Engineering Careers: Women in a Male-Dominated Field

TitleEngineering Careers: Women in a Male-Dominated Field
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsJagacinski, C. M.
Secondary TitlePsychology of Women Quarterly

A national survey was conducted to compare the background and career characteristics of men and women engineers differing in the number of years since they completed their BS degrees (0–5, 6–10, 11–15, and 16–20 years). The parents of women engineers were more likely to have college degrees and to be employed in professional positions than were the parents of men engineers. Women engineers were less likely to be married and were more likely to be childless than were the men. Both men and women were influenced by courses and work–related factors in their decisions to pursue engineering, but men made their career decisions sooner than women. Although men and women reported comparable levels of technical responsibility in their present jobs, gender differences favoring men were found for supervisory responsibility and salary among those with more than five years of experience, with the gap between men and women increasing with experience. Men with 16–20 years of experience and all four degree cohorts of women endorsed the opinion that there are better opportunities for men than women in engineering.