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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v13.i4.20
pages 333-351

ALL IN THE (ENGINEERING) FAMILY? — THE FAMILY OCCUPATIONAL BACKGROUND OF MEN AND WOMEN ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Susan E. Mannon
Department of Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-0730
Paul D. Schreuders
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-0730

ABSTRACT

This article examines and compares the family occupational background of men and women engineering students. Analyses reveal that around half of the men and women in a sample of student engineers had at least one engineer in their family, with women significantly more likely to have an engineering parent. Women with an engineer in their family were significantly more likely to have decided to study engineering before college. We conclude that engineering family members are passing on engineering-related knowledge, interests, and aspirations to a segment of the student engineering population. This type of occupational inheritance is especially crucial for paving the way into engineering for women, who otherwise lack engineering role models.


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