Gender difference in professional developmental relationships within male and female-dominated professions




Souther, Elizabeth Lee

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The purpose of this study was to identify differences in professional developmental relationship functions between males and females and between nurses and non-nurses. Quantification of the professional development relationship functions was accomplished using a demographic scale and the Professional Developmental Relationship Questionnaire (PDRQ), a 45-item, 5-point, Likert-scale tool. The questionnaire was administered to a probability sample of 80 nursing and engineering middle managers. Membership rosters of the American Organization of Nurse Executives Council of Middle Managers, the Society of Women Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Management were used to obtain the sample.

The PDRQ, composed of two subscales, the Psycho-Social and the Career-Enhancing subscales, received an Alpha of.90. The Psycho-Social subscale yielded an Alpha of.83 and the Career-Enhancing subscale yielded a.87. The PDRQ received an Alpha of.92 and both the Psycho-Social and the Career-Enhancing subscales yielded an Alpha of.87. The PDRQ was used to assess if there were significant differences in the PDRQ scores by either gender or profession. The results indicated that there were no significant findings.

Subjects were asked to rank order 9 personal characteristic variables and 8 significant other variables that positively influenced their career. The findings found on the ranking of the personal characteristic variables were that female engineers ranked creativity as having greater influence on their career than did both the male and female nurses. Females ranked risk taking higher than male nurses. Male nurses and female engineers ranked experience higher than did the female nurses.

Female engineers were found to have ranked their significant other or spouse as having greater influence on their career than female nurses. No significant correlation coefficients were found between the variables of level of education, size of the employer organization, and the number of years of experience to the PDRQ scores.


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Nursing, Business community, Labor relations, Gender differences, Professional development, Professional relationships, Health and environmental sciences, Social sciences, Male dominated