Juggling work and family demands: Lifestyle career anchors for female healthcare professionals


The well-established construct of Schein's career anchors provides our theoretical framework for understanding the career motivations, values, and goals of women healthcare professionals in Western Australia. As part of their response to questions put to them while they were on paid maternity leave, the subjects reflected on returning to work full-time, changing jobs or careers, working part-time, or total career discontinuity in favor of family needs. Schein's career anchor of 'Lifestyle' guides our exploration into the workforce involvement and career orientations of these 388 subjects. The healthcare industry is the one where female professionals predominate, and nurses in particular represent a profession for which it is often difficult to attract top young talent and retain experienced mid-career professionals. We found that although the majority of our subjects believed they had sacrificed some aspects of their personal career and educational goals after their children were born, most were still strongly attracted to their careers and would actively seek self-initiated or employer-sponsored solutions to help achieve a satisfying balance of work and family priorities

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This paper was published in espace@Curtin.

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