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Career success of women academics in South Africa

Sarah, Riordan; Joha, Louw-Potgieter

We used career psychology variables found in the literature to explain the career success of academic women in South Africa. The impact of work centrality (moderated by care-giving), motivation,career anchors, and self-efficacy on career success was examined. The sample (N = 372) included permanently employed women academics in public universities. Path analysis was used to test the proposed model of career success. Seven independent variables remained in the final path model, namely, work centrality; the motivational factors of self-efficacy, motivational expectations, and motivational valence; and three career anchors (autonomy, entrepreneurial creativity, and service/dedication to a cause). These variables explained the variance of distinctly different dependent variables. For objective career success, publication output and qualifications were positively related to the career anchor autonomy, and negatively to service and entrepreneurial creativity. Teaching evaluation and community service were positively related to motivational valence. Subjective career success was positively related to work centrality, motivational expectancy, and self-efficacy, and negatively to motivational valence. Care-giving responsibility did not impact on work centrality. When the final path model was examined further for differences based on race, career stage (race combined with age), and career progress (job level combined with length of service), career progress was the only significant participant classification criterion. The results of this study were used to develop a framework of excellence promotion for academic women. The study was limited by the type of modelling used and the convenience sample.



Document Title: Career success of women academics in South Africa
Journal: South African Journal of Psychology
Volume: 41
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 157-172

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Contributory Studies and Research Approaches
Keywords:Academia, Adult Learning, Academic Work, Women in Higher Education, Women workers

Rights:Psychological Society of South Africa
Date Added:27 April 2012

Sarah, Riordan; Joha, Louw-Potgieter (2011) Career success of women academics in South Africa South African Journal of Psychology, 41(2), 2011, pp. 157-172