Exploring the moderating effect of gender in the relationship between individuals' aspirations and career success among engineers in Peru

Simon L. Dolan, Alberto Bejarano, Shay Tzafrir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to analyse the relationship between career success and individual career aspirations for engineers, and to test whether this differs according to gender. The primary hypothesis in this research is that gender does make a significant difference. Design/methodological/approach: The sample consists of 1011 engineers who graduated from a prestigious Peruvian college between 1998 and 2005. Female graduates constituted only 4% of the sample, which is similar to the national statistics for engineers in Peru during this period. The relationships were primarily tested using multiple regression and structural equation modelling analyses. Findings: Findings show a positive relationship between individual career aspirations and career success for men, but not necessarily for women; this supports the hypothesis that gender moderates this relationship. Females seek more secure career orientation than their male counterparts. In addition, females have shown that their career success is more related to feminine themes such as achieving 'work-family balance'. The findings are in line with previously published results in other countries in which female engineers have career orientations with a preference for a balance between work and family as well as work stability. Research limitations/implications: The sample is limited to graduates from a single Peruvian college of engineering. Although the sample has similar demographic characteristic to a national population, a more heterogeneous sample is called for in a future research. Moreover, additional moderators should be incorporated, such as family background, residency (large urban cities vs. small villages) and perhaps other variables. Practical implications: Results can help Human Resource Managers to design better career plans, which consider gender in defining policies for the attraction and retention of competent female engineers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3146-3167
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Career aspiration
  • Career success
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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