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Job Authority Benefits Men More Than Women

Job Authority Benefits Men More Than Women It may come as little surprise that men benefit from having more authority in the workplace than women. And with the authority comes more job control and higher earnings.

New research expands on this observation and explores how the benefits of authority are not evenly distributed for women and men.

University of Toronto sociologist Dr. Scott Schieman found key differences between men and women in both the levels and implications of greater job authority.

First, roughly 24 percent of men report managerial authority compared to only 16 percent of women.

Moreover, the association between managerial authority and job autonomy is stronger among men compared to women. In other words, men who achieved the highest levels of structural power are more likely to perceive their jobs as more autonomous and influential.

When they shared the same high level of authority in the workplace, men are more likely than women to feel they have decision-making freedom and greater influence about what happens on the job.

The study also replicates the longstanding pattern that, at the same level of managerial authority, women tend to earn less income than men. However, the authors did not find any evidence that the rewards of job authority differed for older versus younger workers.

In the study, Schieman and his colleagues measured a range of work conditions using data from the Canadian Work, Stress, and Health Study (CAN-WSH), a large national survey of Canadian workers.

To assess levels of job authority, they asked study participants: “Do you supervise or manage anyone as part of your job?” “Do you influence or set the rate of pay received by others?” and “Do you have the authority to hire or fire others?” Workers with both supervisory and sanctioning responsibilities were classified as having “managerial authority.”

“Forms of job control — especially job autonomy — are highly coveted resources for many workers,” Schieman said.

“We know that job resources like authority and autonomy or income tend to bundle together. And yet, our research suggests that the bundling of these job rewards continue to differ for women and men.”

Investigators say their analyses ruled out the possibility that differences in occupation level, job sector, work hours, job stress, and marital or parental statuses might be producing these differences.

Schieman believes the findings show that even when women attain greater authority at work, the structural features of power remain male-dominated.

Source: University of Toronto

Man and woman in the workforce photo by shutterstock.

Job Authority Benefits Men More Than Women

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Job Authority Benefits Men More Than Women. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018 (Originally: 27 Mar 2013)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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