Shaping a career in management: the importance of gendered expectations
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Education and Work. 2022, 35 . https://doi.org/10.1080/13639080.2022.2144166
The study focuses on students in professional bachelor programs, how men and women navigate career opportunities after graduation. The research is based on longitudinal data from 969 Norwegian students. A crucial finding is that when men and women have equal expectations of entering a management position, they also attain such positions equally often. The results also reveal that women have equally high ambitions as men, but lower expectations of entering management positions. These findings indicate that perceived barriers reduce women’s choices and make them self-select away from manager positions. The study shows the necessity of a divide between ambitions and expectations and that gendered expectations are formed before graduation. Opposite to what earlier theory suggests, women have not tuned down their ambitions to match their expectations through an irrational and unconscious process. Instead, ambitions stay high and women appear to search rationally for alternative outlets, such as more often expecting master’s degrees.