Professional Image Maintenance: How Women Navigate Pregnancy in the Workplace

We present three studies that develop and test a model of social identity-based impression management techniques used by pregnant workers

Laura M. Little; Virginia Smith Major; Amanda S. Hinojosa; Debra L. Nelson

2014

Scholarcy highlights

  • Women constitute a significant portion of the workforce, making the effects of pregnancy on professional image more salient
  • We present three studies that develop and test a model of social identity-based impression management techniques used by pregnant workers
  • In Study 1, we utilized qualitative methods to identify the motives and strategies used by pregnant women to manage their professional images
  • We collected two samples to develop and validate two scales based on the motives and strategies identified in Study 1
  • In Study 3, we employed a time-lagged design to examine how SIM motives and strategies affect important workplace outcomes: perceived discrimination, burnout, and returning to one's job after maternity leave. Our findings demonstrate both positive and negative outcomes of the motives and strategies women use to manage their images at work when pregnant
  • Of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, U.S Census Bureau.Google Scholar

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