Get access

VOICE MATTERS: BUFFERING THE IMPACT OF A NEGATIVE CLIMATE FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE

Authors


  • Isis H. Settles, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University; Lilia M. Cortina, Department of Psychology and Program in Women's Studies, University of Michigan; Abigail J. Stewart, Department of Psychology and Program in Women's Studies, University of Michigan; Janet Malley, Institute for Research on Women and Gender, University of Michigan.

  • This research was supported by an ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant from the National Science Foundation and a grant from the Office of the Provost at the University of Michigan.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Isis H. Settles, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, 252C Psychology Building, East Lansing, MI 48824-1116. E-mail: settles@msu.edu

Abstract

The current study examined whether women scientists' perceptions of voice moderate the impact of poor workplace climates on job satisfaction and whether effective leadership and mentoring promote women's voice. Survey data were collected from 135 faculty women in the natural sciences. The results from multiple regression analyses indicated that negative (e.g., sexist, hostile) departmental climates were related to lower job satisfaction. However, voice interacted with climate, such that women who perceived that they had more voice in departmental matters showed higher levels of job satisfaction than those who perceived having less voice. An additional regression indicated that mentoring by other women (but not men) in academia and effective departmental leadership were positively related to women's sense of voice. Theoretical and practical implications for the retention and success of women in male-dominated fields are discussed.

Ancillary