author={Janice D. Yoder},
  journal={Gender \& Society},
  pages={178 - 192}
  • J. Yoder
  • Published 1 June 1991
  • Political Science
  • Gender & Society
The purpose of this article is to assess Rosabeth Moss Kanter's work on tokenism in light of more than a decade of research and discussion. While Kanter argued that performance pressures, social isolation, and role encapsulation were the consequences of disproportionate numbers of women and men in a workplace, a review of empirical data concludes that these outcomes occur only for token women in gender-inappropriate occupations. Furthermore, Kanter's emphasis on number balancing as a social… 

Race, Gender, and Tokenism in Policing

According to tokenism theory, “tokens” (those who comprise less than 15% of a group’s total) are expected to experience a variety of hardships in the workplace, such as feelings of heightened

Beyond Tokenism: The Making of Racially Diverse Feminist Organizations

In the past 30 years, many white-dominated feminist organizations have struggled to achieve the goal of racial diversity. Research tells us that most have failed. We know much from the literature


This article examines the sexist work experiences of a sample of women lawyers in a mediumsized midwestern city. Specifically, it focuses on reports of discrimination, gender disparagement, and

Tokenism, Organizational Segregation, and Coworker Relations in Law Firms

Although occupational segregation by sex has declined in recent decades with the rising numbers of women entering traditionally male occupations (e.g., law and medicine), the achievement of women

1 ‘ Rethinking Women ’ s Substantive Representation ’

Over the last ten years, gender and politics scholars have engaged in extensive theoretical and empirical discussions on women‟s political representation. Although political representation is widely

The Utah State Senate: Effects of Tokenism and Implications for Future Gender Parity

During the 2002 legislative session, women held twenty-one percent of the Utah State Senate seats. This percentage fits within Kanter’s (1977) definition of a skewed group and thus opens the Senate

Male Tokens in a Masculine Environment: Men with Military Mates

This paper addresses the question of whether civilian husbands of military women are tokens, by Kanter's definition. Kanter (1977a) defines tokenism as membership in a proportionally underrepresented

The Social Psychology of Tokenism: Status and Homophily Processes on Wall Street

While conscious action may produce some inequality, most discrimination occurs through cognitive processes that are automatic and unconscious. I examine the role of two cognitive mechanisms that



Tokenism and Women in the Workplace: The Limits of Gender-Neutral Theory

The concept of “tokenism” has been used widely to explain many of the difficulties women face as they enter traditionally male occupations. Tokenism explains women's occupational experiences and

The Effects of Tokenism on Work Alienation among Urban Public School Teachers

Existing theories of the effects of relative numbers, and especially tokenism, on worker behaviors and attitudes are reviewed. Despite the absence of specific reference in the literature to worker

Token Women: An Empirical Test of Kanter's Hypothesis

In this article we test empirically Rosabeth Kanter's hypothesis that minority achievements are diminished by the underrepresntation of minority persons in majority-dominated work groups. using data

Token Achievement: An Examination of Proportional Representation and Performance Outcomes

Kanter's theory of proportional representation suggests that tokens (members of one social category in a numerical minority) will underachieve relative to dominants (members of a complementary social

Social structure and intergroup interaction: men and women of the federal bureaucracy

Questionnaire data from female employees in a large federal bureaucracy are analyzed to test two theories on the effects offemales' proportional representation in work groups on intraand intergender

The psychology of tokenism: An analysis

American society is analyzed as a gender-class system wherein tokenism is defined as a form of interclass mobility. Two role partners, Sponsor and Token, sustain the institution of tokenism: the


To reduce sex differences in employment outcomes, we must examine them in the context of the sex-gender hierarchy. The conventional explanation for wage gap—job segregation—is incorrect because it

Tokenism Reconsidered: Male Nurses and Female Physicians in a Hospital Setting

This paper examines how gender as a status characteristic interacts with the effects of tokenism in two occupations. Data were gathered by observation and interviewing at two hospitals, each having


This paper examines the barriers confronting women employed as correctional officers in men's prisons, using interview, questionnaire, and historical data from a state department of corrections in

Modern Sexism: Blatant, Subtle, and Covert Discrimination

1. Sex Discrimination in the 1990's: Progress and Illusions of Progress. 2. Woman's Place in a Sexist Society: Society, Organizations, and Individuals. 3. Blatant/Subtle/Covert/Discrimination: An