Engineering women's attitudes and goals in choosing disciplines with above and below average female representation

Dina Verdín, Allison Godwin, Adam Kirn, Lisa Benson, Geoff Potvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Women's participation in engineering remains well below that of men at all degree levels. However, despite the low enrollment of women in engineering as a whole, some engineering disciplines report above average female enrollment. We used multiple linear regression to examine the attitudes, beliefs, career outcome expectations, and career choice of first-year female engineering students enrolled in below average, average, and above average female representation disciplines in engineering. Our work begins to understand how the socially constructed masculine cultural norms of engineering may attract women differentially into specific engineering disciplines. This study used future time perspective, psychological personality traits, grit, various measures of STEM identities, and items related to career outcome expectations as theoretical frameworks. The results of this study indicate that women who are interested in engineering disciplines with different representations of women (i.e., more or less male-dominated) have significantly different attitudes and beliefs, career goals, and career plans. This study provides information about the perceptions that women may have and attitudes that they bring with them into particular engineering pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 13 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Engineering disciplinary differences
  • Masculine social norms
  • Women in engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Engineering women's attitudes and goals in choosing disciplines with above and below average female representation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this