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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Imprimir: 1072-8325
ISSN En Línea: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2015012713
pages 125-140

ACADEMIC CAREER SATISFACTION: THE ROLES OF GENDER AND DISCIPLINE

Lesley Rigg
Department of Geography, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 60115
Brian Coller
Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 60115
Jeff Reynolds
Office of Academic Analysis and Reporting Office of the Provost, Division of Academic Affairs, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 60115
Amy Levin
Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 60115
Chris McCord
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University

SINOPSIS

Retaining a productive faculty results, at least in part, from job satisfaction. Women scientists have not reached parity (i.e., proportion representation, promotion, pay, etc.) with male scientists; both formal and informal structural mechanisms create obstacles in career progress, leading to lower reported satisfaction, and ultimately to lower retention rates. This survey-based case study examines the ways in which key work-related factors align with each other and contribute to faculty members' career satisfaction in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at Northern Illinois University (NIU). In general, both females and males appear satisfied with their positions and career progress at NIU; however, within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, both gender and discipline are significant determinants of satisfaction, with STEM and female respondents reporting less satisfaction. Factors that align with satisfaction included: agency/respect, gender marginalization, equity, family balance, resources, and hiring outcomes. Factors that align strongly with each other and faculty career satisfaction may serve as useful predictors of satisfaction and can lead to the development of better policies and practices for increased productivity and faculty retention.