Home Research Coaching Surveys Development of Coaches: IV. Does Gender Make A Difference?

Development of Coaches: IV. Does Gender Make A Difference?

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Results regarding gender differences from the two Development of Coaches surveys seem to be compatible with a growing body of literature in many fields that suggest gender-based differences are becoming less important in modern Western societies.  Sometime the lack of differences is ascribed to reduction in gender discrimination and at other times to the effects of “women’s liberation” and the emergence of “feminist theory” during the second half of the 20th Century in most Western countries. At the very least, a distinction has been made with increasing frequency between biological sex and gender as a role. In recent years, terms such as the “social construction of gender” and “gender fluidity” have moved us even further into the realm of blended gender-based identities.

At the very least, the results generated from our two coaching surveys indicate that gender is not a major factor with regard to professional coaching practices. Do these results (or non-results) suggest that men and women are likely to be influenced by factors other than gender when choosing to become a professional coach or when engaging in coaching with a client? Does the gender of the client make any difference or is everyone “treated equally”? Unfortunately, we don’t have any data regarding the potential variations in coaching practices based on the gender of the client. Hopefully, future studies about coaching strategies and practices will provide some data regarding potential gender differences in coach/client interactions.

We will have to turn to other demographic factors to see if there are significant differences in responses to our two coaching surveys. It seems that the variance in survey responses is not attributed to gender. So, we can cross one suspect off our list.



Orlinsky, D.E. and Rønnestad, M. H. (2005), How Psychotherapists Develop; A study of therapeutic Work and professional growth. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.

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One Comment

  1. Rey Carr

    May 31, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    When it comes to surveys, particularly those conducted via the Internet, it makes little difference if the survey was completed “by a widely ranging group of coaches,” or by organizations with “no stake in the outcomes,” or distributed by “practitioners.” What counts is the reliability and validity of the survey.

    The results of the survey are great for talking points or a place to start a dialogue about the issues raised, but they cannot and should not be understood as representative of coaches. These surveys are typically suspect when it comes to generalizing the results to the coaching industry or population. It doesn’t mean you can draw conclusions, but the data should always be accompanied by a set of “limitations” or “cautions” in using the data.


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