Gender Differences in the Job Satisfaction of Public Employees: A Study of Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korea

Research paper by Sangmook Kim

Indexed on: 01 May '05Published on: 01 May '05Published in: Sex Roles


A central paradox in studies of gender and job satisfaction is why women’s job satisfaction is not lower than men’s, given that women’s jobs are often inferior in terms of pay, autonomy, and promotional opportunity. The purpose of this study was to investigate this paradox by asking two questions: How does the job satisfaction of female public employees compare with that of male employees? How can we explain the gender differences in job satisfaction? Data from a survey of 5,128 public employees in Seoul Metropolitan Government indicate that women are more satisfied with their jobs than are men. Among demographic variables gender was the only significant predictor of job satisfaction; women emphasized intrinsic rewards, whereas men emphasized extrinsic rewards. The reasons for women’s high job satisfaction are discussed and explained.