Gender differences in life-work balance and their impact on female occupational choice and retention
Emanuelsen, Kirk D.
Lee, Jon D.
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This study explores gender differences in defining, interpreting and achieving life-work balance and the factors influencing occupational choice among naval officers. Since Navy-wide data is not available, and it was not possible for us to conduct interviews and administer a large-scale survey during the study timeframe, we led a smaller study using a sample of naval officers from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). In particular, 15 semi-structured interviews and 197 observations from an online survey administered to NPS students, all with a wide range of experiences and subspecialties, were collected. The data was analyzed using qualitative methods and common themes were identified. Findings suggest that men and women have similar definitions of life-work balance and identified similar factors that influence their occupational choice; however, women value more factors when making those decisions. While this study provides initial insight into factors that influence retention, gender differences in the scope and impact are worthy of further exploration.
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