Single Article Template

Women in Engineering: A Review of the 2018 Literature

SWE’s assessment of the most significant research found in the past year’s social science literature on women engineers and women in STEM disciplines, plus recommendations for future analysis and study.
Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

By Peter Meiksins, Ph.D., Cleveland State University
Peggy Layne, P.E., F.SWE, Virginia Tech
Kacey Beddoes, Ph.D., Research in Sociology of Engineering
Marc Lewis, Virginia Tech
Adam S. Masters, Virginia Tech
Jessica Deters, Virginia Tech

SWE’s annual review of the literature summarizing scientific research on women in engineering is intended to promote a greater understanding among engineers of the challenges facing female engineers in what continues to be a male-dominated occupation. Each year, we review the most important research that explores the experiences of female engineers and offers insights into the continued underrepresentation of women in the profession. The hope is that this will help individual engineers recognize that their situation is not unique. We hope, as well, that a better understanding of the factors limiting the numbers of women in engineering and hindering progress toward gender equity will point to solutions that can be pursued, both individually and collectively, by women and men working in the field.

The issue of gender equity in engineering has become front-page news. The awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Donna Strickland, Ph.D., in 2018 reminded the public of both the strides women have made in STEM fields and the continued underrepresentation and underrecognition of women in STEM (Dr. Strickland was only the third female recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in its more than 100-year history). Ongoing public controversies over sexual misconduct in tech companies and the apparent hostile culture that pervades those organizations has kept the issue of gender equity in the headlines. And, more and more, especially in the context of increasingly restrictive immigration policies, Americans are hearing that attracting more women into engineering and other STEM fields is a matter of national self-interest; more female engineers are needed to reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign technical workers who are becoming increasingly difficult to recruit as immigration policies tighten.

In the review that follows, we summarize and discuss the most significant scientific research on women in engineering and STEM published in the past year. We identified close to 200 articles, conference papers, and books in a variety of disciplines for review. As in the past, we were not able to discuss all of the materials we read in the review; we have tried to focus attention on the most rigorous studies that used the best scientific methods and on studies that offered new and important insights. We have also attempted to draw attention to areas of disagreement that future research needs to resolve and/or to neglected areas of inquiry where more research is needed.

Regular readers of the SWE annual literature review, and those familiar with the literature on women in engineering and STEM, will know that several familiar themes form the focus of much research each year and that a degree of knowledge has been generated around these themes; in some cases, even consensus has emerged. We begin our review with a look at some of these more familiar themes and findings, then shift to consider research in newer areas of inquiry or in which there continues to be disagreement and debate.


Over the years, there has been a great deal of research, much of it reviewed in these pages, focused on the experiences of young women who enter undergraduate engineering programs. Do they have negative experiences in those programs and, if so, does this create a leak in the “pipeline” as some women react to their bad experiences by leaving the field for other majors?

This year was no exception, as we reviewed several articles focused on understanding women’s experiences in undergraduate engineering programs and/or on evaluating programs designed to improve their retention. Patrick, Borrego, and Prybutok (2018), for example, reported on a study of 563 students in 12 undergraduate engineering programs at a large public university in which they examine the effects of various factors hypothesized to predict persistence in an engineering program. To their surprise, they found that, for both women and men, the strength with which respondents identified with being an engineer did not predict persistence. What did, however, was interest, again, for both women and men. The one gender difference they found was that female students tended to see themselves as less competent, and that this interacted with their sense of engineering identity and level of interest in the discipline they were studying. They speculate that this may be a gender-specific factor in some women’s decision to shift to other majors.

Dell et al. (2018) conducted research on a program at the Rochester Institute of Technology designed to promote increased retention of female students in an undergraduate program in engineering technology. The program sought to provide students with professional skills development and academic and social support, to offer faculty mentoring to participants, and to connect them to the existing support services at the university. Dell et al. found that the program did increase retention (although the small sample size — only a few dozen students — made the results statistically insignificant) because it increased students’ feelings of “relatedness” (being connected to faculty and other students), competence (feeling supported and having the confidence to combat microaggressions), and autonomy (not feeling the negative effects of stereotype threat).

Underlying this, and much of the earlier research on retention in undergraduate programs, is the belief that women leave engineering programs at higher rates than men. Dell et al. state this explicitly, referencing several earlier studies. Patrick, Borrego, and Prybutok are confusing on this issue. At one point (p. 351), they make a more complex claim, arguing that women leave engineering programs earlier than men, but at similar rates over the course of their undergraduate programs; at another, they appear to say that women’s lower feelings of competence explain why they leave engineering programs in larger numbers (p. 360).

