Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled?

Abstract

Guided by Hagedorn’s (2000) theory of faculty job satisfaction, mindful of social and organizational structures of higher education, and acknowledging recent changes in the academic labor market, this study examines satisfaction for approximately 30,000 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in 100 US colleges and universities. Findings revealed similarity between female and male faculty members in some aspects of work satisfaction, but difference in other areas in which women reported lower satisfaction. Findings also revealed that perceptions of department fit, recognition, work role balance, and mentoring are more important to women faculty’s satisfaction than male peers. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    The item wording If I had it to do all over, I would again choose to work at this institution positions satisfaction as a broad construct, prompting the respondent to consider the variety of roles and responsibilities each faculty member addresses in daily work. Similarly, the second dependent variable also seeks global satisfaction with one’s department, All things considered, your department as a place to work.

  2. 2.

    In the 2012–2014 time period, the COACHE survey asked respondents to indicate their sex as male or female. Where the term ‘sex’ often connotes biological difference, ‘gender’ is often used to describe social and cultural characteristics and roles that are ascribed to individuals. Herein, we use the term gender to refer to both the biological and sociological bases.

  3. 3.

    It is possible that a faculty member moved to a different institution in a subsequent year that also administered the COACHE survey, but it is highly unlikely.

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Correspondence to Karen L. Webber.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 8.

Table 8 Principal components analysis factor loadings and reliabilities

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Webber, K.L., Rogers, S.M. Gender Differences in Faculty Member Job Satisfaction: Equity Forestalled?. Res High Educ 59, 1105–1132 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-018-9494-2

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Keywords

  • Faculty satisfaction
  • Gender differences faculty satisfaction
  • Faculty attrition