Humor in the workplace? Sure, but for women not so much…

Humor is considered a universal behavior that arguably exists in all cultures, and it is generally defined as a set of expressions that are valued by others as funny or that bring others to experience enjoyment and amusement. In the last few decades, several studies have investigated the role of humor in the workplace showing how this can be either a functional work behavior, meaning that it helps work, or a disruptive one. But what is the relationship between humor and gender? 

In this podcast Silvia Cinque, Lecturer in Organization and HRM and Delegate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SDA Bocconi, talks about gendered humor and its related issues within the organizations, starting from the empirical investigation that she is currently conducting with two colleagues: Eline Jammaers (Hasselt University) and Dide van Eck (KU Leuven). In a socio-cultural patriarchal context, in which humor is still considered a prerogative of men, and where the stereotype that “women are not funny” still persists, the considerations focus on what may be the implications of being a ‘funny’ woman at work, especially in those organizations traditionally dominated by men.