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ERIC Number: ED559517
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-9335-1
Factors That Support Women in Being Successful in Engineering Professions: Identity as a Lens
Lewinter, Jane Marincic
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Engineering has traditionally been and continues to be a male dominated profession. The National Academies' "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing America for a Brighter Future (2005)" warns that in the long run, the United States might not have enough scientists and engineers to meet its national goals unless the number of domestic students from all demographic groups, including women and students from all ethnic groups are represented. This qualitative study explores the factors that have been beneficial for women's success in engineering careers through a lens of engineering identity exemplified by a culturally diverse sample of professional women in science. Feminist Theory, Critical Feminist Theory and Social Identity Theory serve as the frameworks for this study. The relationships among such factors as self-efficacy, self-esteem, identity and education and success are also examined. The specific type of qualitative research utilized was narrative inquiry. The nine women STEM professionals work for the research division of a large corporation. Each was interviewed individually four times for ninety minutes following three interview protocols. The results were coded and analyzed for common themes. The participants described both making real contributions to society and attaining technical expertise as key benchmarks of their professional success. They also described the female engineer as a problem-solver and independent thinker who helps to improve the quality of life for all the earth's inhabitants. The female engineering identity included being disciplined, persistent and collaborative. Obstacles to women's success and gender issues and identities of minorities were also studied and described. Self-efficacy did have a strong relationship to success as did self-perception and the constructed engineering identity. The findings of the study could be used in attracting, nurturing, and retaining more young women in the STEM professions. With more women actively engaged in the STEM professions, a new definition of engineering has emerged. Engineering has become a more feminine and nurturing science capable of transforming the quality of life for all the citizens of the planet earth. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A