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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
EFFECTS OF GENDER ON ENGINEERING CAREER COMMITMENT
Anne M. Barker
The John D. Hromi Center for Quality and Applied Statistics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
Engineering has been one of the most difficult fields for 'women to enter and in which to succeed. Although the percentage of female engineers has Increased, women are still seriously underrcpresented in the workforce. This study examined the effect offender on career commitment, success, satisfaction, and involvement in engineering, and the effect of personality and work environment on these variables. Alumni from an engineering school in the northeastern United States were surveyed. The questionnaire was analyzed using statistical and descriptive methods to determine relationships among these variables. Women's commitment scores were lower than men's when controlled for other variables, including satisfaction and involvement. Men had longer tenure as engineers than women, even when controlled for year of graduation, professional engineering status, and number of children. Women did not leave engineering in different proportions than men, but they did earn significantly less despite controlling for year of graduation and number of hours worked weekly. Some gender differences in workplace experience were also found, including having colleagues act protectively, being mistaken for secretaries, and seeing men progress faster in their careers than equally qualified women.
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