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Gender in Professional Psychology: Differences in Professional Activities and Perceived Benefits

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Rachael D Kerns
Abstract:
Over the last 30 years female mental health providers have become an increasingly strong presence in professional psychology. What benefits do women entering the field see that may influence this feminization and do their days look the same as those of their male colleagues? This surveyed male and female professional psychologists about the type and frequency of job activities in which they engaged and benefits they perceived of working in this the field. Results indicated that there were no gender differences in the number of hours of work each week nor in most of the job activities engaged in by male and female psychologists; the only exception is that male psychologists spend more time in the role of formal consultant and supervisor than do females. Women saw greater benefit to flexibility of schedule, intellectual challenge and the potential to improve oneself. Men saw the ability to engage in a diversity of roles as a significant benefit of being a psychologist. Age and caregiving responsibilities influenced professional activities and perceived benefits, independent of gender. Implications for professional training and the future of the field are discussed.

Table of Contents

A pproval Page ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . ii

Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... iii

List of Tables ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... v

Chapter 1 : Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 1

The Feminization of Professional Psychology ................................ ................................ .... 1

Professional Roles and Responsibilities ................................ ................................ .............. 3

Benefits of Being a Psychologist ................................ ................................ ......................... 5

Present Study ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 5

Hypothesis ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 6

Chapter 2 : Method ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 7

Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 7

Instruments ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 8

Procedures ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 9

Chapter 3 : Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 10

Relationship of Gender and Other Demographic Variables ................................ ............. 10

Job Duties and Professional Activities ................................ ................................ .............. 1 1

Hours Spent in Professional Activities ................................ ................................ .............. 14

Perceived Benefits of Being a Professional Psychologist ................................ ................. 16

Chapter 4 : Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 19

Job Duties ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 19

Benefits ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 20

Gender in Professional Psychology vi

Professional Psychologists in General ................................ ................................ ............... 21

Caregiving ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 22

Age ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 23

Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 24

Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 24

References ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 26

Appendix A : Survey ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 28

Appendix B : Cover Letter ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 32

Appendix C : Informed Consent ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 34

Appendix D : 4 - week Reminder Postcard ................................ ................................ .................... 36

Appendix E : Curriculum Vitae ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 38

Gender in Professional Psychology vii

List of Tables

Table 1

Mean Age, Year of Degree Completion, Year of Licensure, and Hours of Caregiving for Men and Women in the Sample ................................ ................................ ............. 11

Table 2

Chi - square Results for Frequency of Professional Activities According to Gender ... 13

Table 3

The Mean Number of Hours Spent in Professional Activities by Male and Female Psychologist ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 15

Table 4

T - tests Results of Perceived Benefits of Professional Psychology According to Gender ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 17

Gender in Professional Psychology 1

Chapter 1

Introduction

Typically when one thinks of what psychologists do with their day, thoughts of a couch and two people in an office come to mind . However, anyone in the field knows, professional psychologists are responsible for much more than just psychotherapy . In addition to therapy, psychologists spend their time engaged in consultation, supervision, teaching, administration, and a variety of assessments (Goodyear et al. , 2008). While there has been some consistency in the description of job duties of professional psychology over the past 30 years (Norcross, Karpiak, & Santoro, 2005), there also have been significant changes in the field since that time. Over the last 30 years female mental health providers have become an increasingly strong presence in professional psychology. This paper will report professional differences between male and female professional psychologists in type and frequency of job activities and perceived benefits of the field.

The Feminization of Professional Psychology

In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of women entering the profession of psychology, and the numbers keep rising. Mor e and more women are entering graduate programs in clinical psychology and the percentage of female psychologists has steadily increased since the 1960s when their numbers were first tracked . In 1976, women made up 33% of new doctorates, and in 2001 they m ade up 71.4% (American Psychological Association

Gender in Professional Psychology 2

[APA] , 2009). According to the APA’s 2008 membership characteristics, women are no longer the minority, making up 55.3% of current members (APA, 2009) . Some have predicted these numbers will continue to rise as the field in general has turned its eyes to minority issues (Norcross, Hedges, & Prochaska, 2002) .

