n South African Journal of Labour Relations - Age, burnout, work engagement and sense of coherence in female academics at two South African universities

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0379-8410
  • E-ISSN: 2520-3223



The influence of the age of female academics on their work experience in South African universities has not been researched to date. Yet, much publicity has been given to the "leaking pipeline" syndrome, referring term which refers to the loss of female academics before they attain one of the higher positions, such as senior lecturer, associate professor or professor. This trend is alarming as universities strive to achieve employment equity on all hierarchical levels. As the link between being an older academic and being higher up in the academic ranks cannot be denied, it is becoming important to find ways of retaining older female academics. The study reported here was conducted from a positive psychological paradigm. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of age on female academics' experience of burnout, work engagement and sense of coherence. The results confirmed a positive relationship between age and work engagement, as well as sense of coherence. No relationship between age and burnout was found, implying that women are expected to experience higher levels of work engagement and sense of coherence. Recommendations are offered for management on how female academics could be retained and supported towards reaching the higher ranks of academia.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error