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WSU Newsline: Layoffs affect men and women differently
Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:23 PM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Chuck Koeber after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact him at (316) 978-6659 or chuck.koeber@wichita.edu.

Background:
As the unemployment numbers rise, men and women are facing challenges at finding a suitable job. Some say the sting of layoffs is harder for men, but in a 2002 study cited earlier this year in The New York Times, Wichita State sociologists Chuck Koeber and David Wright found that women who were laid off and went on to look for another job were re-employed less often than men in the same position.

Voice wrap:
Announcer: Behind the rising unemployment statistics is an interesting phenomenon. Chuck Koeber, a Wichita State University sociologist and co-author of a 2002 study of laid-off workers, says fewer women were re-employed after the economic downturn that followed 9/11.

Koeber: "What we found is that fewer women are re-employed once they're laid off than are men, and many of them actually quit looking for work and drop out of the labor force."

Announcer: Koeber also says that unlike men, it appears that women have a greater burden to prove that they're committed to their job as opposed to being committed to their family. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1
Koeber talks about the 2002 study that looked at what happens from the time a person lost a job until he or she was re-employed. The sound bite is 17 seconds and the outcue is "in being re-employed."

Koeber: "What we tried to do with that study is to look at the differences in mobility between the time a person loses their job and when they're re-employed. And if they're re-employed, we wanted to see which gender had a less difficult time in being re-employed."

Sound bite #2
In the second sound bite, Koeber said it appears that women have to prove to employers they are committed to a job more than men do. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "same criteria."

Koeber: "Unlike men, it appears that women have a greater burden to prove that they're committed to their job as opposed to being committed to their family. And it appears that employers are holding them to that criteria, where they don't hold men to that same criteria."

Sound bite #3
Koeber said in the 2002 study, single women were more likely to be re-employed after being laid off than other women. The sound bite is 14 seconds and the outcue is "to a job."

Koeber: "We found that single women who were laid off from white collar, high-skilled jobs were much more likely to be re-employed after a layoff than women without those characteristics because they apparently looked more committed to a job."

Sound bite #4
Koeber says there's a stereotype that men are expected to be more committed to their jobs than women. The sound bite is 13 seconds and the outcue is "to their families."

Koeber: "One of the reasons men may not have to prove these same commitment variables is because employers just expect them, stereotypically, to be committed to a job as opposed to being committed to their families."

Sound bite #5
Koeber says layoffs are hard on men and women for different reasons. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "laid off."

Koeber: "Layoffs are really hard on men and women for different reasons. For men, it's psychological because a job forms the basis of their identity, but we found that for women it may be more material because they have more difficulty finding a job after they've been laid off."

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Contact: Chuck Koeber, (316) 978-6659 or chuck.koeber@wichita.edu.