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Gender differences in involuntary job loss and the reemployment experience: Less there than meets the eye

Jelena Zikic (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Ronald J. Burke (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Lisa Fiksenbaum (York University, Toronto, Canada)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The study seeks to compare the experiences of job loss and reemployment experiences among female and male higher level managers and professionals.


The paper compares data collected at two periods in time from (n=120) females and (n=184) males who completed two self‐report questionnaires.


Relatively few gender differences were observed in the present study. The fact that females and males experienced the job loss and re‐employment process similarly was interpreted as a sign of progress. Main differences were found in networking and personality types, with men being more successful in networking and less agreeable types.

Research limitations/implications

This is a self‐report study and somewhat smaller sample at time two. Secondly, some of the findings may not generalize to those outside of outplacement.

Practical implications

Outplacement services may use these findings in guiding their counseling practice and focusing more on helping female executives in their networking efforts for example.


This paper contributes to the gender literature by looking at experience of job loss and reemployment for a particular and rarely examined group of individuals. It offers new knowledge on gender differences among executives and higher level managers.



Zikic, J., Burke, R.J. and Fiksenbaum, L. (2008), "Gender differences in involuntary job loss and the reemployment experience: Less there than meets the eye", Gender in Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 247-261.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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