Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Gender influence on career progression to leadership for Maltese Female Nursing Managers

Sciberras, Maria


Maria Sciberras



Aim: The aim of this study is to explore what gender issues hamper the career progression of Charge Nurses and Deputy Charge Nurses to leadership positions in the Maltese State Healthcare System.
Background: Women are underrepresented in headship positions in the Maltese state healthcare industry. Although the literature strongly indicates that gender barriers are well known to contribute to this anomaly as they have an impact on the career advancement of women worldwide, there is no knowledge as to which gender barriers are causing their underrepresentation in top leadership roles in a Maltese context. With a focus on three main overarching gender barriers: Governmental and Socio-cultural barriers, Organisational barriers, and Personal barriers, female Charge Nurses and Deputy Charge Nurses are investigated to identify those gender barriers that persist in holding for them an unbreakable glass ceiling.
Design: This study follows an Explanatory Sequential Mixed Methods design. A survey was conducted across the entire state healthcare organisation involving the total population of female Charge/Deputy Charge Nurses. The design of the questionnaire was based on a conceptual model developed from the literature review. The survey was followed by one-on-one interviews with a purposive sample from the surveyed population.
Method: Participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. The response rate was 77.3%. Quantitative analysis was undertaken using a SPSS package. Results from the quantitative phase were further examined by interviewing eight respondents. Interviews were thematically analysed.
Results: Socio-cultural, organisational and personal barriers influence the career progression of Charge and Deputy Charge Nurses. Work-family balance emerged as the toughest obstacle for the managers.
Conclusion: Based on the findings, the conceptual model was reviewed to present the contemporary glass ceiling that impact the career progression of first-line female managers.


Sciberras, . M. (2023). Gender influence on career progression to leadership for Maltese Female Nursing Managers. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 2, 2024
Publicly Available Date Apr 12, 2024
Keywords Nursing
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Nursing
University of Hull
Award Date Jan 3, 2024


Thesis (4.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Maria Sciberras. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Downloadable Citations