Think engineer, think male?

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering education needs to develop the competencies required for engineering work, and attract and retain students from diverse backgrounds. This study investigated the possibility that the perceived importance of competencies is subconsciously influenced by gendered assumptions, and as a consequence, this lowers the status given to stereotypically feminine competencies. In two surveys, engineers rated the importance of 64 competencies. The ratings made by the first sample were assumed to be relatively unaffected by gender typing. However, engineers in the second sample were asked to think of a typical engineering job, and therefore their responses were more likely to have been affected by gender typing. Results confirmed that there are stereotypically feminine competencies that are important to engineering, and suggested that senior male engineers in the study gender typed engineering jobs, consequently under-rating the importance of some stereotypically feminine competencies recently added to the engineering curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-464
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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