Why They Stay: Individual Factors Predicting Career Commitment for Women Engineers
Kathleen Relihan Buse
Case Western Reserve University
May 2, 2011
First International Conference on Engaged Management Scholarship, 2011
Women remain underrepresented in the engineering profession comprising only 10% of the employed engineers in 2009 while in that same year − according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics − women exceeded more than half of those employed in professional, managerial and related occupations. While others have studied the reasons women leave engineering careers, this study focused uniquely on women who persist in a career in engineering. A rigorous field experiment was conducted which surveyed 495 women ages 21 to 60 with engineering degrees to develop a model of the individual factors that lead women to commit to a career in engineering. The model is operationalized within the context of the development of a new construct − the ideal self. The results may aid universities and government agencies hoping to recruit and retain more women in the engineer profession and to organizations in search of women who are committed to engineering.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: Women Engineers, Retention, STEM, Ideal Self, Career Commitment, Engagement, Self Efficacyworking papers series
Date posted: May 13, 2011
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