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Article

Wee Ling Lim and Roziah Mohd Rasdi

The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges faced by married women professionals in the private sector and the factors affecting their decisions in leaving the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges faced by married women professionals in the private sector and the factors affecting their decisions in leaving the workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used in this study. Data were obtained using a purposive sampling method in selecting ten married women professionals based on the inclusion criteria for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and the whole interview sessions were audio recorded. Thematic analysis using the constant comparative method was used in interpreting the data.

Findings

The findings of this study revealed that majority of the married women professionals leaving workforce are affected by “pushed out” factors such as workplace inflexibility, long working hours, high volume of work than “opt-out” factors, which focus on the biological and psychological “pulls” that lure women back into their traditional roles of motherhood. Most of the married women professionals interviewed had no intention to return to the workforce and had lost confidence to join back the workforce.

Research limitations/implications

This study involved married women professionals in the private sector only. As a qualitative study, it limits to voice and views of these particular subjects only and could not be generalised to other group of women.

Practical implications

The findings from this study shall enlighten all parties involved such as women professionals, HR managers and private sector organisations in strategies and plan of action towards minimising the talent drain of women professionals.

Originality/value

This paper offers new insight into debating the opt-out or pushed out factors influencing married women professionals’ decisions in leaving the workforce. It provides voice and views of women professionals who faced a predicament in making a decision about their career development.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 43 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article

Stephen L. Mueller

The purpose of this study is to test two possible explanations for persistent income disparity between male and female self‐employed professionals. First, men are more…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to test two possible explanations for persistent income disparity between male and female self‐employed professionals. First, men are more likely than women to be motivated by the potential for high income to establish a professional practice. Second, men are more likely than women to adopt a thinking‐over‐feeling cognitive decision‐making style.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a gender role/career motivation model to develop a set of hypotheses that explain observed gender‐based income disparity among self‐employed professionals. Hypotheses were tested using multivariate regression analysis with data drawn from a large‐scale national survey of male and female veterinarians in private practice.

Findings

Male veterinarians showed less empathy toward their clients and were more likely to use a thinking‐over‐feeling decision‐making style than were female veterinarians. Also, practice income was greater for male veterinarians with high client empathy (CE) and feeling‐over‐thinking decision‐making style than for male veterinarians with low CE and thinking‐over‐feeling decision‐making style. However, there was no significant difference in practice income between female veterinarians with high CE and feeling‐over‐thinking decision‐making style and female veterinarians with low CE and thinking‐over‐feeling decision‐making style.

Research limitations/implications

While this study was limited to American veterinarians, future research on income disparity should be expanded to include other self‐employed professionals and/or other national settings.

Originality/value

This study contributes to research on gender‐based income disparity among self‐employed professionals by examining underlying factors that potentially contribute to these differences such as motives for establishing the practice and the practice owner's decision‐making style.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article

Nirodha Gayani Fernando, Dilanthi Amaratunga and Richard Haigh

– This paper aims to explore and investigate the career success of professional women in the UK construction industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and investigate the career success of professional women in the UK construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of the research was set following the literature review and synthesis, after which a multiple case study approach is adopted to conduct exploratory case studies among professional women in the UK construction industry. A mixed method design was used for data collection, whereby qualitative data were collected in the first study and quantitative data were collected in the second study. The researcher adopted this sequence in order to gather qualitative data and analysis of a relatively unexplored area of career success factors of professional women in the UK construction industry. The results from the qualitative method were used, along with a relevant literature review, to develop the focus and questions in the quantitative phase of the study. The individuals in the first stage of data collection were not the same participants as those in the second stage, because the purpose of the quantitative study was to generalise the results to a population.

Findings

The results indicated that soft skills are very important for career success, while hard skills are essential thereafter for professional women in the UK construction industry. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop soft skills in order to advance the women's professional careers. Further, the results indicated that age and gender are the least important career success factors for women in construction. The ability to work with people, taking opportunities, confidence, adaptability, communication skills, dedication, competence, focus, supportive line management, integrity, leadership skills, ability to bring teams together, good mix of skills, honesty, networking, intelligence and logically approaching business problems identified as the critical career success factors.

