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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2015
Thesis number: 14159
Occupational attitudes. A cross-cultural perspective on gender differences among university students
Author: Kekkonen, Miia
Title: Occupational attitudes. A cross-cultural perspective on gender differences among university students
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; työ; work; ammatit; professions; urakehitys; career development; asenteet; attitudes; korkeakoulutus; higher education; opiskelijat; students; sukupuoli; gender; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour
Pages: 116
Key terms: Attitudes, consumer culture theory, culture, gender roles, quantitative research

The research is a cross-cultural study that aims at examining the impact of the gender roles and the cultural factors to the career-related attitudes and to endeavoring high positions among university students. The study strives to point out the differences between men and women in different cultural groups, examining the influence of both culture and gender to the occupational attitudes.


The data of the study was collected in spring 2015 using online questionnaire and it is representative of the genders and a variety of cultures. The data was analyzed using quantitative methods including factor analysis, cluster analysis, t-tests and analysis of variance. The main purpose of the methodological section is to examine the possible gender differences in occupational attitudes as well as whether the culture affects these differences and occupational attitudes in general. The target group of the research was international university students representing altogether 44 different nationalities. For the analyses the nationalities were grouped based on Hofstede's (2005) cultural dimension theory; in addition to the overall cultural and gender-based analysis, the Finnish students were examined also separately.

Key findings:

The results of the study indicate that there are differences in occupational attitudes between the students of different cultural groups. The differences were clearer especially when comparing the same gender in the opposing cultural groups. The results of the study indicate that the students of the feminine cultures have more ambitious career aspirations than the students of the masculine cultures do, opposing the cultural dimension theory regarding the nature of these cultural groups. Without cultural perspective, some general gender differences were pointed out. Generally, men prefer masculinity in management more than women do. At the same time, women tend to find career-related competitiveness and success aspects more stressful than men do.

In addition, according to the results of this study, the Finnish women lack occupational confidence compared to the level of occupational confidence of the Finnish men. This result indicates that by its part, the attitudinal aspect may explain the differences concerning the distribution of genders in managerial positions in Finland.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.