As we have noted in previous literature reviews, however, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that women do not leave engineering programs at rates higher than those of men, a point first argued by Frehill (2010) a number of years ago. A review, published this year, of articles in the Journal of Engineering Education (Waychal, Henderson, and Collier, 2018) found that there was no real evidence that the retention or graduation rates of women in engineering programs are lower than those of men and that female retention appears to be increasing. We also reviewed one study this year that addresses this question explicitly. Shi (2018) examined data on a very large sample that included all students in public schools in the state of North Carolina between 2009 and 2014. The study examined whether students followed through on their “intended” majors after graduating from high school and entering postsecondary institutions. Shi found no evidence that there is higher attrition among female than male engineering students in university.

In short, while there is value in continuing to refine our understanding of what promotes the retention of female students in engineering programs (and, for that matter, what promotes the retention of male students!), the underrepresentation of women in engineering is not being caused primarily by women’s switching out of engineering majors at higher rates than men. However, as we discuss below, students’ experiences in engineering programs may have an effect on attrition from the field in postgraduation decisions. In other words, similar retention rates cannot be taken as evidence that men and women students are having similar experiences in their engineering programs.


Another familiar stream in research on women in engineering asks, “Why aren’t more young women attracted to engineering in the first place?” There is a very large (and growing) body of literature showing that young women display less interest than young men in entering engineering programs, an obvious, powerful contributor to the underrepresentation of women in engineering, especially since relatively few students switch their majors to engineering after starting on a different major. Much of this research explores the various possible reasons for women’s relative lack of interest in engineering.

Research reviewed in previous years emphasized that gendered differences in interest in various fields of study begins very early (as early as elementary school) and that efforts to increase girls’ interest in STEM in general, and engineering in particular, need to begin with younger children. Surprisingly, then, we found little new research this year that explored the development of children’s interests that might lead to a later interest in an engineering career. In contrast, this year’s review identified several studies examining why older girls and young women have relatively low levels of interest in studying engineering. We review several of these here, but note the need for additional research exploring the early childhood origins of these gender-specific preferences.

Shi’s (2018) study of students in North Carolina provides a useful starting point for a review of this research focus. Her analysis identifies four factors that contribute to women’s lower interest in engineering:

  • Academic preparation
  • Beliefs about ability
  • Female prosocial orientation
  • Family influence

Shi finds that only about 5 to 7 percent of the gendered difference in interest in engineering is explained by differences in SAT scores or high school GPAs, while a somewhat larger percentage (8 percent) is explained by beliefs about academic ability (as opposed to actual ability). Young women also are much more likely to show a preference for prosocial responsibilities and for contributing to the arts, rather than the sciences, which accounts for 14 percent of the gap. Finally, Shi analyzes a subsample of fraternal twins within her larger sample and finds that boys in opposite sex pairs are more likely to choose engineering as a major than girls. She hypothesizes that this is the result of families’ influencing boys toward genderstereotypical roles, although she does not attempt to assess how much of the overall difference in gendered attitudes toward engineering is explained by this. Overall, while Shi’s study does not account for all of the differences between boys’ and girls’ interest est in engineering, she identifies several important factors that clearly contribute to those differences.

Other studies we reviewed provide additional, albeit partial support for several of Shi’s conclusions. Justman and Mendez (2018) used administrative data on a cohort of students in Victoria, Australia, to examine the factors shaping students’ interest in STEM subjects. Their study shows that boys in Victoria had a significant advantage over girls in mathematics in grades 7 and 9, while girls had a significant advantage in reading. However, as in Shi’s study, these differences accounted for only a small portion of the gendered differences in STEM interest. Justman and Mendez argue that “female students require stronger prior signals of mathematical ability” to choose subjects such as physics or information technology. Those who do choose these subjects outperform their male counterparts, perhaps because only the very strongest girls choose to pursue them, implying that there is a significant waste of potential STEM talent among the slightly less well-qualified, less-confident girls who choose to avoid STEM subjects in school.

Research conducted at the Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis (Reardon et al., 2018) examines state accountability test data from thirdthrough eighth-grade students in the U.S. from 2008-9 to 2014-15. The study finds that there is no gender achievement gap in math in the “average school district” examined, while girls typically outperform boys in English language arts (ELA). However, intersectional patterns also emerge here. The pattern is not the same for all districts; some have more male-favoring gaps and some more female-favoring gaps. Math gaps tended to favor males in more socioeconomically advantaged school districts and in districts where there are significant socioeconomic disparities among parents. There was no relationship between the ELA gender gap and these variables. The data about math gaps suggest that, to the extent that math proficiency predicts an eventual interest in engineering or STEM, the pattern of male dominance of these subjects is likely to be particularly pronounced for more affluent students. Justman and Mendez (2018) also note that low-income boys are less likely than more affluent boys to choose subjects such as physics or advanced mathematics, so the effects of boys’ math advantage on subject choice are likely concentrated among the more affluent.

