Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Linda Gonzales (Director), Dr. Thomas Bell, Dr. Ouida Meier, Dr. Janet Tassell

Degree Program

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Degree Type

Doctor of Education


Numbers of women holding faculty positions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) remain low in university systems, despite gains women have made in achievement of advanced degrees. No one reason is clearly the culprit for the low numbers, though women in STEM have been shown to have more negative perceptions of climate, be more dissatisfied with their jobs, and have greater inclination to leave their positions than men.

As males comprise a majority of STEM employees, the masculine-genderedness of these organizations may create a more dissatisfactory work environment for women. This may, in turn, have negative impact on the retention and promotion of women. The concept of genderedness has been defined by relative numbers of males, occupation type through language, and through the hierarchical nature of the bureaucratic organizational system. Both STEM disciplines and university environments have been considered gendered based on these definitions.

One potential component that has not been strictly applied to gendered organizations is organization system management type. As female leaders tend to be more participative while male leaders tend to be more authoritative, this study proposed that measurements of organization system type could be utilized as an additional indication of organizational genderedness. In addition, the study proposed that more authoritative styles of management systems in gendered organizations would yield lower satisfaction and more negative climate perceptions for women.

Faculty members from a comprehensive university were surveyed for their perceptions of system organization type, climate, and job satisfaction. Survey results were analyzed to determine if perceptions varied by gender, college type (STEM or non- STEM), rank, and organizational hierarchical level.

The study determined that faculty perceived the system management type within ascending hierarchal university levels as increasingly more authoritative and that gendered colleges are perceived as more authoritative than non-gendered colleges. This may provide a new way to help define organizational genderedness. The study also found that correlation existed for both male and female faculty between perceptions of organizational system type and both climate and job satisfaction. However, the perception difference between genders was not significant enough to provide evidence for differential effects for women versus men.


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