Gender literature has historically gone through several prolific periods, with the last surge in the 199 0 s . These surges have tended to reflect the conc urrent approach to feminism. First wave feminism is characterized by the suffrage movement in the late 19 th and early 20 th century, establishing parity of basic inalienable rights . In the 196 0 s, the second wave began as women sought to be liberated from traditional sex and family roles through radical feminism and political exposure . Third wave feminists turned the world’s eye to differential treatment in the workplace . Issues pioneered during this area included sexual harassment, professional exclusion, and pay inequity (Aikau, Erickson, & Pierce, 2007) .

Following the third wave, women in psychology were no exception to changes in the work place . Due to the dramatic increase in the number of women represented in the field of psychology, the APA was promp ted to form a taskforce to evaluate what such a significant shift in gender composition would mean to the profession (Pion et al. , 1996; APA, 1995). The taskforce concluded that the growing presence of women within the field of psychology has not compromis ed the field’s status. In other words, the field has not developed the reputation of being a female dominated industry that may potentially have a negative impact on the public view of the profession . The taskforce suggested that the pay differential betwe en male and female therapists continue to be explored, emphasizing the need for pay parity at the time of press . However, other studies have posited the pay gap is steadily closing and is less than in

Gender in Professional Psychology 3

some other professions (Williams, Wedding, & Kohout, 20 00; Williams, Kohout, & Wicherski, 2000) .

Professional Roles and Responsibilities

Bragg (1981) defines a role as the way an individual behaves in occupying a status they hold . One might think of the parts played by an actor. Another example might be the s ame man who behaves differently as a father, son, brother, and husband . One might also think of roles as the many functions assumed by one professional. For example, the same psychologist could be an assessor, therapist, supervisor, and consultant . Because there are so many ways for psychologists to spend his or her professional time and only so many hours in a day, choices must be made as to how to direct professional energies . It is nearly impossible to do all of the activities described above with an eve nly dispersed amount of time and energy, and thus an individual must choose the activities on which he or she will focus . These decisions are often thought to be made according to an individual’s talents and professional strengths . The decision may also be influenced by personal, positional, and organizational characteristics (Bragg, 1981).

T he American Psychological Association’s Center for Psychology Workforce Analysis and Research (CPWAR) collects data regarding professional activities of various psychol ogy positions and demographic variables . However, these sources look primarily at whether or not psychologists are engaging in particular professional activities (Wicherski & Kohout, 2007 ; APA, 2009 ). There is a void in the available literature regarding t he amount of time invested in each activity . The p resent study offers preliminary data on the frequency of activities of psychologists who are engaged in clinical practice .

Gender in Professional Psychology 4

While practicing psychologists may not have been studied specifically, the suggest ion that professional roles might vary as a function of gender has been studied among academicians . Carroll and Gmelch (1992) conducted a factor - analytic investigation of the professional roles of higher education Department Chairs . Within the super - ordina te role of department chair, they described the common factors, or roles, of Leader , Scholar, Faculty, Developer, and Manager. Carroll and Gmelch were concerned with the impact individual characteristics (i.e. ,

demographics) and position characteristics ( i .e., type of institution and time in the field) had on the expression of the Department Chair roles . They found that both individual and position characteristics were predictive of the department chair roles within which the academics found themselves prim arily functioning (Carroll & Gmelch, 1992) . Specifically, they found that men tended to assume positions of leadership ( e.g., fiscal management and program development) while women tended to assume positions of investment in others ( e.g., supervision and mentorship) .

In yet another study of female academicians, the influence of demographics on professional roles was noted . Allen (1998) found that women devoted a disproportionate amount of time to investment activities such as teaching and professional growth . Alternatively, the male colleagues spent more hours in activities such as research and administration, both having characteristics of leadership . Time spent doing these duties varied considerably as a function of age, as younger women devoted more time to research than did older women. Allen speculated this breakdown of time spent in different professional roles may be influenced by professional mentorship; specifically, male administrators and researchers are mentored by male administ rators and researchers, perpetuating patterns of duties fulfilled . Men publish an average

Gender in Professional Psychology 5

of two journal articles per year whereas women publish one. When these discrepancies were looked at using a regression analysis to account for variables influencing p roductivity, gender was the fourth most influential variable, after employment status, institutional type, and age. Female gender was correlated with the lower rate of publications and a smaller workload assumed.

