in the existence of gender quotas in one’s organisation predict attitudes towards women, specifically sexist attitudes towards women. Additionally, the present study examines whether individual differences in one’s ideological attitudes, including right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO), moderate the relationship between gender quota beliefs and attitudes towards women. Ninety seven employed New Zealanders completed an online survey capturing these beliefs and attitudes. Results revealed that male employees, on average, held more sexist attitudes toward women than female employees. However, beliefs in the existence of gender quotas predicted more sexist attitudes towards women only among female employees and not male employees. Moreover, individual differences in women’s RWA moderated these effects such that women high in RWA were particularly likely to express neo-sexist and hostile attitudes toward women when they also believed in the existence of gender quotas within their organisation. Implications of these findings are further considered.