Dekhtyar et al. (2018) analyzed data drawn from a large sample of men and women in Sweden. They identified more than 167,000 adults born in Sweden between 1977 and 1979 and analyzed longitudinal data on their test scores in school and subsequent occupational choices. They found differences between men’s and women’s abilities in various areas, with more boys than girls being stronger in technical/numerical skills, while the reverse was true for verbal/language skills. This is important, they argue, because the people in their study tended to choose educations and occupations that matched the skills areas in which they were strongest, which would partially explain the underrepresentation of women in technical/ numerical fields such as engineering. This pattern was weaker for women, however, as women with technical/numerical strengths still largely avoided careers demanding those abilities. So, factors other than ability appear to be driving women’s occupational interests.

Barth et al. (2018) conducted a study of 526 U.S. students, ranging in grade level from fifth grade to university (this is one of the few studies we reviewed that actually did have an at least partial focus on young children). They found that ability beliefs were a powerful predictor of occupational interests and that there were gendered differences in both interest in STEM subjects and sense of STEM efficacy. However, this did not appear to betrue of the university students in the sample.

Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

Ehrlinger et al. (2018) conducted experimental studies of small samples of undergraduate students at a southeastern university in the U.S. (sample sizes were 96 and 178, respectively). Respondents were asked to evaluate whether computer scientists (study 1) or engineers (study 2) possessed stereotypical abilities (including intellectual abilities) and to indicate whether they felt they had those abilities themselves. Women offered less-positive estimates of their own intellectual abilities than men, and were more likely to endorse the view that engineers and computer scientists possessed stereotypical (strong) intellectual abilities, which predicted lower female interest in these disciplines. Other studies, reviewed in previous years, have emphasized women’s lower sense of efficacy in math and science, even when their performance suggests otherwise, so there is reason to believe that Shi is on solid ground in emphasizing the role of ability beliefs in shaping occupational interests.

Research reviewed this year examined additional factors that might play a role in shaping the relatively low levels of interest in engineering careers among young women entering university. Several studies examined the influence of stereotypes on young people’s interests and choice of major, but the results that emerge from this research are far from clear-cut. Barth et al. (2018), in the study already discussed, found that occupational gender stereotypes played an important secondary role in shaping occupational interests. The younger children in their sample displayed the clearest pattern, endorsing gendered stereotypes of STEM occupations and applying them to both themselves and others in determining who would be interested in those fields. The university students in the sample responded differently, however. While they endorsed gendered stereotypes of STEM occupations, they did not show gender differences in STEM career interest. Barth et al. speculate that this may be the result of the students’ having been selected from advanced STEM courses, so that their own success in STEM disciplines may counteract the effect of stereotypes.

Kelley and Bryan’s (2018) study of incoming undergraduate engineering students at a large Midwestern university (their study is based on 353completed surveys) found that the women in the sample viewed the typical engineer as stereotypically masculine (although, interestingly, this was less true of international students, suggesting a strong cultural element in these stereotypes — see the discussion of comparative research below). Since they were engineering majors, it is obvious this stereotype did not prevent the female respondents from being interested in engineering; one might suspect that other women did respond negatively to engineering because of these stereotypes, but Kelley and Bryan’s study does not attempt to examine whether this was the case. Interestingly, gendered stereotypes did not affect female respondents’ choice of specialty within engineering. Although they were aware of the gender composition of the various fields, some chose to “defy” these stereotypes and enter stereotypically male majors.

Bian et al. (2018) conducted a series of experiments to explore the effect of messages about “brilliance” on women’s interest in educational and professional opportunities. This research is related to the studies of stereotypes discussed above, since one of the stereotypes often associated with success in STEM disciplines is that successful scientists and engineers are “brilliant.” Bian et al. found that messages indicating that a university major, internship, or position involved brilliance lowered women’s interest in those opportunities and were less likely to see themselves as similar to the typical person in those roles. Here, then, is evidence that occupational stereotypes do influence women’s interest in entering STEM disciplines such as engineering.

The perception that a field is gender biased, not just that it is gendered, also may be a factor shaping women’s interest in that field. Ganley et al. (2018) surveyed a group of undergraduate students to determine whether they had a gender-based aversion to STEM majors. They found that this was not the case. Rather, respondents perceived different fields as being gender biased to different degrees, with fields such as engineering, computer science, and the physical sciences being the most gender biased. This was a strong predictor of their choice of major, indicating that female students avoided majors and fields in which they perceived significant gender discrimination.