Research limitations/implications

The construction industry is limited to organisations that construct buildings and infrastructure, and those involved in property development. These organisations comprise client, contractor and consultancy organisations.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper are useful to human resource development managers to understand and improve organisational training and development plans, which help to advance the career of professional women. By doing so, organisations could recruit and retain more professional women in the construction industry. Therefore, recruiting and retaining more professional women in the organisation helps to enhance productivity in the industry and to enhance their health and well being in society at large.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is twofold. First, this study contributes to fill the knowledge gap in career success factors of professional women in the UK construction industry. Second, this empirical research will have implications in the identification of different training and development activities to advance the careers of women in the UK construction industry.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article

Jayne F. Bennett, Marilyn J. Davidson and Andrew W. Galeand

nvestigates whether career expectations of women in construction change once they begin working in the industry, in comparison to men. Focus group interviews and a…

Abstract

nvestigates whether career expectations of women in construction change once they begin working in the industry, in comparison to men. Focus group interviews and a literature review formed the basis for developing a survey questionnaire. The results revealed that professional women had higher expectations and were more committed to remaining in the construction industry than female students. Female students had significantly higher financial expectations than male students, while male students had significantly higher expectations in relation to the number of people they expect to supervise. Professional men were responsible for supervising significantly more people than professional women. The findings also suggest that there are fewer women in the construction industry over the age of 36 years, in comparison to men. It is recommended that this area of research should be developed further.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 14 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Article

Rihab Khalifa

Concomitant with the trend towards specialisation in UK accountancy and the rise of relatively separate formal spheres of professional work along formal specialisms such…

Abstract

Purpose

Concomitant with the trend towards specialisation in UK accountancy and the rise of relatively separate formal spheres of professional work along formal specialisms such as tax, audit and management consultancy, women entered the profession in unprecedented numbers, but not evenly distributed across those specialisms. This paper aims to draw on the sociology of accountancy and feminist studies of the professions to show that specialisms have emerged through and, in turn, have been shaped and recreated by gender as well as other processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's research approach combines the sociology of professions with critical gender studies. It draws on interviews, brochures, web pages, and results from a questionnaire survey to investigate professional identities within UK accountancy.

Findings

Accountants' self-articulated notions of professionalism in the different specialisms are gendered and ordered hierarchically. Gender is an encompassing conceptual frame for ordering discursive attributes of the different specialisms. Working long and unpredictable hours was central to accountants' understandings of their professional life. Socialising with clients was seen as functional in bringing new opportunities to the firm. Socialising with peers also was deemed important, especially in solving internal frictions and in controlling new entrants' behaviour in firms. The more “public” the ideology of a specialism, the more masculine it was perceived to be.

Originality/value

This study challenges the uniform representations of professional identities offered by previous studies. It suggests that gender offers a discursive and ideological frame of reference for accountancy whose relevance extends beyond the working practices of men and women to the very constitution of the profession. It does so with reference to an original mix of qualitative and quantitative data.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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Article

Kate Walsh, Susan S. Fleming and Cathy A. Enz

The purpose of this paper is to explore what organizations can do to facilitate the retention and advancement of women professionals into top leadership positions. A…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what organizations can do to facilitate the retention and advancement of women professionals into top leadership positions. A social exchange framework is applied to examine ways organizations can signal support for and investment in the careers of women professionals, and ultimately the long-term work relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employed a qualitative methodology; specifically, semi-structured interviews with 20 women executives, in primarily the US hospitality industry, were conducted. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and content analyzed.

Findings

Organizations are likely to strengthen the retention of their female professionals if they signal support through purposeful, long-term career development that provides a sightline to the top, and ultimately creates more female role models in senior-level positions. Organizations can also signal support through offering autonomy over how work is completed, and designing infrastructures of support to sustain professionals during mid-career stages. Findings are used to present a work-exchange model of career development.

Research limitations/implications

This research is an exploratory study that is limited in its scope and generalizability.

Practical implications

The proposed work-exchange model can be used to comprehensively structures initiatives that would signal organizational support to – and long-term investment in – female professionals and enable them to develop their career paths within their organizations.

Originality/value

Through offering a work-exchange model of career development, this paper identifies components of organizational support from a careers perspective, and highlights the factors that could potentially contribute to long-term growth and retention of women professionals.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Samina Saifuddin, Lorraine Dyke and Md Sajjad Hossain

The purpose of this paper is to create a nuanced understanding of the barriers women high-tech professionals face in Bangladesh. The main aim is to identify the extent to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a nuanced understanding of the barriers women high-tech professionals face in Bangladesh. The main aim is to identify the extent to which these barriers are common across different contexts and to explore the barriers that are unique and situated in the local socio-cultural context.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with high-tech professionals were conducted to identify and explore the barriers.

Findings

Although some of the barriers are common across different contexts, most of the barriers women professionals face arise due to the interaction between situated socio-cultural practices and gender. The dynamics of socio-cultural and patriarchal norms reinforce gender biases and gendered practices that afford men with greater control over resources and systematically limit women’s access to opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

The study recruited 35 participants using snowball sampling. From a methodological perspective, future research could benefit from recruiting a larger, more varied sample using random sampling.

