Men in typically female-dominated occupations tend to value the social aspects of their career over financial rewards.
These are the findings of a study by Dr Kazia Solowiej, Dr Catharine Ross, and Professor Jan Francis-Smythe of the University of Worcester and Dr Catherine Steele of the University of Leicester. The study is presented today, Wednesday 6 January 2016, at the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology annual conference in East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham.
A total of 34 men were interviewed; this included 15 primary school teachers and 19 university administrators. They discussed their career history, experience of success and the support they received from their organisations. The interviews revealed that their definitions of career success included features other than pay and promotion such as building friendships with colleagues and flexible working that enabled time for family and social commitments.
For male primary school teachers career development was reflected in the varied challenges brought by pupils. They also valued recognition of success from their colleagues, but some felt pressured to apply for opportunities for career progression, which was contrasting to their actual career goals.
Dr Solowiej said: "It is often assumed that men value careers with regular opportunities for promotion; however our study demonstrates that this isn't always the case. Men who work in typically female-dominated occupations value success in ways that went beyond salary and promotion.
"Organisations need to understand that some of their male employees may not be motivated purely by promotional opportunities. Therefore it is important that gender stereotypical assumptions about success are challenged so we can understand what is important to individuals within different occupational contexts."
Explore further: Do women place less importance on their careers than men?
Paper title: 'Reconceptualising Career Success for Males in two Female-dominated Occupations: A Case Study of Primary School Teaching and University Administration'