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Gender differences in perceptions of workplace interactions among University students’ in male-dominated work

EasyChair Preprint no. 1589

16 pagesDate: October 6, 2019


This study explores university students’ perceptions of gendered interactions in male-dominated environments. The paper assesses whether gender differences affect the perceptions of students regarding gendered workplace cultures. Using a quantitative descriptive survey design, 76 university students conveniently sampled across different levels of study were required to complete a questionnaire with closed-ended questions. The samples were drawn from student cohorts enrolled in the construction studies; civil engineering, property development, land surveying and civil engineering program. The independent t-test was performed to determine if significant differences in responses exist by gender. Majority of the students experienced consistent gendered interactions or practices at their workplaces. These practices included marginalising stereotypical feminine interests, belittling women and making requests based on gender. Students indicated that they responded to these experiences by tolerating and adapting to the situation and sometimes by justifying the interactions they experienced. The sample is drawn from only one university in South Africa and findings cannot be confirmed as indicative of all students in male-dominated professions in South Africa as they represent only perceptions of a small group. The study reveals the need for educators to review existing curricula in relevant courses. This would ensure that university students are well informed and prepared for workplace realities. Employers need to re-examine their workplace policies and make a conscious effort to provide strategies that address gendered workplace cultures through training, mentorship and enforcement.

Keyphrases: Education, gender, Male-dominated work, Women, workplace cultures

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Mariam Akinlolu and Theo Haupt},
  title = {Gender differences in perceptions of workplace interactions among University students’ in male-dominated work},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1589},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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