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Gender as Determinants of Job Relegated Benefits in Organizations



This study examined the influence of gender on job relegated benefits in organizations. The study adapted the concurrent mixed method design. Two hundred and eighty-one (281) career women comprising of bankers and teachers in the greater Lagos region of Nigeria were purposively sampled and used for the quantitative approach. For the qualitative phase, one-on-one interviews were conducted with fourteen (14) purposively sampled career women. The quantitative study result shows that gender were not significantly related to job relegated benefits in organizations. However, social support moderated the relationship between work life balance and job relegated benefits in organizations. The qualitative study also, shows that, women conceive career success as an achievement, contentment, self-improvement, competency, ability to provide for oneself and satisfaction. Also, the result indicated that social support was an important element for career success. The women are able to complement their career and household responsibilities due to the support they receive from the organization and their significant others, and this in turn help them to achieve their career objectives. Further, most participants adapted strategies such as good work organization/planning of work, making sacrifices, time management, self- programming among others, in balancing career responsibilities with family life. Though gender biases exist in the society, it has no influence on women career advancement, women receive encouragement from the opposite sex and sometimes the society and this inspire them to go higher in their career.

Keywords: Gender Role Ideology, Work Life Balance, Social Support and Career Success.




1.1.0 Background to the Study

Before World War II most women were involved in unpaid work, their primary job was to take care of the home and support their husbands’ career fulltime (Schwartz & Zimmerman, 1992). Women massively entered paid work during the Second World War to serve as standby workers for the active working age males who had then been called into military duty. Women working at that time were considered temporal workers. Marriage and childbearing were considered to be their primary responsibilities (Gutek & Larwood, 1987). Teaching, nursing and clerical jobs were considered to be appropriate only for single women in the 19th century (Nieva & Gutek, 1981). Thus, not more than 3% of married women in the 1890s worked outside the house. By the late 1970s however, almost half of the married women and 40% of women above 16 years worked outside the home (Domenico & Jones, 2006) though they considered paid jobs as additional work to their domestic responsibilities (Tinklin, Croxford, Ducklin & Frame, 2005). The ensuing effect of continuous rise in the number of female workers all over the world has carved a niche for the “working woman” to be accepted as a norm and not a social oddity (Catalyst, 2002).

Due to developmental and organizational changes as well as societal factors, there has been a disparity in career development between men and women. Basically, no difference exist between men and women career growth, however, it is much complex due to societal gender barriers (O ’neil, Hopkins, & Bilimoria, 2008). Job-related achievement and fulfillment are associated with life problems for modern-day woman; hence women crave to prosper both personally and workwise. Yet, an organizational certainty faced by modern-day organizational and competent women does not seem to have wedged up with their career choices and preferences of life.

These structural certainties continued previously when men workforces were the custom. However, there has been improvement in females’ achievements in education over the past years (International Labor Organization-ILO, 2016). Women were counted between 40 and 60 percent of the highest graduates in all European Union nations in 2012, records shown a persistent rise in females schooling than men (European Commission, 2016).

However, advancement in female’s education is not reflected similarly in the arena of job, especially where gender disparity exists (ILO, 2016). The absorption of males and females in diverse segments and professions is prevalent over nations, as continuing attributes that contribute to gender disparities in relation to quantity and the worth of careers (French & Strachan, 2015; ILO, 2016).

The role of women in the Nigerian society cannot be underrated. They serve as fore bearer of the next generation and as creators and suppliers of goods and services especially in the traditional ages. Women in Nigeria continue to play vital roles in the work force in modern ages. According to Nigeria Statistical Service (2005, 2008), there has been a rise in female’s involvement in remunerated service over the past four years. In Nigeria, out of the 64.7% of the female population, 48% are in paid jobs (GSS, 2015). But out of this only few are working in senior management or decision-making positions. Despite efforts by government advocating for gender equality, majority of men occupy top managerial and decision-making positions in Nigeria (GSS, 2012). Indeed, the perceptions of women as being inferior to men abound in Nigerian communities. For instance, the Akans have a proverb that goes like “if a woman buys a gun, it lies in the room of the man” This shows the perception of superiority of the man over the woman. Thus, these traditional perceptions continue to overcome people’s attempt to ‘preserve’ the African culture or values which in turn justifies the subordination of women (Gyekye, 2012).

