“What do you want to be when you grow up?” This may be a typical parent-to-child question for many families, but not for mine. Growing up in Thai culture, I have noticed a common role of women in my society. Most of my female family members are housewives and that is what I’m expected to be when I grow up as well. But I had bigger aspirations than that – I wanted to find a profession in which I, as a Thai woman, can gain respect and appreciation of people in my culture just as men can, and also gain a sense of personal fulfillment. As a result, throughout the first half of my undergraduate studies, I decided to follow an educational path that would prepare me to become a physician. I also took interest in Psychology, partly because of its relevancy to the medical sciences. However, after my internship at a hospital, I realized that I did not want to pursue the career of a physician. Instead, my interest in psychology grew as I began to take more psychology classes. I came to realize that my passion was in fact in the study of the human mind and behavior. Then I further realized that instead of studying to become someone that people in my culture will respect and appreciate, I want to study about the issues that me and many women in Thailand face.
My interest in gender-based stereotypes and discrimination, particularly in recruitment and employment, grew larger in my I-O psychology, and Women and Gender Psychology classes. I started to acknowledge that this issue not only exists in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, but also in many different parts of the world. I am interested in understanding the underlying causes and potential ways to counter stereotypes and discrimination. I believe there still are not many individuals, especially in Thailand, who study women’s issues in the workplace, and I want to be one of the few that will educate and increase others’ understanding of this issue through my education and research experience from the Ph.D. program. I have learned that one of Professor Joyce Bono’s current research interests lay in the broad area of gender stereotypes in management, and I would be excited to pursue my research interest with her.
In addition to my interest in gender stereotyping and discrimination, I am also interested in the area of positive work relationships. My previous research experience has examined the relationship between personality and performance in medical settings. Working on this project has peaked my interest in the concept of core self evaluations, and how it can be related to issues of gender stereotyping and women’s role in workplace. Specifically, I had recently started thinking of core self-evaluations as a potential mediating mechanism between gender stereotyping and job performance. For instance, women that are being stereotyped against may develop negative core self evaluations, and in turn – poorer levels of job performance.
In the last two years, I have engaged in several psychology...