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Women and Careers: New Zealand Women's Engagement in Career and Family Planning

Abstract
This study investigated the extent women engage in career planning, and whether making considerations to have children would influence their career plans. Relationships with other variables were examined with career and family planning, which included proactive personality, subjective career success, and commitment and salience of women’s careers and role as a parent. One hundred and seventy three women who did not have children participated in this study by completing an online survey. Significant relationships were found between career planning and proactive personality, subjective career success, career commitment and career salience importance of career in life and importance of work over career. Family planning was found to be positively related to parental role commitment and salience, and negatively to career commitment, proactive personality, and career salience. Career planning was found to have no relationship with family planning, parental role commitment and salience, and career salience importance of career over family. Proactive personality was positively related to subjective career success, career commitment, and career salience. Age and education were not found to be related to career planning, but were negatively related to family planning. These results suggest that women feel there is a need to choose between a career and a family. My research found that women with high parental role commitment and salience were more likely to change their career plans to accommodate having children. Whereas, women with high career commitment and salience, were less likely to change their career plans to accommodate children. My research overall found that women do engage in career planning, and whether a woman’s career plans were altered due to considering children, was dependent on the woman’s preference for a family over a career, or a career over a family, which indicated whether a woman preferred to plan a career around a family or a family around a career. The findings within this thesis add knowledge to the field of women and careers, as well as suggests practitioners to discuss with female clients and employees that women do not need to choose between a career and a family, and that considering family responsibilities in career plans is a way to make balancing a career and a family, in theory, more manageable. This research offers practical recommendations for career counsellors and organisations to help effectively support female clients and employees manage their career and career aspirations, while also taking into account women’s concerns about managing their career responsibilities along with their maternal responsibilities. Implications for future career management programs to consider are suggested to encourage and support female employees and clients for the effective planning of their career, and taking into account a contingency plan for the possibility of parenthood in their future. Furthermore, examining women’s lifestyle preferences, could possibly disclose indicators of women who may have an increased likelihood of limiting their career responsibilities, due to the concern of managing career and childcare responsibilities.
Type
Thesis
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Ussher, S. R. (2015). Women and Careers: New Zealand Women’s Engagement in Career and Family Planning (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9370
Date
2015
Publisher
University of Waikato
Rights
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