Benefits of Being a Psychologist

Studies h ave looked at the various roles and professional responsibilities clinical psychologists are performing in the field, however the bulk of research lies in how psychologists are being trained, not in those who are actively practicing . In a study of Canadian graduate students, Singer, Cassin, and Dobson (2005) confirmed that more women are entering training programs and the profession, They additionally found that female respondent reported flexibility of schedule as a primary draw to working in private pract ice and endorsed and expectation that caregiving would interrupt their career.

Present Study

The primary objective of this study was two - fold . First, to determine what roles and responsibilities clinical psychologists are fulfilling and determine if the pa ttern of job duties differs according to gender. Second, to evaluate the benefits of this profess ion and whether they are perceived differently by men and women . No recent studies have been conducted to look at these questions and what little literature is av ailable has focused on academia and clinicians in training. Since clinical practice settings have seen greater influx of women than other areas of psychology (Pion et al., 1996), it would behoove the field to look at the impact of gender on professional roles and perceived benefits among psychologists engaged in clinical practice.

Gender in Professional Psychology 6

Hypotheses

It was hypothesized that there would be differences in the type and frequency of professional activities performed by clinical psychologists as a function of gender differences. It was also hypothesized that female clinical psychologists would perceive greater benefit in flexibility of schedule and in intellectual challenge than would their male colleagues.

Gender in Professional Psychology 7

Chapter 2

Method

Participants

Participants in this study were a stratified random sample of licensed professional psychologists . All of the sample participants were members of the American Psychological Association (APA), listed in the APA directory with a mailing address, and professe d to hold a license in clinical or counseling psychology . An equal number of males and females from four U.S. regions were randomly selected in order to obtain a regionally stratified random sample: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. Specifically, the su rvey was mailed to 75 males and 75 females in each region. Thus, 600 licensed professional psychologists were invited to participate. Due to inaccurate mailing addresses, 76 surveys were returned; thus, only 524 of the members of the sample received the su rvey. Of the 252 surveys that were returned, 34 surveys were lost due to noncompliance, incomplete surveys, and/or retirement status .Thus, 218 usable surveys were analyzed in this study, yielding a final response rate of 44%.

Of the 218 respondents, 49.5% were male, and 50.5% were female. The ethnicity of the sample was: 87.6% European American, 1.4% African American, 2.3% Asian American, 2.3% Hispanic American, 4.1% Other, and 2.3% Prefer red Not to Answer. The majority of the respondents identified themse lves as heterosexual (89.4% Heterosexual, 6% Homosexual, 1.4% Bisexual, and 3.2% Prefer Not to Answer). Participants indicated their highest degree earned as: 67.4% PhD, 28.9%; PsyD, 2.8%; EdD, and 0.9% Other.

Gender in Professional Psychology 8

Instruments

A survey was developed specifica lly for this study using Dillman’s (2000) tailored design method (see Appendix A) . The survey was primarily quantitative in nature and used open - ended questions, and closed - ended questions with unordered choices and a 5 - point Likert scale. Three domains we re included: Professional Activities , Perceived Benefits , and Demographics .

Professional Activities included the type and amount of time spent in the previous week engaged in common activities that are typically performed by professional psychologists, ac cording to the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology competency standards of training ( National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology [ NCSPP ] , 2007). For example, these included domains such as Research, Informal Consultation, Management, and Assessment .

Fourteen Perceived Benefits of being a professional psychologist were presented and respondents were asked to rate them on a 5 - point Likert scale, where higher scores indicated greater perceived benefit. These 14 benefits were based on a community sample of professional psychologists who were contacted and asked: “What do you see are the benefits of going into clinical psychology?” Participants were also able to indicate additional perceived benefits in re sponse to an open - ended question.

Demographic variables included age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and time spent in care - giving responsibilities. Professional demographics included highest degree earned, year of degree completion, year of profes sional licensure, and current employment setting.

Gender in Professional Psychology 9

Procedures

Participants were contacted by mail followed by a four - week reminder postcard . The initial mailing consisted of a cover letter (see Appendix B) and a double – sided, one page survey that included informed consent (see Appendix C). The reminder postcard contained an internet address with a link to an electronic version of the survey, consisting of 15 items as well as the informed consent (see Appendix D) . It is interesting to note that no participan ts responded via the electronic form .

