Similarities and differences in the job satisfaction of male and female managerial/professional employees



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This study was undertaken to explore similarities and differences in the level and sources of job satisfaction of men versus women in traditionally male-dominated exempt positions, as well as the relationship between certain demographic variables and such job satisfaction. Subjects were managerial and professional employees of a large national oil company. Each of thirty-six male employees was matched with a female employee on age, education, length of company service, and monthly salary. Three analyses were performed: comparative item data from an opinion survey; regression analyses of factor contributors to overall job satisfaction, and regression analyses of demographic variables on overall job satisfaction. A comparison of mean ratings on each of 60 questionnaire items revealed that these male and female employees generally reported similar levels of satisfaction. Where differences occurred, females were less satisfied than their male counterparts with one exception. For example, fewer women than men felt they could talk openly and frankly with their supervisors about their work and their future; women were less satisfied than their male counterparts with top management's awareness of problems at the respondent's level of the organization; women expressed a lower level of satisfaction on two items relating to efficiency of their work group, and were more critical than males on four of the personal or job-related services provided by the organization. Males were significantly less satisfied than females with the amount of pay received. The comparison of item means was supplemented by an examination of area common to the two distributions. Percentage of overlapping was found to range from 72% to 100% for the full set of items, indicative that even significant differences in means were accompanied by a substantial degree of similarity in the level of satisfaction of male and female respondents. Multiple regression analyses, performed independently for males and females, were employed to investigate the relative contribution of each of nine aspects of satisfaction to overall satisfaction. The selection of independent variables for these analyses was based on prior factor analytic research on the questionnaire, which identified nine factors common to both managerial and professional employees: Supervision, Advancement, Benefits, Job Itself, Services, Organizational Efficiency, Work Load, Working Conditions, and Compensation. The item with the highest loading on each factor was selected to represent that aspect of job satisfaction in the present analyses. The multiple correlations were statistically significant and essentially the same for males and females. For both males and females, satisfaction with the Job Itself was the only predictor of overall satisfaction to attain statistical significance. Finally, this research explored the relationship between selected demographic variables and various measures of job satisfaction. Ten multiple regression analyses covering the overall satisfaction item and each of the nine items representing aspects of satisfaction as criteria and a set of demographic variables consisting of age, education, length of company service, monthly salary, and sex as predictors, produced only one significant multiple R. Further analysis indicated that age was positively correlated with satisfaction with compensation for females; however, none of the other demographic variables were correlated significantly with any criterion for either males or females