Factors affecting career mobility of women to executive positions in the Kenyan civil service
The concept of career insight relates to the realism that individuals have about themselves and their careers. Those who are high in career insight have realistic perceptions of themselves and the company and relate these perceptions to career goals. Civil Service in Kenya plays a major role in implementation of Government policies and is thus expected to be impartial to gender stratification as development policy calls for empowering both men and women to be equal partners in development, administratively competent, politically neutral and imbued with the spirit of service to the nation. This study sought to establish the factors that affect the advancement and mobility of women to executive positions in the Kenyan Civil Service. The study adopted a cross-section survey research design on a target population of eight hundred and thirty eight (838) female officers in Job Group „P‟ and above in forty (40) ministries/departments in the Kenyan Civil Service as at August 2010. The study used stratified sampling technique to come up with a sample size of two hundred and fifty two (252) female officers. The study used semi-structured questionnaire which was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings of this study are that factors such as corporate culture, gender-related, attitude, education, social-Cultural and socialization factors affect career mobility of women to top executive positions in Kenyan civil service. The challenges, that hinge on these factors, such as lack of mentors, lack of networking, gender biases as indicated by male attitude towards women, inability to balance domestic and work demands and impartiality by supervisors were the major hindrance to women‟s appointment to executive positions (career mobility). Based on the findings, it is recommended that the government provides support to women to enable them acquire education and training to equip them with knowledge, skills, and competence necessary for career mobility to executive positions. Women should be sensitized on their rights within the laws and other gender-based issues. Efficient team building in the Kenyan Civil Service should be emphasized to ensure proper networking and monitoring. All leaders should be sensitized on the importance of v role modeling and mentoring. The government should enact family friendly laws that allow for flexible time, children day care, among other related gender issues. The government needs to ensure that all policies and laws on gender and development are fully implemented and monitoring and evaluation done regularly. It is also recommended that further research be undertaken on the women‟s role in economic development; and a comparative study between men‟s and women‟s perceptions of the factors affecting women career mobility to executive positions in the Kenyan Civil Service.
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