No Rest for the Stigmatized: A Model of Organizational Health and Workplace Sexism (OHWS)

Sara K. Manuel, Kristina Howansky, Kimberly E. Chaney, Diana T. Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Employee sick attendance at work—presenteeism—poses a significant threat to both employee health and organizational productivity. However, despite the wealth of literature examining organizational predictors of presenteeism, little research has investigated the impact of stigmatized status on employee work attendance when sick. We argue that gender discrimination in the workplace promotes negative job perceptions and poorer health, ultimately contributing to increased rates of presenteeism among female employees. In two studies assessing U.S. women’s perceptions of workplace sexism, job security, job autonomy, job stress, reported health, and workplace sick-related attendance, we develop the framework for the Organizational Health and Workplace Sexism (OHWS) model. Study 1 utilized a large nationally representative dataset to conduct a secondary data analysis that preliminarily investigated the unique impact of perceived workplace discrimination. Results found that women who experienced workplace sexism reported more negative job perceptions and poorer health outcomes, yet they did not stay home from work more often than non-stigmatized women did—suggesting sick work attendance. Study 2 surveyed employed women through a paid online survey service in a more detailed assessment of the variables. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) revealed that workplace sexism negatively related to reported health, job security, and job autonomy, which were positively associated with perceived job stress. Job factors also were negatively related to health, which directly correlated with rates of presenteeism. Therefore, the OHWS provides a novel addition to the presenteeism literature by bridging the health, stigma, and organizational literatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-708
Number of pages12
JournalSex Roles
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


  • Health
  • Job autonomy
  • Job security
  • Presenteeism
  • Sexism

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