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Comparisons of Women and Men in the Engineerng Work Force

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2 Author(s)

The results of the 1981 National Engineering Career Development Survey were used to examine differences in the employment characteristics, job values, job satisfaction, and professional activities of men and women engineers. Men and women engineers were generally similar in terms of the types of positions they held; however, significantly more men than women reported management as their principal function. Men and women reported comparable levels of technical responsibility increasing with experience. Supervisory responsibility also increased with experience, and was comparable for men and women with less than 10 years of experience. However, among men and women with more than 10 years of experience, larger percentages of men than women reported high levels of supervisory responsibility. Reports of median salaries demonstrated a similar pattern, with men reporting higher salaries than women after 8-10 years of experience. Men were somewhat more satisfied with their work, their career progress, and the intrinsic aspects of their jobs than were women. Men and women reported similar involvement in professional activities, although men were more likely to apply for patents and to purchase and read new books on engineering and science. Many of the observed differences between men and women were smaller or nonsignificant when the responses of engineers with five years of experience or less were examined, suggesting that opportunities for women in engineering may be improving.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 4 )