Wirth (2001) posits that despite the incredible achievements that women have attained by breaking into paid workforce and professional arenas, their pace of growth has been slower than that of a snail. Wirth (2001) describes this pace as slow and rough depending largely on the country and culture. Several studies have shown that, there is gender inequality in job relegated benefits in organizations. The gendered attribute of organizational structures certifies females’ restricted entry to commanding positions in organizations. Conventionally, male qualities are largely associated through respectable organization performances than womanly qualities (Powell et al., 2002 as in O ’neil et al., 2008). Barriers enforced by these gendered societal settings and traditional gender role stereotypes have rendered career progression of females more complex. Character traits, enthusiasm, societal networking, organizational and career sustenance have been identified as factors that hinder people from having optimistic awareness and attitudes about their personal career success (Ng & Feldman, 2014). On the other hand, women are relatively underrepresented in paid jobs due to stereotypes and organizational biases, however, women perform better on their respective roles than men (Górska, 2016). Likewise, females devote fewer amount of time on salaried jobs than males. Also, the amount of household duties women and men perform, correspondingly, specifies that women carry the significant responsibilities for housekeeping and caregiving in double- income families (Hochschild,1989; Frey, 2001 as cited in Toth & Toth, 2011).

According to the International Labor Organization-ILO (2016), job-related achievements as well as fulfillment are associated with life problems for modern-day women; hence women crave to prosper both personally and workwise. Yet, organizational certainties faced by modern-day organizational and competent women do not seem to have taken up with their career choices and preferences of life. These structural certainties continue mainly from the previous times when manly workers were the custom. However, there is a development in females’ educational accomplishments over the past years (International Labor Organization-ILO, 2016).

According to Nigeria Country Gender Profile (2008), the officially, the commercial division hires insignificant section of the population. Thus, about 5 out of a hundred of women and 19 out of a hundred of men of the economically vigorous populace in 1997. Also, females made up of 50.1 % of the total employment –force and are vastly concerted in the agricultural areas. According to the report, 27.4 % of women engage in trade, 51.1 are into agriculture whereas 13.9 % are into manufacturing. Comparatively, twenty-one out of a hundred of the active womenfolk work economically as unpaid household workers in farming as to 9.6 of men. More so Nigeria’s largest employer means is the informal sector. The sector mostly employs 80 % of men and 95 % of women. Averagely, womenfolk earned less than 76 % in wage employment than menfolk in 2002 and this leads to wage differentials.

Furthermore, male education for adult is 20% advanced than ladies with a considerable wider gap of 30 % in the Northern regions. Scholars have shown that socio-economic and social factors disturb girls’ education (Nigeria Statistical Service 2006).   Richardson (2000), career is inadequate and unsuitable concept, subjected to a conventional prejudice in perception and thought. However, the study projected reflections on how the individual makes personal meaning of work in life. Blustein (2001, 2006) also recognized that there is limited choice in the work both men and women undertake to provide for the family and themselves. He anticipated that we further cultivate a comprehensive psychology of work to address how matters of gender, societal recognition, family upbringing and traditional features influence career development. These features may also limit the variety of changes even for those with the privilege of choice.


Hall (1996) proposed that successful career is no more regarded as rising to the uppermost of the professional pyramid, but currently seen as a mental attainment exclusive to the person. Hall (1996) explained further that, the core ambition of career is attitudinal attainment, thus the sense of self-importance and individual achievement that originates after accomplishing one’s utmost significant objective in life, whether attainment, family pleasure or inner peace. Women’s career are affected by a larger variety of lifetime characters and have stronger influence on associations (O’Neil & Bilimoria, 2005). Female’s career success is influenced by some of these roles. For instance, gender.

