Method for Assessing Structural Gender Barriers in an Organization: Development and Assessment of Psychometric Properties



In gender studies, there is a lack of instruments to assess the severity of gender inequality in an organization. Gender inequality at the structural level of the organization manifests itself as gender asymmetry in an organization and in certain status positions. It is indicated by metaphors of “glass” phenomena: “glass ceiling”, “sticky floor”, “glass walls”, “glass escalator”, “glass rock”, “glass box”. The article is devoted to the development and testing of the author’s methodology for assessing structural gender barriers in an organization. The study was conducted using an online survey in 2020, with a sample of 273 employees aged 18 to 62 years (median 34 years) from various organizations. The survey included, in addition to the developed questionnaire for assessing structural gender barriers, a methodology for assessing gen- der inequality at the individual-behavioral and normative levels in an organization (“Doing gender” and “Undoing gender” scales, “Scale for the severity of norms that support gender inequality” (author’s development), “Perceptions of Politics Scale” (author’s modification of the methodology of K.Kacmar and D.Carlson). The survey also included questions about the characteristics of the organization to assess the criterion validity. Reliability analysis, correla- tion analysis, and structural modeling were used. The results of the study showed good reli- ability of the scales, the results of SEM analysis show that the obtained data do not correspond to the six-factor model. An exploratory factor analysis was carried out, the resulting one- factor solution explains 54% of the variance. A positive correlation was found between the severity of structural gender barriers and the severity of norms that support gender inequality, with the presence of unfair policies in the organization and with the use of the “Undoing gender” individual behavioral strategy. A negative correlation was obtained with the number of women in high leadership positions in the organization. The obtained results testify in favor of the reliability, constructive and criterion validity of the new instrument. It is planned to further test the properties of the questionnaire on a larger sample.

General Information

Keywords: gender, gender barrriers, gender inequality, organizational barriers, glass ceiling

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant, project no. 22-18-00452.

Received: 28.10.2023


For citation: Gurieva S.D., Kazantseva T.V., Mararitsa L.V. Method for Assessing Structural Gender Barriers in an Organization: Development and Assessment of Psychometric Properties. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2023. Vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 95–112. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2023.406. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Svetlana D. Gurieva, Doctor of Psychology, Head of Social Psychology Department, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Tatiana V. Kazantseva, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Larisa V. Mararitsa, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, e-mail:



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