The George Fox University Human Subjects Review Board (GFU HSRB) approved this research project . The informed consent reported approval by the GFU HSRB and the confidentiality of participant response were

assured. The survey took approximately 5 - 10 minutes to complete. Participant names were not linked to their responses and all data was analyzed in aggregate . Participants were given the opportunity to email the researcher in order to obtain results of the present stud y . No incentives were offered for participation in the study.

Gender in Professional Psychology 10

Chapter 3

Results

Relationship of Gender and Other Demographic Variables

There was no significant relationship between gender and ethnicity (EuroAmerican/ all others, X 2 (1) = 0.32, p = .57), sexual orientation (heterosexual/ all others, X 2 (1) = 0.38, p = .54), type of degree (PhD/ PsyD and others, X 2 (1) = 4.99, p = .08), or work setting (independent practice/ all others, X 2 (1) = 3.22, p = .07), therefore the data were collapsed across these variables for subsequent analyses. There were significant differences between men and women in the sample based on age, years since degr ee completion, and the number of hours of caregiving responsibilities per week ( e.g., minor children, elder care, disabled persons). The mean values for these variables for men and women are shown in Table 1. The average age of male participants was 54 yea rs ( SD = 12.23), and female participants’ average age was 49 years ( SD = 12.44). This represents a significant difference in age, t (216) = 2.85, p = .005. Years since degree completion ( t (200) = 3.76, p < .001) and years since professional licensure ( t (199) = 3.49,

p = .001 ) were longer for males than females by approximately five years, which is consistent with age reported. Additionally, women participants reported spending significantly more hours per week in caregiving responsibilities ( M = 19.97, SD =29.65 for females, and M = 11.72, SD =

21.41 for males), t (198) = 2.35, p < .02 . Each of these variables had some effect on professional activities and perceived benefits of being a psychologist and those effects will be reported in the relevant sectio ns.

Gender in Professional Psychology 11

Table 1

Mean Age, Year of Degree Completion, Year of Licensure, and Hours of Caregiving for Men

and Women in the Sample.

Gender

N

Mean

SD

Sig*

Age

M

108

54.06

12.23

F

110

49.31

12.44

p < 0.05

Year of Degree Completion

M

100

1988

11.01

F

102

1994

8.54

p < 0.05

Year of Licensure

M

98

1991

11.11

F

103

1995

8.32

p < 0.05

Caregiving (hours per week)

M

108

11.72

21.41

F

110

19.97

29.64

p < 0.05

Note . S ig* describes the probability for a two - tailed test.

Job Duties and Professional Activities

This study explored the differences in type and frequency of professional activities performed by clinical psychologists . It was hypothesized that males and females would spend their professional time in different ac tivities. The survey asked respondents whether or not their job required them to engaged in 12 professional activities. A chi - squared goodness of fit test revealed that four of the twelve activities were more likely to be endorsed by the psychologists as a part of their job description; Informal Consultation ( X 2 ( 1) = 8.09, p = .004); Face - to - Face Intervention ( X 2 (1) = 142.09, p < .001); Assessment ( X 2 (1) = 40.53, p < .001); and Professional Development ( X 2 ( 1) = 40.53, p < .001). Conversely, psychologists said that the following six activities were not typically in their job description; Research ( X 2 (1) = 108.79, p < .001); Formal Consultation ( X 2 (1) = 61.08, p < .001); Management of Staff ( X 2 (1) = 61.08, p <

Gender in Professional Psychology 12

.001), Organization Management ( X 2 (1) = 19.98 , p < .001), Providing Education ( X 2 (1) = 8.88, p < .001), and Intervention Planning ( X 2 (1) = 5.95, p = .01). No significant difference was found between the number of psychologists who did and did not indicate that two activities were a part of their j ob description; Providing Supervision ( X 2 (1) = 0.89, p = .34) and Management of Finances ( X 2 (1) = 0.02, p = .89).

