Motivation of Women Academics and Balancing Family & Career


  • Pamela Adhiambo Raburu


This study examines the experiences of women academics in relation to factors that motivated them towards academia and challenges experienced while balancing family and career, and highlighting strategies that they have employed to reach their present professional and academic ranks. The study is a contribution to knowledge and the extant literature on women academics? career experiences which has been under-researched, especially in Kenya. It claims to have made a contribution to a wider understanding of women academics? experiences, exposing a significant impact of culture, family ?work tensions, the gender role expectations, the male-dominated university culture, lack of role models and mentors, which contribute to the slow progress of women academics? careers in Kenyan universities. Using a qualitative research approach, the researcher used a face ?to ?face in- depth interviews with sixteen women academics from three universities in Kenya and thematic analysis used. The findings of this research demonstrated that very few women have progressed into senior academic and professional ranks and that, the pace is slow. They continue to be hampered by the socio-cultural attitude towards women and their roles in the Kenyan society. This is not the full story as some of the women interviewed reported that they had to put off marriage for career and likewise, others put on hold or postponed career for family responsibilities. To maintain their positions or climb the professional ladder, the women academics therefore, had to employ different strategies such as; working hard, focusing on research and publication for promotion purposes. The findings further shed light to policy makers, stake holders in higher institutions of learning and the world of academia, while filling the knowledge gap.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n1p359


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How to Cite

Raburu, P. A. (2015). Motivation of Women Academics and Balancing Family & Career. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 5(1), 359. Retrieved from