Onwards and upwards: Insights from women managers and leaders in engineering

Melissa Marinelli, Linley Lord

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In Australia, women’s participation rates in the engineering profession are comparable to that of the United States and Europe (Engineering UK, 2013) with only 10 percent of degree qualified engineers working in engineering and related professions being women (Kaspura, 2010). The low participation rates are attributed to small numbers of women enrolling into engineering courses and a high attrition rate post-graduation (Mills et al., 2008). This is despite government and industry body initiatives and the implementation of programs by organizations to attract, engage and retain women into the engineering profession. The low participation rates can be seen to contribute to the lack of engineering women in senior roles. Knowing many successful women in the profession in Australia prompted the authors to ask: “What do we know about engineering women in senior roles?" Observations suggested that despite low participation rates, women in the engineering profession do make it to senior roles, including those considered to be management and leadership roles, and achieve success. A review of the existing research into engineering women revealed that little is known about these women. Previous studies, in Australia and other developed economies, have centered on the attraction, education and retention of women into the profession and the associated barriers, challenges and issues (for example: Miller, 2004; Gill et al., 2008; Hewlett et al., 2008; Watts, 2009).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWomen in STEM Careers
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives on Increasing Workforce Participation, Advancement and Leadership
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781781954072
ISBN (Print)9781781954065
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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