Gender, Coaching, and Occupational Turnover Academic Article uri icon


  • Women are underrepresented in coaching positions, both at the assistant and head coach levels. The purpose of this study was to examine one reason for this occurrence: gender differences in occupational turnover. The authors provided a review of the literature related to occupational turnover, integrating coaching and organizational psychology literatures. Based on these frameworks, the authors then conducted a meta-analysis of the quantitative research in the area, statistically aggregating results from 10 samples and 2,802 coaches. Results indicated that women intend to leave coaching sooner than do men (d=.38). Drawing from the review, the authors then examined potential reasons for the differences. Contrary to expectations, women were younger (d=.56) and had shorter occupational tenures (d=.59) than men, suggesting that other factors, such as their aspirations for advancement or the macro-level barriers they encounter, make coaching an unattractive option. Women had lower aspirations for advancement in the profession (d=.74) and less positive experiences in coaching (d=.23), though organizational experiences did not vary by gender. The results collectively suggest that occupational constraints can limit womens aspirations and intentions to remain in coaching, even beyond what would be expected based on their age and time in the profession.

published proceedings

  • Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Cunningham, G. B., Ahn, N. Y., Anderson, A. J., & Dixon, M. A.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Cunningham, George B||Ahn, Na Young||Anderson, Arden J||Dixon, Marlene A

publication date

  • October 2019