Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This (lowercase (translateProductType product.productType)) has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hannover, Bettina and Wolter, Ilka 2017. Handbuch Interdisziplinäre Geschlechterforschung. p. 1.

  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: October 2014

18 - How gender influences objective career success and subjective career satisfaction



Despite excellent educational backgrounds women are still less successful in their occupational careers than men. The present research tests hypotheses derived from a dual-impact model of gender- and career-related processes in a longitudinal study with 1,015 German professionals over a time span of 10 years. In line with predictions, parenthood had a negative influence on women’s objective career success that was completely due to a reduced workload and career discontinuities during their children’s early childhood. In contrast, parenthood had a slightly positive effect on men’s objective career success that was independent of workload. Moreover, the participants’ self-concept had an influence both on parenthood (participants with a more “communal” self-concept, e.g., warmth and empathy, were more often parents) and on career success (participants with a more “agentic” self-concept, e.g., assertiveness and independence, were more successful). Both men’s and women’s career satisfaction could be predicted by their degree of agency and by workload. Parents were more satisfied with their careers than non-parents, and this effect was stronger for women than for men. Implications of these findings with respect to the dual-impact model of gender and with respect to applied issues are discussed.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Gender Differences in Aspirations and Attainment
  • Online ISBN: 9781139128933
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Abele, A. E. (2000). A dual impact model of gender and career-related processes and the reciprocal impact of career on gender. In Eckes, T. & Trautner, H-.M. (Eds.), The developmental social psychology of gender (pp. 361–388). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Abele, A. E. (2003). The dynamics of masculine-agentic and feminine-communal traits: Findings from a prospective study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 768–776.
Abele, A. E. (2005). Ziele, Selbstkonzept und Work-Life-Balance bei der längerfristigen Lebensgestaltung [Goals, self-concept and work-life balance in people’s life planning]. Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 49, 176–186.
Abele, A. E., Rupprecht, T., & Wojciszke, B. (2008). The influence of success and failure experiences on agency. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 436–448.
Abele, A. E., & Spurk, D. (2009a). The longitudinal impact of self-efficacy and career goals on objective and subjective career success. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 74, 53–62.
Abele, A. E., & Spurk, D. (2009b). How do objective and subjective career success interrelate over time?Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82, 803–824.
Abele, A. E., & Spurk, D. (2011).The dual impact of gender and the influence of timing of parenthood on men’s and women’s career development: Longitudinal findings. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 35, 225–232.
Abele, A. E., Spurk, D., & Volmer, J. (2011). The construct of career success: Measurement issues and an empirical example. Journal of Labour Market Research, 43, 195–206.
Abele, A. E., & Wojciszke, B. (2007). Agency and communion from the perspective of self versus others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 751–763.
Astin, H. S. (1984). The meaning of work in women’s lives: A sociological model of career choice and work behavior. The Counseling Psychologist, 12, 117–126.
Bem, S. (1993). The lenses of gender: Transforming the debate on sexual inequality. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press.
Betz, N. E., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1987). The career psychology of women. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Corrigall, E. A., & Konrad, A. M. (2007). Gender role attitudes and careers: A longitudinal study. Sex Roles, 56, 847–855.
Deaux, K., & LaFrance, M. (1998). Gender. In Gilbert, D. T., Fiske, S. T., & Lindzey, G. (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (4th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 788–827). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598.
Eby, L. T., Allen, T. D., & Douthitt, S. S. (1999). The role of nonperformance factors on job-related relocation opportunities: A field study and laboratory experiment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 79, 29–55.
Eby, L., Casper, W., Lockwood, A., Bordeaux, C., & Brinley, A. (2005). Work and family research in IO/OB: Content analysis and review of the literature (1980–2002). Journal of Vocational Behavior, 66, 124–197.
