An exploratory study: female surface warfare officers' decisions to leave their community
Graham, Sharon L.
Thomas, Gail F.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this exploratory study was to discover the reasons that female Surface Warfare Officers (SWO) leave the Surface Warfare Officer Community and to identify paths that might encourage them to stay. Seven focus groups and nine interviews were used to gather qualitative data from three groups: 1) SWOs who had expressed intentions to leave the SWO community; 2) officers who had laterally transferred to another Navy community; and 3) individuals who had separated from the Navy. Altogether, 49 individuals participated in the study; 23 women and 26 men. Men were included to examine gender similarities and differences. Based on responses from all participants, six major themes emerged to explain why both male and female officers may leave the community: 1) inconsistent leadership; 2) negative aspects of the culture; 3) lack of passion; 4) inability to achieve work/life balance; 5) excessive work-hours; and 6) the mundane nature of some tasks. Only three themes emerged that were different for the women: 1) inflexibility of career for family planning; 2) lack of positive senior role models; and 3) a perception of discrimination, sexual harassment, and lack of respect for women. It appears that the Navy may need to attack the retention problem on a number of fronts if it wishes to improve the retention rate for women. Continuation pay, which is currently a primary lever for increasing retention, was not viewed favorably as a means for getting male or female officers to stay in the community. The thesis concludes with recommendations for further research.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The impact of demographics and military factors affecting retention rates affecting female and male officers in the surface warfare and restricted line communities Taylor, Cherie Rockeal. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2005-06);This study will analyze factors that affect retention of male and female officers with specific emphasis on the surface warfare and restricted line communities. The research will examine whether family influence, dependent ...
Clifton, Elizabeth A. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 2003-03);This thesis delineates factors affecting the retention decisions of female Surface Warfare Officers. The data were obtained from in-depth interviews conducted with 12 female senior officers and 15 female junior officers. ...
A study of the feasibility and benefits of converting certain fleet support community billets from military to civilian FitzPatrick, Eric L. (Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School, 1998-03);The latest Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) determined that the Department of Defense must reduce the amount of money it spends on infrastructure to recapitilize the armed forces. The QDR and the General Accounting Office ...