Perceptions of Sexism in Male-Dominated Industries, Intentions to Quit, and Demand for Diversity Policies
We conduct two surveys in male-dominated industries to measure workers' perceptions about the prevalence of sexism in the workplace. We relate these perceptions with workers' intentions to quit and their opinions about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies. Using data we collected in the French private equity industry, we find that women perceive more sexism than men and are more positive towards DEI policies. Employees who perceive high tolerance among colleagues for sexist behaviors are more likely to say that they intend to quit the industry. In a second survey among workers from five high-paying male-dominated industries in the US and in France, we include a list experiment to measure social desirability bias regarding sexism at the workplace. In both countries and, remarkably, among both men and women we find evidence of social desirability bias. We also find evidence of a generational divide in attitude towards sexism and DEI policies, with younger employees being much less tolerant of sexism and more positive towards DEI-policies than older workers. These attitudes also differ along ethnic, managerial, and political lines. We discuss policy implications for organizations. Joint paper with Josse Delfgaauw and Zara Sharif.