1.1.0 Background to the Study
Before World War II most women were involved in unpaid work, their primary job was to take care of the home and support their husbands’ career fulltime (Schwartz & Zimmerman, 1992). Women massively entered paid work during the Second World War to serve as standby workers for the active working age males who had then been called into military duty. Women working at that time were considered temporal workers. Marriage and childbearing were considered to be their primary responsibilities (Gutek & Larwood, 1987). Teaching, nursing and clerical jobs were considered to be appropriate only for single women in the 19th century (Nieva & Gutek, 1981). Thus, not more than 3% of married women in the 1890s worked outside the house. By the late 1970s however, almost half of the married women and 40% of women above 16 years worked outside the home (Domenico & Jones, 2006) though they considered paid jobs as additional work to their domestic responsibilities (Tinklin, Croxford, Ducklin & Frame, 2005). The ensuing effect of continuous rise in the number of female workers all over the world has carved a niche for the “working woman” to be accepted as a norm and not a social oddity (Catalyst, 2002).
Due to developmental and organizational changes as well as societal factors, there has been a disparity in career development between men and women. Basically, no difference exist between men and women career growth, however, it is much complex due to societal gender barriers (O ’neil, Hopkins, & Bilimoria, 2008). Job-related achievement and fulfillment are associated with life problems for modern-day woman; hence women crave to prosper both personally and workwise. Yet, an organizational certainty faced by modern-day organizational and competent women does not seem to have wedged up with their career choices and preferences of life.
These structural certainties continued previously when men workforces were the custom. However, there has been improvement in females’ achievements in education over the past years (International Labor Organization-ILO, 2016). Women were counted between 40 and 60 percent of the highest graduates in all European Union nations in 2012, records shown a persistent rise in females schooling than men (European Commission, 2016).