Background: Workplace gender discrimination (WGD) may have long-term negative impacts on female workers' mental health. We aimed to investigate the association between WGD and the prevalence of depressive symptoms using a nationally representative sample of female employees in South Korea. Methods: Data of 3190 adult female employees were obtained from the 2018 nationwide Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Families. Women's perception of WGD was assessed using a 6-item questionnaire. Respondents were classified into high, medium, and low levels of WGD according to the 25th and 75th percentile scores. A score of ≥10 on the 10-item version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies for Depression Scale was defined as having significant depressive symptoms. Results: A high level of WGD was significantly associated with a higher odds ratio (OR) for depressive symptoms compared to the low level (OR = 1.87, 95% confidence interval = 1.45–2.41). In the subgroup analyses, high WGD levels were associated with the highest OR for depressive symptoms in the following subgroups: younger age (19–39 years), those with a college degree, non-standard workers, pink collar workers, those with a workplace size of 10–29 employees, those with high levels of job autonomy, or low levels of emotional labor. Limitations: Causal interpretation is limited owing to the study's cross-sectional design. Conclusions: A high level of perceived WGD was associated with depressive symptoms among female employees. Certain groups of female employees may be particularly vulnerable to the detrimental effects of WGD on depression.
- Workplace gender discrimination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health