Becoming a companion and a mother depicts the traditional duty of a Nigerian female in the community (Sefa-Dedeh & Canetto, 1992). Females are therefore required to marry and give birth. They are also accountable for all domestic tasks and baby-sitting.

Moreover, the female is again obliged to assist in family’s work such as farming, weaving and pottery when necessary. Their jobs were limited to the household and were basically unpaid (Sefa-Dedeh & Canetto, 1992). However, research on gender perception by Akotia and Anum (2012) concluded that, males ‘discernment on gender roles are static and modifies a little with fluctuations in schooling. Their study confirmed that advancement in education utters females ‘discernment on gender roles expressively but not males. Hence, gender role ideology may serve as a hindrance to women career.

As an outcome of the intensification in double–career/earner wives and mothers in the workforce, employees are increasingly having to create an equilibrium between their career and family responsibilities (e,g., parents, spouse, employee). This has become an issue for both employees as the effects extent to their families, the organization for which they work organizational psychologist, health professionals, and policy makers.

Although positive outcomes have been found to result from multiple role for individuals, the family, and organizations (e.g. Barnett, 1999; Cooksey, Mmenaghan, & Jekielek, 1997), numerous research have showed challenging concerns (Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1987; Thompson, 1997).

The persistent problem of unpaid house work, motherhood and child rearing limit the time and strength existing for working women to receive revenue and engross in additional events (Dako-gyeke & Ibrahim, 2012). A study finding highlighted on the belief that the experience of work–family struggle exceeds traditional limits and that workers in Nigeria practice work–family conflict just as their peers in Western and advanced states (Karimi, 2008). Annor and Amponsah-tawiah (2017) although their research studied gender discrepancies in stages of work–family conflict, it has become necessity to appreciate the experiences and consequences of work–family conflict in the Nigerian settings, mainly those that are exclusive to these settings family-related factors. Gamor, Amissah, Adutwum and Boakye (2014) study provides numerous claims made by scholars in advanced nations. Also, it is obvious that the practice of work life balance by workforces in the advanced countries varies from the workforces in evolving nations like Nigeria. These conversions in the study findings transpire on the lines of work elasticity, gender perception, and with life-cycle phases, precisely, with the creation of offspring’s in a family. The quantifiable nature of the research does not make room for further enquiry. In addition, the sample size was comparatively insignificant and the use of the expediency sampling procedure limits the ability to generalize the findings. With respect to this, the purposeful sampling and a bigger sample size will be utilized in this study. However, Gyekye (2012) findings were consistent with earlier findings that women encounter the glass ceiling barrier whilst climbing to the top and there have also been bounded research on women career success in Nigeria. The study was conducted among some middle managers and senior managers, this research would consider both lower and middle level managers including other professionals.


  • Statement of the Problem

Women made up between forty and sixty % of most senior graduates in all European Union nations in 2012, records have showed a persistent rise in women education than men (European Commission, 2016). Nevertheless, women’s advancement in schooling has not been expressed similarly in the field of jobs, where gender disparity exists (ILO, 2016). The absorption of males as well as females in various segments and professions is prevalent across nations; this has been a lasting attribute that adds to gender gaps in relation to quantity and the value of jobs (French & Strachan, 2015; ILO, 2016).

Current investigation has instituted that male and female profession are significantly unalike (O ’neil et al., 2008). Females’ professions are affected by diverse structural and societal issues than male’ careers. Organization stands at a loss when it allows barriers in whatever form to hamper employee’s talents from being fully exploited (Morrison, White, & van Velsor, 1987; Guy, 1992). When women are deprived of career success, it also denies organizations of diversity that businesses now need to contest successfully with their competitors. Therefore, barriers, whether intentional or unintentional, act as threat to the proper functioning of organizations. It has therefore become critical that organizations select the best candidate from a large pool of applicants which includes women not only to benefit from having the best candidate but also increase diversity which has become key in today’s economies.

