A common strategy to recruit job seekers, particularly women, is to develop and market a family-supportive workplace. We conducted two studies to investigate whether family-supportive policies and/or culture influenced organizational attractiveness, whether gender differences exist, and three theoretically based reasons why they might exist: (a) women anticipating or experiencing greater work-to-family conflict, (b) women having stronger family values, and (c) women expecting to benefit more from family-supportive practices than do men. In Study 1, 195 undergraduate students rated their attraction to a firm using a 3 (Type of Policy: dependent care assistance, flexible work arrangements, control) x 3 (Work-Family Culture: supportive, unsupportive, control) x 2 (Participant Gender) between-subjects design. A supportive work-family culture was associated with higher ratings of organizational attractiveness than was an unsupportive culture, and the effect was stronger for women. The effect of culture on organizational attractiveness was partially mediated by anticipated work-family conflict, but this mediation did not explain gender differences. In Study 2, we surveyed 255 job-seeking and working adults about the importance of family-supportive policies and culture to job choice. Participants rated a family-supportive culture as more important than policies to job choice, and women valued culture more than did men. The gender difference was explained by women’s stronger belief that they would benefit from a family-supportive culture rather than differences in values or work-family conflict. Results suggest that organizations that develop and market a family-supportive culture, rather than only policies, are more appealing to job seekers, especially women.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 20, 2016
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