A study about Engineering Cultures has been undertaken by Dr. Rachel Campbell at the Department of Sociology at Grand Valley State University.
This research was undertaken to explore the experiences of men and women who were trained in engineering, with a focus on understanding what impacts retention within the profession and what it means to be successful in the profession. A factor that was expected to play a particularly important role was gender as engineering continues to be a “densely masculine” profession with only 12.2% of engineers in Canada in 2006 being women. Women have also been found to be more likely to leave the profession than male colleagues (Preston 2004; Ranson 2003). This numerical dominance of men has been seen to shape the “culture of engineering”, or the norms and values of how engineering should be undertaken.
This research was guided by an attempt to understand both the experiences of individuals and the culture of engineering through the following questions:
1) What is the “culture of engineering”? What are the ideals of the profession?
2) What are dominant ways of working of individuals trained in engineering?
3) What are the factors that impact individuals commitment to the profession and retention in the field?
4) How do men’s and women’s experiences of the profession differ and how do these differences relate to disproportionately lower levels of retention among women?
To read about the study, please visit the website here.