Gender equality in the labourmarket has been emphasized as an important factor several times in European community (EU Commission, 1997; 2010). Nevertheless, differences in career opportunities have been found in previous research, indicating that women report more barriers then men regarding career aspects (Hawley McWirther, 1997). In this respect, a number of possible explanations has been put forward, for example work-family conflict (WFC) (Gali Cinnamon, 2006). In the present study we are interested in investigating possible predictors of career opportunities and more specifically the aim of the present study is to investigate antecedents of career opportunities and perceived employability.
The present study comprised a representative sample of 1,609 Swedish workers (716 men and 883 women) in the ages of 26 to 51, who answered two questionnaires, one in 2005 and one in 2006. The study comprised questions regarding career opportunities and perceived employability (outcomes) and age, mental well-being, education, tenure, children at home, working hours (per week) and WFC (predictors). The data was analyzed by means of a regression analysis.
Preliminary results indicate that women reported lower levels of employability as well as career opportunities. They also had a higher level of education, shorter tenure and worked fewer hours per week. Regarding the regression analysis, the results displayed a significant association between WFC and the outcomes for men but not for women. For women part-time work predicted both outcomes. It could also be found that tenure had a negative effect on both outcomes, suggesting that for both men and women (although somewhat stronger for men) working longer in one organization affects perceived career prospects in a negative way. In addition, the results indicate that subjective mental well-being is an important predictor for employability as well as for career opportunities.
The results confirm earlier studies in that women report more career barriers. We also find it interesting that the results from the preliminary analyses suggest that WFC is primarily a problem for men. For women, the number of hours per week seems to be more important.
Nottingham, UK: European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology , 2014. 237- p.
11th Conference of the European Academy of Occupational Health Psychology, 14-16 April, 2014.