The effects of paid parental leave length and gendered occupations on women's career outcomes
Vande Griek, Olivia H
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The current study examines the relationship between length of paid parental leave, gendered occupation type, and career outcomes for women. Drawing upon the tokenism, gender stereotype, and role congruity theory literatures, I test an experimental, 2 (male-dominated occupation, female-dominated occupation) x 3 (two-day leave, six-week leave, twelve-week leave) between-subjects design, examining the outcomes of perceived agency, perceived communality, promotion potential, mentoring potential, and leadership potential. There were two significant main effects: women were penalized for longer leave and for having a female- dominated occupation. Longer leave negatively impacted promotion potential, mentorship potential, and leadership potential. Women in the male-dominated occupation were viewed as more agentic and having more promotion potential than women in the female-dominated occupation. There was no significant interaction between leave length and occupation. This study corroborates past research, and has implications for how women, organizations, and policy- makers respond to the increasing number of paid parental leave options available.