Moss-Racusin et al. (2018) also examined the effect of gender bias in a set of experimental studies with a sample of U.S. adults (322 in study 1; 429 in study 2). In the first experiment, some respondents read a news article describing the existence of gender bias in STEM, while others read an article describing its absence; a third group was given no article at all to read. Results indicated that women who read the article describing bias expressed less desire to participate in STEM than men; this was not the case for those who read the “no bias” article. Women who received no article were less inclined toward STEM than men, a result the authors speculate may reflect prevailing cultural beliefs about the existence of gender bias in STEM disciplines. Study 2 presented participants with an article about the accreditation of a chemistry department; some respondents received a report indicating that gender bias had been found, while others received a report indicating no bias. Women who read the gender bias report reacted more negatively to the department than men, expecting more discrimination and lower levels of trust and comfort, while those who read the “no bias” report did not. Interestingly, whether or not the department was reported to have completed gender training had no effect on the results.


As we have noted in previous reviews, there is a very large body of research on women in academic engineering and STEM departments, in no small part because of the influence of the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE program and assessment of its effects. The result is that quite a lot is already known about the (sometimes negative) experiences of women in academic STEM and engineering programs and about interventions designed to improve the situation. Researchers this year continued to add to the body of knowledge about female engineers and scientists in academic settings.

Griffith and Dasgupta (2018) report on a survey of 383 STEM faculty members at a public research university in the northeastern U.S. They found that female STEM faculty were less satisfied than their male colleagues where women were a minority, particularly in departments where women represented less than 25 percent of the department. In departments with more balance (close to 50 percent women), these differences in satisfaction disappeared. In departments where women were a minority, the differences in satisfaction found by the study were mediated by women’s perception that the culture and climate were less collegial, faculty governance was not transparent, and that men and women were not treated equally.

Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

One familiar theme in analysis of female academics in general, and STEM faculty specifically, is the greater burden of service work that falls on women. Research by Pedersen and Minnotte (2018) contributes to this ongoing discussion. They surveyed 114 STEM faculty at a midsize university in the Midwest and conducted focus groups with small groups of women STEM faculty, finding that they viewed service obligations as onerous, isolating, a hindrance to research, and detrimental to family responsibilities and their own health. Women who had already achieved tenure resented being asked to take on additional service responsibilities to shelter junior colleagues, since no such protection had been extended to them. Overall, female faculty saw much more injustice in service work than men and this perceived injustice was associated with lower job satisfaction, scholarly isolation, workplace conflict, and job stress. The researchers also conducted a focus group with male department chairs, who generally saw service work for women as positive, not burdensome, so there is little reason to suppose that, at this university at least, the distribution of service work obligations is likely to become more equitable.

Rosser (2018) conducted a survey of 175 female scientists (including a number of engineers) who had received NSF Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE) grants between 1997 and 2000. This was a 2011-12 follow-up to the survey administered when respondents originally received their grants to determine whether and how their situations had changed. A few things had changed: inability to get funding had become a more significant challenge (perhaps because of tight funding environments, rather than gender alone), and “low numbers” and “isolation” were less frequently identified as an obstacle. But, on the whole, the survey revealed that most of the challenges female scientists and engineers faced in 2000 were still challenges more than a decade later, a discouraging finding indicating that knowing what the problems are does not always lead to their quick resolution.

Many previous studies of women in STEMM fields (with the second M representing medicine) have found that women are less well represented in published research. Holman, Stuart-Fox, and Hauser’s (2018) analysis of more than 10 million scientific academic papers published since 2002 and indexed in the PubMed® and arXiv® databases finds that while many disciplines are now close to having equal numbers of men and women authors, and others are making good progress, a number (including computer science, physics, and math) continue to make much slower strides. Since engineering publications are not indexed consistently and comprehensively, it would be difficult to duplicate this analysis for engineering, but the pattern for neighboring disciplines such as physics and computer science is concerning.

