Opting Out or Denying Discrimination? How the Framework of Free Choice in American Society Influences Perceptions of Gender Inequality
American women still confront workplace barriers (e.g., bias against mothers, inflexible policies) that hinder their advancement at the upper levels of organizations. However, most Americans fail to recognize that such gender barriers still exist. Focusing on mothers who have left the workforce, we propose that the prevalent American assumption that actions are a product of choice conceals workplace barriers by communicating that opportunities are equal and that behavior is free from contextual influence.