Multinational Firms, National Culture, and Gender-Based Employment Discrimination
Sex segregation in the workplace has been related to a variety of economic, institutional, and social factors. An issue that has only been explored to a limited extent is the role that multinational firms might play in promoting or inhibiting employment discrimination and sex segregation in developing countries. This study focuses on this issue within the context of Thailand, one of the world's most rapidly growing economies and a country with considerable investment by multinational firms. The approach taken is to analyze the determinants of the inclusion of explicit gender restrictions in job announcements by both multinationals and Thai- owned firms. Some job announcements restrict jobs to male or to female applicants, while others are silent on the issue of gender. Others specifically invite both male and female applicants+. There are no laws in Thailand restricting gender-based discrimination or requiring "equal opportunity" language on the part of private employers. The analysis examines the relationship of the national cultural characteristics of the firm's home country to the likelihood of various gender- based restrictions being placed in job announcements. The work employs widely-used measures of national culture developed by Hofstede. Statistical analysis utilizes a multinomial logit model. Results of the study demonstrate relationships between discrimination and certain of Hofstede's cultural dimensions consistent with theoretical expectations. Parameter estimates obtained in the statistical analysis are used in simulations that further explore the implications of these results.