An Investigation of Women’s Early Career Experiences in the Textile and Apparel Industries

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Elena Karpova, Putman & Hayes Distinguished Professor (Creator)
Nancy J. Nelson Hodges, Burlington Industries Professor and Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: The experiences of female graduates of textile and apparel programs in the early stages of their industry careers were examined using two methods: (1) a questionnaire completed by textile and apparel companies, and (2) interviews with women employed in industry jobs for < 5 years. The questionnaire results revealed that the number of female employees was highest in wage/staff and midlevel positions and the number of male employees was highest in salaried and high-level positions. Interview data showed that participants had a high level of job satisfaction and valued the knowledge gained by acquiring a degree in textiles and apparel. About half of the participants found their first full-time job through internships. Others said that informal networking led to their first job. Participants stressed the importance of understanding “politics” in the workplace. Those in smaller companies reported assuming greater responsibilities and having more freedom to make decisions.

Additional Information

Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 39(1), 75-89.
Language: English
Date: 2010
career development, employment, higher education, textile and apparel industries

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