Women Perceptions of ‘Masculine’ Technical Careers: A Comparative Study of Women In ‘Feminine’ And ‘Masculine’ Employment Occupations in the City of Gweru, Zimbabwe
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Female under-representation in science and technology) is found in societies the world over. This study investigated and compared the perceptions of 120 Zimbabwean women in non-technical and technical occupations, focusing on those jobs usually dominated by males. A survey, based on a closed- and open-ended questionnaire was employed to gather both quantifiable and qualitative data on non-technical and technical women’s career aspirations, job satisfaction and perceptions towards females in masculine ’ technical jobs. The main findings of the study were that: education and public opinion appeared to limit women's career choices to non-technical jobs; women in non-technical jobs started employment with higher job satisfaction than those in technical jobs, but this reversed with time due to work experiences; and women exposed to females occupying (\masculine j technical positions were more positive to females in such technical jobs than those exposed to purely' feminine’ or ‘masculine’ work environments. In view of these findings, recommendations are made for gender sensitive interventions involving education, employers and the public.