An examination of the predictive utility of self-efficacy beliefs in career persistence among female STEM-trained professionals working in science-related roles within the agriculture industry
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An examination of the predictive utility of self-efficacy beliefs in career persistence among female STEM-trained professionals working in science-related roles within the agriculture industry

There is a need to increase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capacity of the Australian agriculture workforce to help solve food and fibre production challenges and drive the success of the economy. Many STEM-trained professionals such as scientists are employed on fixed-term contracts due to the often seasonal nature of their work. This poor job security understandably poses an ongoing barrier to STEM professionals and specifically scientists career persistence. Furthermore, females have previously been shown to face additional barriers to persisting in STEM-related careers, and have reported concerns regarding gender equlity and balancing their personal/family and work responsibilities.  

 

While self-perceived confidence in performing work tasks and organisational support have previously been shown to predict STEM persistence intentions, the relationship between a fixed-term employee and employer is temporary and typically short-term which limits access to development opportunities, acknowledgement of accomplishments, and commitment to the well-being of staff. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to understand the contributing role of barrier coping self-efficacy in determining the career intentions of female* STEM-trained professionals working in science-related roles within the Austrlian agriculture industry.

 

This project is being undertaken as part of an Honours Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Psychology) project (PSY4101 and PSY4102) through the University of Southern Queensland.  To be eligble to participate in this research, you must identify as female, be STEM-trained and currently working in a science-related role within the Australian agriculture industry. Your participation will involve completion of an online questionnaire that will take approximately 15 minutes of your time.

Questions will include: “In my current work I can: Design and/or conduct research focusing on topics related to my work” and “The organisation really cares about my well-being” and "I am able to overcome challenges associated with balancing personal/family and work responsibilities".

 

Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary. If you do not wish to take part, you are not obliged to. If you decide to take part and later change your mind, you are free to withdraw from the project at any stage. If you do wish to withdraw from this project do not submit any further responses. You will be unable to withdraw data collected about yourself after you have responded to the questionnaire. Your decision whether you take part, do not take part, or take part and then withdraw, will in no way impact your current or future relationship with the University of Southern Queensland.

 

* Female/Woman – encompasses cisgender (personal gender identity corresponds with sex assigned at birth), transgender, non-binary and intersex persons who identify as women.

 

There are 13 questions in this survey.

 

University of Southern Queensland

Participant Information Sheet

Questionnaire

USQ HREC Approval number: H22REA040    

 

Project Title

An examination of the predictive utility of self-efficacy beliefs in career persistence among female STEM-trained professionals working in science-related roles within the agriculture industry 

 

Research team contact details

Principal Investigator Details

Supervisor Details

Steven Muller

Email: D9910499@umail.usq.edu.au

Telephone: +61 7 3812 6366

 

Dr Kristen Lovric

Email: Kristen.Lovric@usq.edu.au

Telephone: +61 7 3812 6366

 

 

Description

There is a need to increase the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capacity of the Australian agriculture workforce to help solve food and fibre production challenges and drive the success of the economy. Many STEM trained professionals such as scientists are employed on fixed-term contracts due to the often seasonal nature of their work. This poor job security understandably poses an ongoing barrier to STEM professionals and specifically scientists career persistence. Furthermore, females have previously been shown to face additional barriers to persisting in STEM-related careers, and have reported concerns regarding gender equlity and balancing personal/family their and work responsibilities. 

While self-perceived confidence in performing work tasks and organisational support have previously been shown to predict STEM persistence intentions, the relationship between a fixed-term employee and employer is temporary and typically short-term which limits access to development opportunities, acknowledgement of accomplishments, and commitment to the well-being of staff. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to understand the contributing role of barrier coping self-efficacy in determining the career intentions of STEM professionals working in the Australian agriculture industry. This project is being undertaken as part of an Honours Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Psychology) project (PSY4101 and PSY4102) through the University of Southern Queensland.

Participation

Your participation will involve completion of an online questionnaire that will take approximately 15 minutes of your time. Questions will include: “In my current work I can: Design and/or conduct research focusing on topics related to my work” and “The organisation really cares about my well-being” and "I am able to overcome challenges associated with balancing personal/family and work responsibilities".

Your participation in this project is entirely voluntary. If you do not wish to take part, you are not obliged to. If you decide to take part and later change your mind, you are free to withdraw from the project at any stage. If you do wish to withdraw from this project do not submit any further responses. You will be unable to withdraw data collected about yourself after you have responded to the questionnaire. Your decision whether you take part, do not take part, or take part and then withdraw, will in no way impact your current or future relationship with the University of Southern Queensland.

Expected benefits

It is expected that this project will not directly benefit you. However; it may help in understanding malleable factors that may assist in retaining trained workers to STEM professions within the Australian agriculture industry. The results of this research will be used to form recommendations for the career development and well-being needs of STEM students and professionals.

 

Risks

In participating in the questionnaire, there are minimal risks such as, minor time imposition, inconvenience and emotional discomfort such as frustration. If, however, you experience a heightened state of discomfort or distress please immediately contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. You may also wish to consider consulting your General Practitioner (GP) for additional support.

 

Privacy and confidentiality 

All comments and responses are confidential unless required by law. The names of individual persons are not required in any of the responses. Metadata will be made available publicly through research outputs such as theses, book chapters and journal articles. You will be provided with the option of providing an email address for a summary of the results upon completion of the survey. This information will be stored via a separate survey to maintain confidentiality. Any data collected as a part of this project will be stored securely, as per University of Southern Queensland’s Research Data and Primary Materials Management Procedure.

 

Consent to participate

You will be asked to indicate your consent to participate by selecting a checkbox demonstrating that you have read and understood the participant information contained. The return of completed questions is also accepted as an indication of your consent to participate in this project.

 

Questions

Please refer to the Research team contact details at the top of the form to have any questions answered or to request further information about this project.

 

Concerns or complaints 

If you have any concerns or complaints about the ethical conduct of the project, you may contact the University of Southern Queensland, Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics on +61 7 4631 1839 or email researchintegrity@usq.edu.au. The Manager of Research Integrity and Ethics is not connected with the research project and can address your concern in an unbiased manner.

Thank you for taking the time to help with this research project.