A chi - square test of independence was performed for each of the 12 activities to examine whether men and women differed in their likelihood of engaging in these activities. The chi - squared results are shown in Table 2. Two of the 12 professional activities had a significantly different pattern of engagement for men and women. Specifically, more male psychologists endorsed providing supervision ( X 2 (1) = 17.63, 5.49, p <.05) and formal consultation ( X 2 (1) = 5.49, p <.05) as a professional duty than did their female colleagues.

The other demographic variables also did little to change the job description of psychologists. Psychologists who gradu ated more recently (2 - 15 years since graduation) were more likely to engage in research ( X 2 (1) = 6.08, p = .01) and intervention planning ( X 2 (1) = 4.54, p = .03) than those who had graduated more than 15 years ago. The layering of gender and years since gr aduation revealed one gender difference such that men who had graduated more than 15 years ago were least likely to engage in research ( X 2 (1) = 9.74, p = .002) .

Psychologists who provided more than two hours per week of caregiving ( M = 32.14, SD

= 29.69) were more likely to be involved in financial management ( X 2 (1) = 7.27, p = .007) and organizational management ( X 2 (1) = 6.11, p = .01) than psychologist who did less caregiving. When caregiving and gender were layered for financial management, bo th men ( X 2 (1) = 4.20, p = .04) and women ( X 2 (1) = 2.96, p = .049) who provided more care were more likely to be

Gender in Professional Psychology 13

Table 2

Chi - square Results for Frequency of Professional Activities According to Gender

Activity

Gender

No

Yes

Chi value

Research

M

89

19

1.45

F

97

13

Providing supervision

M

42

66

17.63*

F

74

36

Informal consultation

M

49

59

2.23

F

39

71

Formal consultation

M

59

49

5.49*

F

77

33

Management of staff

M

64

44

0.89

F

72

38

Management of finances

M

64

56

1.54

F

44

54

Organizational management

M

66

42

1.53

F

76

34

Providing education

M

65

43

0.001

F

66

44

Intervention - face to face

M

13

95

1.42

F

8

102

Intervention - planning

M

64

44

0.09

F

63

47

Assessment

M

34

74

0.93

F

28

82

Professional development

M

32

76

0.15

F

30

80

Note. *p<.05; df =1 .

Gender in Professional Psychology 14

engaged in financial management. When caregiving and gender were layered for organizational management, one gender difference was revealed such that men who provided more caregiving were more likely to engage in management of their organization, ( X 2 (1) = 5.95, p = .02) .

Hours Spent in Professional Activities

The total number of hours worked in a week was calculated by summing the number of hours spent in each activity. The total number of hours wor ked by the psychologists in the sample ranged from 9 to 100 with a mean of 39.30 hours ( SD = 13.99). Men ( M = 40.45, SD = 13.42) and women ( M = 38.17, SD = 14.51) did not differ significantly in the length of their work week, t (216) = 1.20, p = .23. Likewi se, the total hours of work did not differ as a function of any other demographic variables.

Table 3 shows the mean number of hours male and female psychologists reported spending in each of the 12 professional activities in a single week. Only supervision differed in the number of hours spent by men and women. Specifically, male psychologists reported spending significantly more hours providing supervision ( M = 1.92, SD = 2.35) than did female psychologists ( M = .99, SD = 1.96), Welches t (208.43) = 3.15, p = .002. The effects of gender were small for supervision (d’ = .44).

The other demographic variables also had small effects on the hours spent in professional activities. Age effected the hours spent in four categories of professional activity. Specifical ly, psychologists who were younger than 55 years old reported that they spent more hours in research ( Welches t (120.74) = 2.40, p = .02), providing supervision ( Welches t (196.53) = 2.04, p = .04), and management of staff ( Welches t (178.85) = 2.00, p = .047), but less time in professional development ( Welches t (176.59) = - 2.14, p = .03) than did older psychologists. Gender and age

Gender in Professional Psychology 15

Table 3

The Mean Number of Hours Spent in Professional Activities by Male and Female Psychologist.

