The paradox of the contented female worker: the mediating role of income and the moderating role of sexual orientation

Russell Smyth, Ingrid Nielsen, Zhiming Cheng, Ben Zhe Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Employing longitudinal data, we examine how income mediates, and sexual identity moderates, the gender-job satisfaction relationship using the theoretical lens of human capital theory. We find that income does mediate the gender-job satisfaction relationship and that the mediated relationship between gender and job satisfaction is moderated by sexual identity. Our main result is that income is a stronger driver of the gender-job satisfaction relationship for lesbians than it is for straight women. Theoretical and practical implications of this result are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-595
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • human capital
  • income
  • job satisfaction
  • Sexual identity

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