Family structure, glass ceiling, and traditional explanations for the differential rate of turnover of female and male managers

Linda K. Stroh*, Jeanne M. Brett, Anne H. Reilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations

Abstract

This longitudinal study investigated differential turnover rates between male and female managers employed by 20 Fortune 500 corporations. Data were first collected from the sample in 1989. By 1991, 26% of the female managers had left their 1989 employers compared with 14% of the male managers. Contrary to the stereotype articulated by Schwartz (1989) and perpetuated in the popular press, female managers' intentions to leave were not predicted by their family structure (dual-earner status or number of children), but instead by perceptions of lack of career opportunity in their current company and other traditional work-related predictors of turnover, such as job dissatisfaction and disloyalty to the current company. Although the study does not rule out the possibility that in other contexts, female managers may leave their organizations for work and family reasons, in this sample, females were leaving their organizations in higher proportions than males, and they were doing so for career-related concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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