Multidimensional gender discrimination in workplace and depressive symptoms

Gaeul Kim, Jinmok Kim, Su Kyoung Lee, Juho Sim, Yangwook Kim, Byung Yoon Yun, Jin Ha Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background Discrimination is associated with depressive symptoms and other negative health effects, but little is known about the mental health risks of workplace gender discrimination. We aimed to investigate the association of workplace gender discrimination and depressive symptoms among employed women in South Korea. Methods The 6th wave (2016) survey datasets of the Korean Longitudinal Survey of Women and Family (KLoWF) were analyzed for 2,339 respondents who are identified as wage workers. Depressive symptoms were evaluated by the short-form (10-item) Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale. Association of workplace gender discrimination and depressive symptoms was assessed using multivariate logistic regression, adjusted for potential confounding variables including age, income satisfaction, education level, marital status, and currently diagnosed disease. We then measured the age effect using age stratification multivariate logistic regression model. Results Women who experienced gender discrimination at workplace had higher odds of depressive symptoms regardless of the type of the discrimination including hiring, promotion, work assignments, paid wages, and firing. These associations were consistent in younger women below 40 years of age in regard to hiring, promotion, paid wages and firing, whereas inconsistent among older women above 40 years of age. Limitations We did not investigate the effect of workplace gender discrimination on depressive symptoms in a longitudinal manner. Conclusions Workplace gender discrimination was found to be significantly associated with depressive symptoms after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Further, women under 40 years of age were especially vulnerable to workplace gender discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234415
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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