WORK FAMILY CONFLICT, OCCUPATIONAL STRESS AND LIFE SATISFACTION AMONG MARRIED CAREER WOMEN. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
1.1 Background to the Study
There has been a growing scholarly interest in the gendered nature career which has furthered our understanding of the career trends among married women (Tlaiss and Kauser 2011; Broadbridge 2007; Simpson et al, 2010). This study has called for the adoption of human resource management best practices which inspire gender inclusiveness and greater diversity within the work milieu. Consequently, over the last three decades, there has been a measured rise in the numbers of highly skilled female professionals and managers across different industries, which has led to a gradual re-configuration of the top management positions from male towards female (Ismail and Ibrahim 2007). However, available statistics reveals a high level of disparity in levels of gender diversity at top management positions in Nigeria. For instance, in the Nigerian Federal Civil Service, which is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria, 76% of civil servants are men, and 24% are women with women holding less than 14% of the total management level positions in the Nigerian public sector (Goldstar, 2005/2006)
In Ekiti state, Nigeria’s largest commercial hub, private sector involvement of women as directors and top management were 13.87% and 13.84% respectively in 2005, while 8.14% and 13.11% were recorded for women directors and top managers respectively in 2006, representing a slight decline of their involvement in the succeeding year (Goldstar, 2006/07). We explore the barriers to career progress of females in acquiring top management positions and the nature of married career women barriers experienced within the Nigerian context due to the combination of work family conflict, perceived stress and satisfaction of life in attaining a meaningful coexistence within the work place and the interplay of the family roles. There are several issues surrounding married career women as managers in Nigerian organizations and the perceptions of these managers regarding gender stereotyping in terms of their personal aspirations regarding careers, mentoring, education, marriage, and having children. It would be interesting to understand how these factors impact on their career progression.
Work is a central part of almost everyone’s life. Most adults devote weekdays to work (Landy & Conte, 2004) as career development makes up almost 70% of all human developmental tasks. Workers in the public sector are experiencing substantial transformation in organizations via organizational as well as career changes which affects the long-term relationship and psychological contract between organizations and coworkers.