VHTO - Landelijk expertisebureau meisjes/vrouwen en bta/techniek


 




Title: Gender stereotypes among women engineering and technololy students in the UK: lessons from career choice narratives

Authors: Powell, Dainty & Bagilhole

Published: 2012; European Journ of Engineering Education; 37(6), 541-556

ABSTRACT
In the UK, women remain under-represented in engineering and technology (E&T). Research has, therefore, investigated barriers and solutions to women's recruitment, retention and progression. Recruitment into the sector may be supported by exploring the career decisions of women and men who have chosen to study E&T. Triangulating quantitative and qualitative data from E&T students at a UK university, this paper examines the gendered nature of career choice narratives. It finds that women often maintain contradictory views; upholding gendered stereotypes about women's suitability for the so-called masculine work, yet also subscribing to ideals that the sector is accessible to all who wish to work in it. This is explained using an individualist framework in which women construct an autonomous sense of self, yet are also shaped by a gendered self. Women's discourse around career choice, therefore, reveals the problematic nature of gender norms for achieving gender equity in E&T.