The underrepresentation of women in published science may simply reflect the low numbers of women in certain disciplines, but earlier researchers have argued that part of the difference is the result of lower rates of publication for female faculty (Aiston and Yung, 2015). One study we reviewed this year adds to existing research showing that the size and nature of academic networks have a significant impact on research productivity. Gaughan, Melkers, and Welch (2018) analyzed data on more than 3,000 academic faculty in four disciplines (biology, biochemistry, civil engineering, and mathematics), finding that women published at a rate about 10 percent lower than men, and that nonwhites publish at a rate 13 percent lower than whites. Their analysis concludes that networks are a major cause of these differences. While women’s networks tend to be slightly larger than men’s, their networks tend to have more “advice” resources and fewer “instrumental” resources. Having a larger network is generally positively associated with research productivity, but instrumental research network resources are more significant, particularly for men. Advice resources actually are negatively associated with scholarly productivity, although less so for women. Gaughan, Melkers, and Welch conclude that strengthening networks, especially those that provide instrumental resources, will help to promote greater equality in publication rates; at the same time, one should not assume that female or minority group scientists’ networks will or should look precisely like white men’s.

Interestingly, a small study of 23 engineering faculty at two U.S. land-grant universities in the northwest produced a finding that links both the issue of scholarly productivity and the issue of service obligations to female engineers’ sense of self-efficacy. Sarathchandra et al. (2018) found that female engineering faculty tended to measure themselves largely by “institutional measures” (publications, citations, grants, etc.) and less by informal measures (mentoring, personal relationships, etc.). They suggest that this may lead them to “perceive themselves as less competent” (p. 12) than their male counterparts, a conclusion that seems even more plausible if one considers the findings we have just described regarding women’s lower research productivity and higher service burdens.

While much of the research on academic science and engineering focuses on faculty, we reviewed several studies this year that touched on the experiences of students in engineering programs. Two studies, for example, examined the issue of male/female dynamics within student teams in engineering programs. Beddoes and Panther (2018) interviewed almost 40 engineering faculty at three universities, attempting to learn about their perspectives on gender dynamics in teams and whether they account for gender in their pedagogical practices for implementing teamwork. They found that gender was given very little thought in team formation and that some faculty knew their practices went against research recommendations about gender, but justified them anyway, citing other reasons. Faculty had witnessed problems (and acknowledged that they may not have heard about all such problems) and admitted that they weren’t sure what to do when they saw problems. Some went further, arguing that it was not a problem if women encounter gender problems in student teams, since this prepares them for the reality of the workplace.

Hirshfield (2018) reports on a case study of a student team of first-year design students in electrical engineering and computer science. Prior work had indicated there were no gender gaps in first-year, team-based design projects, but this follow-up study added an observational component to check on the accuracy of the reports submitted. Observational data revealed that traditional gender roles were enacted within the teams, despite reports to the contrary. Women contributed more to final reports, with little input from other team members, spent less time on technical tasks, and reported less self-confidence, even though male team members also struggled with much of the assignment. Although this is a case study, it confirms other research indicating that women in engineering programs often have different experiences than men within teams, a fact that may disadvantage them as their careers progress (less technical experience, lower self-confidence). It also confirms earlier research indicating that women often don’t identify their different experiences as “sexist” or negative; a follow-up with one female team member in the study, for example, indicated that she was satisfied with the team project even though she had not been treated with respect. This is a theme we will return to later in this review.

Roldan, Hui, and Gerber (2018) extend the scrutiny of female engineering students’ experiences to the issue of makerspaces, an increasingly important part of contemporary engineering programs. They emphasize that these spaces tend to be very masculine and male dominated and, based on the responses they received from a diverse group of 17 female participants, recommend that engineering programs take steps to ensure that equitable participation is facilitated, that help-seeking is scaffolded, and that values in diversity are made visible.

Main (2018) applies Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s (1977) theory regarding the effects of minority status on women in business to the situation of female students in doctoral programs in science and engineering departments. Kanter argued that women in business faced an uphill struggle because they were in the minority, a situation that left them with limited support and increased performance pressures. Main finds that female doctoral students are more likely to complete their degrees in departments with higher percentages of female faculty and that female doctoral students working with female advisors are more likely to complete their degrees than those who have male advisors. Gender balance in departments was found to have no effect on the likelihood that male doctoral students would complete their degrees.

Since a great deal of research on gender and academic engineering and STEM disciplines has already been published, it is not surprising that scholarly attention has also turned to evaluating what can be done to address the problems that research has identified. This literature reveals a lack of consensus about whether concerted action is likely to be effective. Beddoes (2018) interviewed a group of 39 engineering professors across the United States to determine whether they believed that policy could play a role in female underrepresentation in engineering education. Her most notable finding was that the majority of the professors interviewed did not discuss policy at all. Those who did emphasized policies that could increase the number of engineering faculty from underrepresented groups, which would likely increase the number of engineering students from those groups. Several also mentioned the importance of improved family-friendly policies to demonstrate to female students that you can have both a career and a family. The focus on faculty-oriented policies, in a study about students, highlighted just how limited the community’s attention to policy change in this arena is.