Eurostat (2005). European statistical data support. Retrieved January 25, 2005, from .
Feldman, S. S., & Aschenbrenner, B. (1983). Impact of parenthood on various aspects of masculinity and femininity: A short-term longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 19, 278–289.
Gattiker, U. E., & Larwood, L. (1990). Predictors of career achievement in corporate hierarchy. Human Relations, 43, 703–726.
Greenhaus, J. H., Parasuraman, S., Wormley, W. M. (1990). Effects of race on organizational experiences, job performance evaluations, and career outcomes. Academy of Management Journal, 33, 64–86.
Heslin, P. A. (2005). Conceptualizing and evaluating career success. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 113–136.
Kasen, S., Chen, H., Sneed, J., Crawford, T., & Cohen, P. (2006). Social role and birth cohort influences on gender-linked personality traits in women: A 20-year longitudinal analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 944–958.
Kirchmeyer, C. (1998). Determinants of managerial career success: Evidence and explanation of male/female differences. Journal of Management, 24, 673–692.
Lent, R. W., Brown, S. D., & Hackett, G. (1994). Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice, and performance. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45, 79–122.
Lundberg, U., & Frankenhaeuser, M. (1999). Stress and workload of men and women in high-ranking positions. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 4, 142–151.
Lyness, K. S., & Thompson, D. E. (1997). Above the glass ceiling? A comparison of matched samples of female and male executives. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 359–375.
Marini, M., & Fan, P.-L. (1997). The gender gap in earnings at career entry. American Sociological Review, 62, 588–604.
Melamed, T. (1995). Career success: The moderating effect of gender. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 47, 35–60.
Melamed, T. (1996). Career success: An assessment of a gender-specific model. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 69, 217–242.
Ng, T. W. H., Eby, L. T., Sorensen, K. L., & Feldman, D. C. (2005). Predictors of objective and subjective career success: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 58, 367–408.
Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2008). Long work hours: A social identity perspective on meta-analysis data. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 853–880.
Olson, J., Frieze, I. H., & Detlefsen, E. G. (1990). Having it all? Combining work and family in a male and a female profession. Sex Roles, 23, 515–533.
Reitman, F., & Schneer, J. A. (2003). The promised path: A longitudinal study of managerial careers. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 18, 60–75.
Reitman, F., & Schneer, J. A. (2005). The long-term negative impacts of managerial career interruptions: A longitudinal study of men and women MBAs. Group & Organization Management, 30, 243–262.
Rudman, L., & Fairchild, K. (2004). Reactions to counterstereotypic behaviour: The role of backlash in cultural stereotype maintenance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 157–176.
Runge, T., Frey, D., Gollwitzer, P., Helmreich, R., & Spence, J. (1981). Masculine (instrumental) and feminine (expressive) traits: A comparison between students in the United States and West Germany. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 12, 142–162.
Seibert, S. E., Crant, J. M., & Kraimer, M. L. (1999). Proactive personality and career success. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 416–427.
Spence, J. T., Helmreich, R. L., & Stapp, J. (1974). The personal attributes questionnaire: A measure of sex role stereotypes and masculinity femininity. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 4, 43–44.
Super, D. E. (1957). The psychology of careers: An introduction to vocational development. New York: Harper & Bros.
Taniguchi, H. (1999). The timing of childbearing and women’s wages. Journal of Marriage & the Family, 61, 1008–1019.
Tharenou, P., Latimer, S., & Conroy, D. (1994). How do you make it to the top? An examination of influences on women’s and men’s managerial advancement. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 899–931.
Twenge, J. M. (1997). Changes in masculine and feminine traits over time: A meta-analysis. Sex Roles, 36, 305–325.
Twenge, J. M. (2001). Changes in women’s assertiveness in response to status and roles: A cross-temporal meta-analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 133–145.
Uchronski, M. (2008). Agency and communion in spontaneous self-descriptions: Occurrence and situational malleability. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 1093–1102.
Watts, H., & Eccles, J. (Eds.). (2008). Gender and occupational outcomes. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Wittenberg-Cox, A. (2010). How women mean business: A step to step guide to profiting from gender balanced business. New York: Wiley.