Career Development and Women in the Leisure Services Profession


  • Karla A. Henderson
  • M. Deborah Bialeschki


career development, equity, satisfaction, professional development


The growing number of women employed in the field of leisure services suggests a need to examine the career experiences that shape women's lives to ascertain how future professionals can be most effective in their work. A Model of Women's Career Development in Leisure Services provided a framework to examine the situation of women employed in recreation, park, and leisure services. Data were obtained through a close-ended mailed questionnaire about personal and professional characteristics, career patterns, career satisfaction, family situation, and equity issues. The survey was sent to a stratified random sample of 300 female· practitioners who were members of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRP A). The data were analyzed by employment area (i.e., therapeutic recreation, recreation, and park resources) and other demographic characteristics to provide a description of the career development of women in the field of leisure services. Suggestions are offered for how the career development of female leisure services professionals can be encouraged in the future.





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