Women's Occupational Choice and Entry into Male-Dominated Occupations

Clement, Sarah. 1990. Women's Occupational Choice and Entry into Male-Dominated Occupations. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

The research presented here is in investigation into women's occupational choice with specific reference to women in male-dominated occupations. Three main research areas are reviewed and evaluated: theories of occupational choice in general; theories of women's occupational choice; and theories pertaining to women's choice of and experiences in male-dominated occupations. An exploratory study was carried out into the gender-dominant occupational preferences of female and male students, using the theoretical framework of Bandura's self-efficacy theory. The main finding of this Study was that self-efficacy expectations do not play a large part in explaining women's and men’s preference for gender-typical occupations and reluctance to consider gender-atypical occupations. The main study takes a more global approach and investigates a large number of possible psychological and social determinants of women's occupational choice and entry into male-dominated occupations. The subjects in this piece of research were women employed in three types of male-dominated occupation : manual, non-manual; and transitional (occupations that are changing from male-domination to gender-neutrality). A group of women in non-manual female-dominated occupations was also included as a control group. The subjects participated in individual, semi-structured interviews and completed three questionnaires. The resulting data was subjected to both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Many diverse elements were found to influence women’s occupational choice. Differences between women in different types of male-dominated occupation, In the antecedents to their entry into a male-dominated job and in then- experiences at work, are discussed. A model representing women's occupational choice, with particular reference to women in male-dominated occupations, is proposed. Next the factors determining women's experiences in male-dominated areas of work are delineated. Finally suggestions for future research are put forward, and conclusions are drawn.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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women, occupation, gender, occupational choice



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Date Deposited:

15 Jul 2020 10:55

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:53



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