Long et al. (2018) report on a small exploratory study in which 12 faculty members at a large Midwestern university were interviewed about the role of mentoring in supporting women and minority faculty in engineering. Faculty reported that they found informal rather than formal mentoring to be the most useful and that their mentoring relationships were both varied and changing. The study’s authors recommend that universities create a variety of opportunities for faculty to develop mentoring relationships, as opposed to a “one-sizefits- all” mandatory mentoring program involving formally assigned mentors.

Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

Somewhat in contrast, Posselt, Porter, and Kamimura (2018) present evidence that a more formal, focused approach to achieving gender equity may be the most effective strategy. This study compares two departments at a major public research university (civil and environmental engineering and chemistry) to examine their success in closing gender gaps in doctoral education. The chemistry department had engaged in a long process of organizational learning about gender equity and had participated in an NSF ADVANCE grant, leading to the hiring of outstanding female faculty, the recruitment of strong female graduate students, and broader discussions of equity. The engineering department’s efforts were a by-product of curricular reforms designed to maintain relevance in the field, which were then sustained by a small group of female faculty. While both programs saw progress toward gender equity, the study reveals that gains made without conscious, organized effort (the example of the engineering department) are more tenuous and depend on individual effort, which is more difficult to sustain.


Other research we reviewed this year explored questions that, while not entirely new, have not as consistently been the focus of studies of women in engineering. In the context of the growing sense of outrage about the culture of tech companies and other STEM workplaces (see article on Brotopia), more researchers have begun to examine the culture of engineering programs and workplaces and to problematize its gendered characteristics.

Banchefsky and Park (2018) conducted research aimed at discovering whether students in male-dominated fields such as engineering have more traditional attitudes toward gender. They surveyed a convenience sample of 2,622 students in a psychology 101 class at the University of Colorado Boulder, finding that men in male-dominated academic majors are more likely to endorse the idea that women should adapt and conform to masculine work norms, that women should pursue traditional careers and roles, that it is true that men do better in math and science than women, and that attention to gender should be minimized. While this is a case study of students at one university, it provides another piece of evidence that male-dominated fields are home to a culture of gender inequality.

Freedman et al. (2018) conducted a series of experiments designed to explore gendered differences in explaining women’s anxiety and doubt in science. They conducted three experiments with respondents in the United Kingdom in which student-respondents were asked to interpret the account of a female student who encountered bias. The researchers observed differences in the ways in which men and women interpreted the narrative. Men were less likely than women to attribute the anxiety and doubt the woman in the story experienced as the result of bias and stereotyping; they were also more likely than women to attribute women’s negative emotions to lack of preparation. Women were more likely than men to agree that the account was typical of women’s experiences in STEM. While this is also a relatively small-scale study, the results point to the existence of an unsympathetic climate for women in STEM disciplines.

Male et al. (2018) conducted a follow-up interview study of 13 students who had participated in an earlier survey of Australian engineering students’ experiences in mandatory work experiences during their training. Like the original survey respondents, the interview participants reported interactions consistent with gendered workplace cultures, including interactions that demeaned women or drew attention to their gender, requests based on gender stereotypes (e.g., asking female students to type documents), refusing to call the women engineers or to involve them in the full range of activities, and devaluation of stereotypically female activities such as volunteer work. Women responded in various ways, ranging from considering leaving the field to tolerating or even justifying the treatment they received. The small number of men included in the study reported similar treatment of women, providing evidence that the gendered workplace culture existed and was not simply a perception of the female students interviewed.

Kuchynka et al. (2018) surveyed 755 students in undergraduate engineering and health sciences courses as well as psychology students who had taken at least one STEM course to evaluate women’s experience of sexist treatment in STEM. Respondents reported experiencing various forms of sexism; some reported “hostile sexism” (negative, angry attitudes and behavior toward women), but more reported incidents of “benevolent sexism” (paternalism, attributing characteristics such as morality and sweetness to women, etc.). Some of the women in the study, especially those with relatively weak STEM identities, reported reduced intentions to major in STEM and lower GPAs as a result of their experiences of each kind of sexism.

