SEX-ROLE ORIENTATIONS AND CAREER SUCCESS: RESULTS OF A LONGITUDINAL STUDY
 
Wastian, M. and Maier, G.W., University of Munich, Germany
 
This longitudinal study examined the influence of sex-role orientations (according to the Bem Sex Role Inventory) on career success of professionals. Most research finds men to be more successful in their careers than women, however, this research does not consider the influence of gender-related traits on career accomplishment. We hypothesized that individuals' 'masculine' aspect of their self-concept predicts objective and subjective indicators of career success. In a sample of N = 349 individuals we tested this hypothesis by using a design with 2 testing periods covering a 18 month period. The participants were homogenous with respect to their vocational socialization (i.e., study major was economics, and 5 years of vocational experience). During both testing periods we assessed participants' sex-role-orientations and indicators of objective (i.e., salary, entering management career, supervisory position) and subjective career success (i.e., job satisfaction, vocational goal attainment). According to our hypothesis we found that 'masculinity' accounted for changes in salary, entering management career and job satisfaction. Perceived goal attainment and holding a supervisory position failed to show any 'masculinity'-dependent changes. Gender accounted only for initial differences in salary and entering a management career. Our results indicate that individual career advancement is rather a matter of sex-role orientations than of gender, despite of starting advantages men might have. Implications on recruitment practice and personnel career development are discussed considering social-role theory and evolutionary theory.