Women's career motivations – international challenges and perspectives


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Women have gained access to higher education, full-time employment opportunities have opened up, and women’s income has increased in most countries over recent times (OECD, 2022).  However, despite the rise in numbers of women studying, participating in the labor market, and working across industries, for instance, the number of female Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) amongst the ‘Fortune 500’ companies increased from 41 in 2021 to 75 in 2022, but that only represents a mere 15 percent of the total (Buchholz, 2022). Super and Culha (1976) suggested a comprehensive theory of career motivation needed consideration of personal and situational determinants, and the ways in which these interact at various stages of an individual’s self-development. Later, a theory of Self-determination (SDT) provided a theoretical framework to explain a woman’s career motivation in terms of her environment, motive, psychological satisfaction, and goal setting (Deci & Ryan, 2012). More recently, Pinder (2014) defined career motivation as the direction, maintenance, strength, and type of energy expended by individuals to obtain work-related outcomes.

Women's educational and occupational achievements are crucial to economic productivity and the prosperity of a nation. This special issue is interested in scholarship that engages with established and emerging challenges for women in the workforce and that explores the diverse nature of women’s motivations as employees. We welcome diverse voices of women that have not been sufficiently documented, as more discussion is needed of their lived experiences.  We aim to be inclusive of cultural and social development differences amongst women. This research will enhance scholarly knowledge about what has shaped women’s career experiences.  Furthermore, governmental employment policies and workplace praxis will develop from these studies. New contribution is women’s motivations to navigate nuances of economic, political, technological, and sociological landscapes to persist and advance in their careers. There is still insufficient research of organizational and psychological factors that affect women’s motivations for employment, persistence and promotion in their careers.

List of Topic Areas

Topics covered include (but are not limited to):

  • Factors that influence and motivate women to work outside the home. 
  • Personal/professional goals that affect women's persistence in their careers.
  • Strategies women use to navigate the workplace environment.
  • Contexts impacting women's careers.
  • Women management of competing personal and professional demands, expectations, and pressures.
  • Societal impact of studies.  Particularly with reference to the United Nation (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number five (#5) highlighted 'gender equity' as an important global objective, while SDG number eight (#8) is aimed at promoting sustained, inclusive economic growth with equal employment for all (UN, 2019). 

Submissions Information

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Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Submissions close: 14 Jan 2024