Cabay et al. (2018) studied a group of 28 advanced graduate students in the physical sciences and engineering in U.S. universities. Online weekly posts and interviews with a subset of respondents provided data on women’s experience of the culture of STEM disciplines and their changing career plans. One-third of the respondents indicated that they planned to finish the degree, but seek alternative tive careers outside STEM research. Some reported being drawn to more altruistic careers, while others talked about wanting to be able to balance family and career. But, some also specifically identified their experience of a chilly climate as the reason for their changed career goals: They described feeling isolated and alienated; being uncomfortable with (masculine) communication that was perceived as boastful, critical, or argumentative; and reported hostile behavior ranging from microaggressions to three incidents of sexual harassment in the course of the seven-month study. Andrews et al. (2018) provide evidence that the findings in Cabay et al.’s study are not unusual. They summarize some of the existing published research on undergraduate work experiences of women in engineering (some of which has been reviewed in earlier SWE literature reviews), finding that female undergraduates frequently report encountering a hostile environment involving everything from crude language to sexual overtures; paternalistic, unequal treatment of women involving assigning them “female work” and excluding them from responsible tasks; and being ignored in meetings and project teams. These experiences fed women’s self-doubt and limited their job and career satisfaction. Thus, even while persistence rates in engineering education programs may be similar for men and women students, female students continue to have negative experiences that lead to attrition from the field postgraduation.

These studies of the male culture of engineering and STEM focus largely on the experience of students and tend to be relatively small-scale or experimental studies. There remains a need for more systematic examination of the nature of workplace cultures in engineering and whether the journalistic reports of a “bro” culture (see article on Brotopia) are accurate and whether this hostile culture exists only in certain companies or sectors or is more widespread. It would also be important to have additional research on whether effective mechanisms for combating hostile, sexist treatment exists (see sidebar on sexual harassment).

Several of the studies reviewed here note that women who experience a hostile environment often either try to ignore it or rationalize their experience and are not inclined to report their negative experiences or to use existing legal tools to effect changes. And Fink’s (2018) study of British law regarding “gender sidelining” reveals that existing laws to combat gender discrimination and unequal treatment do not encompass all the forms of unequal or hostile treatment that women may experience in contemporary workplaces. For example, she notes that there is little the law can do about the reality that female scientists’ accomplishments are often overlooked or undervalued or about public perceptions that women are less capable in science than men.

The law also cannot do much about situations in which a different standard is applied to evaluating the work of a female scientist, since it is very difficult to discover or to prove that the double standard actually exists.


In previous literature reviews, we have identified the relative lack of studies of engineering workplaces and the tendency of researchers to focus on academic settings, where the gathering of data is considerably easier. Since it is becoming clear that women who enter engineering programs and leave tend to do so after they have completed their degree programs, knowing more about why women leave the profession after earning their degrees is essential. As we have just noted, there is some evidence that the experience of a hostile climate is one reason for women’s departure from engineering. There remains a need for much more research on engineering workplaces to enable us to construct a full explanation of why women leave.

We reviewed a few studies this year that make contributions toward such an explanation.

Singh et al. (2018), who are engaged in an ongoing major study of the retention of working women engineers, report on the results of a survey they administered to 245 of the participants 18 months after their original survey. Their original sample consists of more than 2,000 graduates of 30 universities that cooperated with their study. The follow-up survey focused on the issue of the role of work/family conflict in women engineers’ intentions to leave the profession. Singh et al. find that family interference with work (FIW) is positively related to occupational turnover intentions among currently employed female engineers: i.e., FIW encourages female engineers to consider leaving engineering altogether, not just their current positions. Work interference with family did not have a similar effect.

Singh et al. continue by noting that occupational commitment is stronger, and the effects of FIW are weaker, in organizations where the employer is perceived as supportive, while the reverse is true where perceived organizational support is absent. Since the sample contains no men, it is not possible to determine whether these relationships are specific to female engineers.

Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

The sample included a number of women who had no children, so the results need to be treated with appropriate caution. Nevertheless, Singh et al. confirm the prevailing view that a major reason for women’s departure from engineering may be work/family conflict.

Cardador and Hill (2018) surveyed 274 engineers employed in industry (40 percent were women) to examine how different career paths affect attrition. They identify three career paths — managerial, technical, and hybrid — and examine whether the intent to leave engineering is equally associated with each of them. Results indicated that, for both men and women, those on the hybrid path reported higher intent to leave engineering, although they had the highest levels of identification with engineering colleagues and reported higher levels of meaningful work. Those on the technical path reported lower levels of intent to leave, while those on the managerial path reported the lowest levels of identification with engineering colleagues. There were important gendered differences in the results. First, women were overrepresented in the managerial and hybrid paths, with the latter being the path most associated with intent to leave the profession. In addition, women on the managerial path reported higher intentions of leaving engineering than men on the same path; they also reported lower levels of identification with other engineers, lower levels of respect, and lower levels of satisfaction than men. In short, the career paths on which female engineers find themselves may be a factor in their decision to leave the occupation. Cardador and Hill do not offer an explanation of how male and female engineers come to be on the paths they are on.

