Photo: Hsing Wei via Flickr
We don’t have to tell you how challenging it can be for women in the workplace.From negotiating equal pay to navigating stereotypes, study after study shows how women often struggle to feel fully satisfied on the job.
But a new report proves there is at least one field in which we can consistently report happiness: the military.
The findings, published in the American Sociological Review the same week the Pentagon announced it would lift its military ban on women in combat, show that the military’s employment opportunities for women are “superior to those in civilian society,” according to the study’s lead author Jennifer Hickes Lundquist.
In her study of 30,000 active-duty military men and women, Lundquist found that women consistently reported higher job satisfaction in the military than their male counterparts of the same ethnicity—the exact opposite of what is often reported in the private sector, The Washington Post points out. While acknowledging the struggles women often face in the military, like sexual assault and harassment, Lundquist attributes this satisfaction to the fact that in the military, rank is seen as more important than class or gender. “For women, pay and job benefits are more equal in the military than in civilian labour,” she writes.
According to the findings, African-American women in the military were most satisfied with their jobs, followed by African-American men, Latinos and white women. Caucasian men, meanwhile, came in as least satisfied.
While this is all well and good, women still only make up 15 per cent of military personnel, Lundquist reports, “and because gender segregation in the military is lessened, women are not the majority in any military occupation.”
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