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Gender differences in work experiences and satisfactions of Norwegian oil rig workers

Ronald J. Burke (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Stig Berge Matthiesen (University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Stale Einarsen (University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway)
Lisa Fiskenbaum (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Vibeke Soiland (York University, Toronto, Canada)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




The present study sets out to compare women (N=24) and men (N=613) working on Norwegian oil rigs in the North Sea on work experiences, work satisfaction, perception of safety attitudes and safety climate, and psychological health.


Data were collected using questionnaires from 1,022 women and men, a 59 percent response rate. Only those respondents working in traditionally male‐dominated jobs were considered.


Few differences were observed, suggesting that those women that continue in this occupation compare favorably with their male colleagues.

Research limitations/implications

The findings should be considered tentative, given the small number of women taking part in the study.

Practical implications

For the past three decades, women were encouraged and supported to enter non‐traditional occupations (NTOs). NTOs were occupations that have traditionally been male‐dominated. Only modest inroads have been made by females during this time. Women in NTOs typically report work experiences reflecting unique challenges, most resulting from the gender culture of their workplace and findings show that women that survive in these jobs report similar experiences to those of their male colleagues.


The paper adds to one's knowledge of women's experiences in non‐traditional jobs.



Burke, R.J., Berge Matthiesen, S., Einarsen, S., Fiskenbaum, L. and Soiland, V. (2008), "Gender differences in work experiences and satisfactions of Norwegian oil rig workers", Gender in Management, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 137-147.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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