Effects of institutional climate and culture on the perceptions of the working environments of public community colleges

Stephanie J. Jones, Colette M. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Researchers have found that, although community colleges continue to remain gendered organizations, their climates and cultures are perceived to be more open to women than are their college and university peers. Community colleges may in fact still have the male orientation of the higher education system despite their efforts to be "gender-friendly" work environments. This study explored female noninstructional professional staff at public community colleges in theUnited States to determine if their perceptions of their institutions' norms and practices supported a gender neutral and friendly working environment or if gendered norms and practices were occurring. Quantitative methods were used to analyze the data collected from 934 participants who responded to the researcher-developed survey. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the results. The findings of the study indicated that a majority of the participants perceived there to be demonstrated gender equality issues at their institutions and that women still were seen as social organizers of events in some instances. The results also indicated that there were some perceptional differences of the genderedness of institutional norms and practices based on position held (deans, directors, coordinators, librarians, and others), ethnicity, and age ranges of the participants. By understanding the perceptions of female noninstructional professional staff of their working environments, community colleges can evaluate their institutional norms and practices to determine if they are gender equitable and to improve their operation practices as needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalNASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012


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