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Abstract

Despite comparable levels of educational qualifications and experience, women in social work occupy a status inferior to men with respect to positions, rates of promotion and salaries. In other words, sexism prevails in what has traditionally been a female profession. Because of the institutionalized preference for men in social work, it is unlikely that individual acts of women to attain professional equality will eliminate sexism. However, because women have been socialized to be Dassive and self-effacing, they nay be contributing to their secondary status by managing their careers less effectively than men.

What is involved in assertively pursuing one's career goals? Are there sex differences in work assertiveness? What are the consequences of pursuing one's career interests more or less assertively? These are questions investigated in a 1975 study of 657 social workers.3 The findings and their implications for individual women social workers and the social work profession are presented below.

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