Activity

Gender

Mean

SD

t

df

d'

Research

M

0.98

4.23

- 0.69

216

- 0.09

F

1.45

5.80

Providing supervision

M

1.92

2.35

3.15*

208.43

0.44

F

0.99

1.97

Informal consultation

M

1.32

2.49

- 0.08

216

- 0.01

F

1.35

2.67

Formal consultation

M

1.63

4.09

1.45

215.66

0.20

F

0.84

4.00

Management of staff

M

1.83

3.97

1.20

201.59

0.17

F

1.25

3.08

Management of finances

M

1.23

2.01

- 0.75

216

- 0.10

F

1.44

2.04

Organization management

M

1.84

4.86

0.63

216

0.09

F

1.43

4.84

Providing education

M

1.63

4.86

1.05

187.85

0.15

F

1.04

3.30

Intervention - face to face

M

19.52

13.47

- 0.04

209.99

- 0.01

F

19.59

11.57

Intervention - planning

M

1.75

3.36

- 1.08

216

- 0.15

F

2.25

3.41

Assessment

M

4.91

8.21

0.32

216

0.04

F

4.55

8.53

Professional development

M

1.89

4.02

- 0.22

216

- 0.03

F

2.00

3.50

Notes. * p <.05; N = 108 (males) and 110 (females) .

Gender in Professional Psychology 16

did not interact for any of these activities. Caregiving was another demographic variable that had a small effect on how professional time was spent. Specifically, psychologist who provided more care were likely to spend more hours in intervention planning than those who provided less care, Welches t (207.83) = - 2.05, p = .04. Gender and caregiving did not interact, indicating that male and female caregivers responded similarly.

Perceived Benefits of Being a Psychologist

This study also sought to explore gen der differences in perceived benefits experienced in the field of professional psychology . Specifically, it was hypothesized that female psychologists would see greater benefit in the areas of flexibility of schedule and intellectual challenge . Participant s reported their perception of each of the 14 benefits on a Likert scale from zero (no benefit) to four (significant benefit). Table 4 shows the mean rating of the potential benefits by men and women. A 2 (genders) by 14 (benefits) ANOVA showed that men ( M = 3.12, SD = 1.00) and women ( M = 3.08, SD = 1.07) did not differ significantly in the overall level of benefit they perceived from engaging in the profession, F (1,216) = 1.12, p = .29 . However, there was a significant interaction of gender and perceived b enefits, indicating that the benefits that were most attractive to men and women differed, F (13,2808) = 1.90, p = .03 . Independent - samples t - tests (also shown in Table 4) were conducted to compare male and female psychologists’ responses to the 14 benefits. Women perceived significantly more benefit in the areas of flexibility of schedule ( t( 216) = 2.10, p = .04), intellectual challenge ( t (216) = 2.05, p = .04), and improving one’s self ( t (216) = 1.97, p = .05) than did men. Male participants reported a sign ificantly greater benefit in holding a diversity of professional roles ( t (216) = 2.24, p = .03) . It should be noted that the effect sizes are small for all four of these gender differences.

Gender in Professional Psychology 17

Table 4

T - tests Results of Perceived Benefits of Professional Psyc hology According to Gender

Activity

Gender

Mean

SD

t

df

d'

See a diversity of clients

M

2.91

1.12

- 0.44

216

- 0.06

F

2.97

1.06

Engage in diverse roles

M

3.03

1.14

0.14*

216

0.31

F

2.67

1.20

Flexibility of schedule

M

3.29

0.88

- 2.10*

216

- 0.29

F

3.54

0.87

Flexible environments

M

2.64

1.12

0.24

216

0.03

F

2.60

1.27

Work availability

M

Full document contains 62 pages
Abstract: Over the last 30 years female mental health providers have become an increasingly strong presence in professional psychology. What benefits do women entering the field see that may influence this feminization and do their days look the same as those of their male colleagues? This surveyed male and female professional psychologists about the type and frequency of job activities in which they engaged and benefits they perceived of working in this the field. Results indicated that there were no gender differences in the number of hours of work each week nor in most of the job activities engaged in by male and female psychologists; the only exception is that male psychologists spend more time in the role of formal consultant and supervisor than do females. Women saw greater benefit to flexibility of schedule, intellectual challenge and the potential to improve oneself. Men saw the ability to engage in a diversity of roles as a significant benefit of being a psychologist. Age and caregiving responsibilities influenced professional activities and perceived benefits, independent of gender. Implications for professional training and the future of the field are discussed.