Date of Conferral







Susan Rarick


Although women are more likely to seek advanced degrees, there are substantial gaps between men and women in terms of employment rates, wages, and positions of power. This cross-sectional study aligned with the social cognitive career theory and investigated how specific demographic variables (age and education level) interacted and influenced work-related characteristics (decision latitude, self-efficacy, and work ethic) to address issues women experience in the workplace. Females who identified as working a minimum of 15 hours per week and over the age of 18 were contacted via social media or in person. A snowball effect occurred when participants invited peers to participate. Two-hundred and eighty-six females completed an online survey including demographic questions and items from 3 instruments: Job Content Questionnaire, Short Occupational Self-Efficacy Scale, and Multidimensional Work Ethic Profile-Short Form. The research questions helped evaluate the differences and interactions between the independent variables age and education level on the dependent variables decision latitude, self-efficacy, and work ethic. Six one-way analyses of variance were used to assess for differences, and 3 two-way analyses of variance were used to assess for interactions between 5 age groups and 4 education levels. The analyses showed only 1 significant difference between education level and decision latitude. The current research may influence social change at an individual level within career or therapeutic counseling and policies and procedures at the organizational level. The information can create positive change for women within current work environments as they increase responsibilities or advance to positions of power.