Engineering Selves: Negotiating Gender and Identity in Technical Work

TitleEngineering Selves: Negotiating Gender and Identity in Technical Work
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsJorgenson, J..
Secondary TitleManagement Communication Quarterly

This article used the concept of discursive positioning to explore the narrative construction of professional identities among women engineers. The analysis of interviews with 15 women in a variety of engineering specialties suggested that they adopt a variety of distinct and sometimes contradictory positionings to present themselves as qualified professionals. In general, participants were reluctant to acknowledge gender relations as consequential for their careers and were also ambivalent about the implied focus of this research on female engineers as a “marginalized group.” A case is made for including and examining female engineers’ selfdetermined identities to arrive at more adequately complex descriptions of their work realities.