In this study we examine how a sample of 248 male and female professors at a Midwestern private research university construct their academic job satisfaction. Our findings indicate that both women and men perceive that their job satisfaction is influenced by the institutional leadership and mentoring they receive, but only as mediated by the two key academic processes of access to internal academic resources (including research-supportive workloads) and internal relational supports from a collegial and inclusive immediate work environment. Gender differences emerged in the strengths of the perceived paths leading to satisfaction: women’s job satisfaction derived more from their perceptions of the internal relational supports than the academic resources they received, whereas men’s job satisfaction resulted equally from their perceptions of internal academic resources and internal relational supports received. Implications for leadership and institutional practices are drawn from the findings.
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