Findings by Al-Asfour, Tlaiss, Khan, and Rajasekar (2017) show that little research have discovered job problems and career barriers encountered by female’s in the Province of Saudi Arabia. The phenomenological qualitative method was used for the study. They drew on 12 comprehensive semi-structured interviews with women in Saudi Arabia. The study used convenience sampling and insignificant sample size therefore; it is presumed that the conclusions could not be applied to all women employed in Saudi Arabia. Whiles previous studies have provided information on gender inequality in job relegated benefits in organizations, few studies have addressed the fact that inflexible working arrangements and household responsibilities are major challenges women encounter in the formal sectors (Schmiede &Yousaf, 2017).

Although, there is a demonstrably developments in women empowerment and their general life, substantial encounters still persist for females’ involvement in admittance to schooling mostly at the second cycle and tertiary levels, supremacy and access to fiscal assets. Less feminine enrolment at second cycle and tertiary levels poses a challenge to feminine contribution in decision-making at complex levels and their contributions to paid jobs and higher-level professions. With regard to governance, there is inadequate women representing and participating in public life. Likewise, the predominance of female’s in the informal sectors, principally participating in influential or unpaid household jobs or menial jobs is alarming. This makes it difficult to develop a strategy to end the feminization of poverty. In addition, socio-cultural practices, customs, and social approaches tend to inhibit women from engaging in wage services (Grey, 2013).

Several scholars have used objective measures for career success (Gould & Penley, 1984). Yet, some scholars disclosed some limitations of these measures. Korman and Korman (1980) proposed that other investigators have claimed to have hypothesized subjective career success (Erdogan et al., 2004; Hofmans, Dries, & Pepermans, 2008).

Nevertheless, Judge et al. 1995 as in Hennequin and Hennequin (2009) proposed that research studies have remained inadequate as they do not consider subjective and objective characteristics of career success at the same time. Really, it is through the blend of both measures that success can be understood. This blend is necessary in order to attain a comprehensive knowledge of the idea (Hennequin, 2007). Measures of success must replicate the prevailing values in society and also individual feelings (Bretz & Judge, 1994)

  • Aims/ Objectives of the Study

The research was an exploratory research. The main objective of the research examined features that hinder female career success in the Nigerian context and also contribute to the prevailing body of empirical evidence that advocates on women and career.

  • Specific Objectives
  1. To determine the impact of gender role ideology onjob relegated benefits in organizations,
  2. To ascertain whether work life balance can predict career success of women,
  3. To assess how few women succeed in their career regardless of these barriers and examine how social support will moderate the relationship between work life balance and job relegated benefits in organizations.
  • Research Questions

This research aimed to answer the following questions

  • What factors underpin the experiences of women career success?
  • How do career women construct career success?
  • What factors hinder women career success?


  • Hypotheses
  1. There will be a significant negative relationship between gender role ideology and job relegated benefits in organizations.
  2. There will be a significant positive relationship between Work life balance and job relegated benefits in organizations.
  3. Social support will moderate the relationship between work life balance and job relegated benefits in organizations.
  • Significance of the Study

The study would equally inform theoretical and practical decisions within the organizational settings. The study would theoretically complement the present body of knowledge on the overall subject of factors that hinders women career in Nigeria. This is because it would help in its further generalization in Nigeria since most studies in this area focus on samples within the United States, Asia and Europe. Though, globally there have been some studies on glass ceiling (factors that hinders women career success) this study would be part of the few studies within the Nigerian context. Practically, the study would significantly inform government and other stakeholders to employ strategies to reduce gender discrimination in formal organization and also empower females in the field of work. On the other hand, the study would assist career women to have an insight of their tasks concerning career and other life choices. Help women to create their own career development patterns which will help to insure their career success.

Additionally, the paper would contribute to the explanation of work confrontations and barriers of Nigerian womenfolk in employment and also offers additional understandings to matters encompassing female’s career and the necessity to respond to them in order to provide support for their career progression. It would again inspire upcoming females to realize the obstacles they encounter and quickly think through the approaches they must formulate to realize their career and personal goals.


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