Practical implications

Women experience barriers due to both internal organizational features and external contextual barriers. The findings suggest that some of these barriers can be removed through governmental and organizational policies and through appropriate intervention strategies delivered in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Originality/value

The study makes a unique contribution by using a macro-social lens to analyze the meso-organizational practices and micro-individual phenomena thereby providing a holistic view of the barriers faced by women professionals in Bangladesh.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article

Marjorie Armstrong‐Stassen and Sheila Cameron

The labour force participation of older women has increased substantially in Canada. This study aims to examine the factors that are important to the career satisfaction…

Abstract

Purpose

The labour force participation of older women has increased substantially in Canada. This study aims to examine the factors that are important to the career satisfaction of older managerial and professional women.

Design/methodology/approach

Managerial and professional women aged 50 and above completed a questionnaire assessing their career satisfaction, individual characteristics and organization‐related factors.

Findings

For managerial women, the significant predictors of career satisfaction were perceived as organizational support, job content plateauing, and health status. For professional women, the significant predictors of career satisfaction were perceived efforts by their organization to retain its older managerial and professional employees and job content plateauing.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a small sample and the respondents were primarily employed in the public sector. Further research is needed using larger samples and a better representation from the private sector. Researchers also need to identify other factors that influence the career satisfaction of older managerial and professional women.

Practical implications

The career satisfaction of older managerial and professional women is heightened when they are challenged by their job and have an opportunity to learn and grow in their job. Beyond this, enhancing the career satisfaction of older managerial and professional women will require different approaches tailored specifically to each group.

Originality/value

Very little is known about the career‐related issues that are of special concern to older managerial and professional women. This study provides some insight into the differences between older managerial and professional women and the factors that contribute to their career satisfaction.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article

Olivia Kyriakidou

The purpose of this paper is to build and enrich theory around professional identity construction by investigating the development of professional identity under…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build and enrich theory around professional identity construction by investigating the development of professional identity under conditions of marginalized gender identity. Professional identity is defined by Ibarra and by Schein as one ' s professional self-concept based on attributes, beliefs, values, motives, and experiences. Professional identity construction under conditions of marginalization presents an interesting puzzle. Professional roles are defined as prestigious and provide the role holder with autonomy and, often, a degree of privilege. However, minority professionals are often accorded little prestige and/or privilege because their identities are perceived as inferior.

Design/methodology/approach

The research studies narratives by 33 prominent women engineers with careers in management who discuss what it means to be both women and engineers holding high management positions in their organizations.

Findings

The research demonstrates that the process of identity construction for women engineers differs in significant ways from that of their male counterparts. The process is centered in redefinition that allows women professionals to construct possible selves and establish positive professional identities: redefinition of occupational rhetorics, disadvantage, and the self.

Research limitations/implications

This study of professional identity construction under conditions of disadvantaged gender identity contributes a new perspective for theorists researching professional identity construction. The results reveal that the development of professional identity for minority women may involve the processes and tasks of redefinition. The tasks in redefinition include redefining disadvantage, redefining the profession, and redefining the self. Moreover, the use of narrative calls for organizational researchers to consider theories in sociology, history, policy, and psychology in the attempts to answer careers questions.

Practical implications

The implications of this research are significant for human resource management practices in the construction and engineering field.

Originality/value

While there is growing interest in professional identity construction (e.g. Clarke et al.), little is known about how marginalization may influence the development of professional identity of minority professionals, such as women managers in engineering.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article

Beverly H. Burris

Both work institutions and the family, capitalism and patriarchy must change if work and family are to be capable of integration by both men and women. Obviously needed…

Abstract

Both work institutions and the family, capitalism and patriarchy must change if work and family are to be capable of integration by both men and women. Obviously needed changes are: greater work scheduling flexibility, more available part‐time work for men and women, more available and affordable child care, more generous maternity and paternity leave. In order for work to be truly compatible with parenting it needs to be less alienated, and parenting needs to be less individualistically structured and isolating. Both realms need to be more creative, egalitarian and social. With the majority of wives and mothers working outside the home the previous “myth of separated worlds” has become increasingly untenable, as women are asked to reconcile work and family. The literature is examined, emphasising its limitations in its failure to disaggregate working mothers according to occupation and its one‐sided focus on the impact of work relationships on family life. Sociological theories about family and work are examined. The nature of the family work nexus for non‐professional and professional women is explored. The professional/non‐professional comparison is analysed as well as the changing family/work nexus and its impact on men and women.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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