Title

Career Aspirations of Female Students in Economics: A Case Study of Public Sector Universities in Punjab

Abstract/Description

In Pakistan women remain grossly underrepresented in top echelons in the field of Economics. Achievement pre-supposes aspiration. Higher aspirations result, generally, in better career outcomes. We intend to explore the determinants of career aspirations among women in Economics, in order to reliably identify hang-ups and barriers to career advancement of Pakistani women in the field. Our study focuses on female university students enrolled in Economics departments in Punjab, Pakistan. We have studied a sample of 415 women to ascertain the factors affecting their career aspirations. The data were collected through structured questionnaire by purposive sampling and the filed survey was conducted in this regard in the months of November, 2019 till March, 2020 from the selected public sector universities from South and North Punjab. In this respect we have explored a number of avenues ranging from demographic factors to future plans with the help of descriptive and inferential statistics both. The index of career aspiration was calculated from Gregor and O’Brian (2015) revised index of career aspirations and Heckman’s two-step procedure was applied to control for the potential heterogeneity bias in the sample, followed by the application of bias-adjusted Ordinary Least Square (OLS) for estimating the determinants of career aspirations. The results indicate the effectiveness of socioeconomic status, employment status, male guardian’s education and occupational status, availability of a mentor and perceptions about ranking of institute of higher learning in enhancing career aspirations of Pakistani women. While, prospective marriage in near future, ambivalence regarding career choice and ascription to traditional gender roles were found to be detrimental for career aspirations. These results are the crucial first step towards identifying the main hurdles in women’s achievement in the field of Economics. And hence, this study is a distinguished contribution in the literature of Economics as no such in depth study has been conducted so far in Pakistan for the female students in the field of Economics, to the authors’ knowledge.

JEL Codes

F12, F14; F23; O31

Session Theme

Labour Market and Career Choices - Session IIA

Session Type

Parallel Technical Session

Session Chair

Dr. Qazi Masood, Professor, IBA, Karachi

Session Discussant

Dr. Abbas Gillani, Assistant Professor - Institute of Business Administration Karachi

Start Date

5-4-2021 2:29 PM

End Date

3-4-2021 4:00 PM

Comments

The authors are Associate Professor and Lecturer, Department of Economics at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi

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Apr 5th, 2:29 PM Apr 3rd, 4:00 PM

Career Aspirations of Female Students in Economics: A Case Study of Public Sector Universities in Punjab

In Pakistan women remain grossly underrepresented in top echelons in the field of Economics. Achievement pre-supposes aspiration. Higher aspirations result, generally, in better career outcomes. We intend to explore the determinants of career aspirations among women in Economics, in order to reliably identify hang-ups and barriers to career advancement of Pakistani women in the field. Our study focuses on female university students enrolled in Economics departments in Punjab, Pakistan. We have studied a sample of 415 women to ascertain the factors affecting their career aspirations. The data were collected through structured questionnaire by purposive sampling and the filed survey was conducted in this regard in the months of November, 2019 till March, 2020 from the selected public sector universities from South and North Punjab. In this respect we have explored a number of avenues ranging from demographic factors to future plans with the help of descriptive and inferential statistics both. The index of career aspiration was calculated from Gregor and O’Brian (2015) revised index of career aspirations and Heckman’s two-step procedure was applied to control for the potential heterogeneity bias in the sample, followed by the application of bias-adjusted Ordinary Least Square (OLS) for estimating the determinants of career aspirations. The results indicate the effectiveness of socioeconomic status, employment status, male guardian’s education and occupational status, availability of a mentor and perceptions about ranking of institute of higher learning in enhancing career aspirations of Pakistani women. While, prospective marriage in near future, ambivalence regarding career choice and ascription to traditional gender roles were found to be detrimental for career aspirations. These results are the crucial first step towards identifying the main hurdles in women’s achievement in the field of Economics. And hence, this study is a distinguished contribution in the literature of Economics as no such in depth study has been conducted so far in Pakistan for the female students in the field of Economics, to the authors’ knowledge.