OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Subtle Sexism and Working Women: Self Competence and Career Outcomes


Amanda Bain


Subtle sexism often appears benign because it is normative and often unintentional. Acts of subtle sexism in the workplace often go unnoticed and unchecked because they are gender normative and often not intentionally harmful. Despite this, there is a growing recognition that subtle sexism in the workplace has negative consequences for women. The present study demonstrates the negative impact of subtle sexism on perceptions of job opportunities and turnover intentions of working women. Results also show the indirect effect of self-liking/self-competence, and the interactive effect of how victims attribute subtle sexism experiences. We found that subtle sexism experiences were related to lower levels of perceived job opportunities and increased turnover intentions. We also found that part of this relationship can be explained by women who experience subtle sexism reporting lower levels of self-worth. Finally, our study also demonstrated that who women blame for the experiences also matters. When women were more likely to blame themselves, high levels of subtle sexism had a greater negative effect than when women blamed the perpetrator.

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