Topic: Determinants of female personnel retention in European state military organizations

Thesis timeframe: 2020-2023
Application deadline: 02 Nov 2020


What determines if women choose to leave or to stay employed in male-dominated state military organizations? The main research project draws on empirical material from the Swedish Armed Forces, aiming to advance our knowledge on what factors affect the retention of female personnel. We are now looking for students interested in writing their MA thesis using quantitative methods to study female retention in the other Nordic or European state military organizations. For example, this could consist of survey experiments, within-case examination over time, or testing factors across a large number of states.

The project asks: What organizational factors facilitate or hinder women's retention? And how do group dynamics and professional ideals play into women's decision to stay or go? In addressing these questions, the project makes two contributions. First, the project combines military sociology with insights from gender research and organizational theory to identify a set of previously untested variables: organizational-level factors of well-being, career development and gender equality measures; group-level factors related to cohesion and socialization; and individual-level factors related to masculinized professional ideals. Second, it expands the empirical domain beyond the Anglo-Saxon focus and by adding a quantitative component to study and compare retention of women and men.