By Jordan Winberg
The following article is part of a multi-part series of excerpts from the author’s senior thesis.
My research experience was with Professor Jo Ida Hansen in the vocational department of psychology. Professor Hansen was in-between projects during my semester there, so my time was mostly spent entering data from past projects, completing literature reviews, and helping to brainstorm ideas for the coming semester.
During my time there, I completed the STRONG interest inventory, as career assessments are a large part of the vocational department of psychology. My initial results were accidently run as a male, because my name is gender neutral. After the results were re-run as a female, I noticed discrepancies between job recommendations for male Jordan and female Jordan.
Male Jordan was recommended to pursue more leadership opportunities than female Jordan. When I asked why gender was a factor that was considered, it was explained to me that males and females significantly differ in job satisfaction and ability.
However, it is my personal belief that these differences may stem from learned behaviors more so than innate ability, and I think that discouraging females to break away from gender normed job positions is a practice that may be contributing to the deficit of females in leadership positions.
This paper was able to give me some more background information on the subject, and hopefully, it will be of interest to others as well.