Fernando, Cohen, and Duberly (2018a) report on a small study of engineers in the U.K. Thirty-four women employed at one of two large companies (one in petrochemicals, one in manufacturing) were interviewed about the factors that encouraged them to stay on as engineers. They report that care and support from colleagues, performance feedback, being given opportunities and responsibilities, and having positive role models all made them wish to stay. These forms of help made the respondents feel valued, enhanced their confidence as engineers and as potential promotion material, and helped them believe in their ability to combine work and family (this last point seems to echo Singh et al.’s finding that a supportive organizational culture reduces perceived work/family conflict).

These studies all examine factors that encourage or discourage female engineers’ departure from the occupation after they have begun working. Another study we reviewed this year points to an additional possible “leak” in the pipeline — the interview process that mediates between school and work. Wynn and Correll (2018) report on their analysis of observational data from 84 recruiting sessions by technology companies at a prominent West Coast university in 2012-13. This study is particularly interesting because the companies involved were actively trying to recruit women engineers and computer scientists. Wynn and Correll found that interviewing practices put women off. Most of the presenters were men, with women in marginal roles. Question-and-answer sessions were dominated by men and tended to turn into opportunities for “display.” Some of the interview presentations made use of sexualized images of women and there were a number of references to gendered pop culture images and a tendency to describe the workplace as having fraternity-like qualities. The sessions emphasized technicality above all else, which tended to put women off; Wynn and Correll reported that women were less confident in this area, even when they were equally qualified as men. And, there were numerous “geek culture” references (“Star Trek,” “Lord of the Rings”), references to gendered experiences such as playing video games, and an emphasis on how everything is available at the work campus, implying a lack of work/life balance.

Wynn and Correll contend that these practices make it less likely that women will want to work for the companies involved and less likely that they will be selected. The authors don’t conclude that this causes women to leave the occupation, but if women don’t gain access to some of the most important sources of high-quality employment and have interview experiences that signal the male culture of the workplace, it is reasonable to hypothesize that some of them may look elsewhere.


One new theme we saw addressed this year, albeit with a small number of papers, was the wage gap. Research came from both the U.S. and Europe, and examined the wage gap from a variety of different approaches. The largest of these studies reported survey data from 2003 (n=5,095; 25.9% women); 2006 (n=5,233; 27% women); 2008 (n=4,686; 29.1% women); 2010 (n=4,794; 29.6% women); and 2013 (n=4,701; 30.3% women), revealing that in every year except 2003, women in STEM departments earned significantly less than men overall — between 4 and 4.9 percent less (Tao, 2018). However, this is less of a difference than has been previously found, suggesting that income inequality may be decreasing for some groups. The data came from full-time research and teaching faculty with Ph.D.s employed in engineering, computer and mathematical sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences in the U.S. Importantly, Tao analyzed the data intersectionally, which revealed the following differences within and between racial and ethnic groups: White women earned significantly less than white men in 2003 and 2006, but the earnings gap closed over time; African-American women did not earn significantly less than African-American men in any year; Asian-American women earned significantly less than Asian-American men in 2013; Hispanic women earned significantly less than Hispanic men in 2010; and, overall, African-American men earned less than all other groups of men. Contextualizing the findings, Tao concludes that “experience, rank, working in universities with very high research activity, grants, having research as the primary work activity, and working in engineering increase earnings for all races/ethnicities. These findings, however, also remind us of women’s disadvantages — women are less likely than men to have these work characteristics and, as a result, less likely to benefit from them … Taken together, this article finds some evidence that gender equity in earnings has improved as compared with earlier studies, but there are significant racial/ethnic differences. Furthermore, women continue to face challenges in other aspects of their careers. As a result, to achieve gender equality in STEM, more efforts are needed to improve women’s overall workforce experience, especially issues related to ranks, resources, productivity, and field representation” (p. 638).Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 LiteratureNew research on income inequality also came from Europe this year. Career-satisfaction data from Spain revealed that income plays a larger role in women engineers’ career satisfaction than in men’s (Martínez-León, Olmedo-Cifuentes, and Ramón-Llorens, 2018). In the United Kingdom, a salary survey at leading employers of chemical engineers revealed the current gender pay gap at those companies and universities (although the data was not limited to engineers). “Oil companies BP and Shell have reported that their median salary gaps for U.K. employees are significantly behind the national average, at 20.8 percent and 22.2 percent lower for women, respectively” (The Chemical Engineer, 2018, p. 16). The findings were attributed to a dearth of women in top leadership positions. This study was facilitated by new regulations in the U.K. that require companies with more than 250 employees to publish salary information by gender.

Women In Engineering: A Review Of The 2018 Literature

Approaching the wage gap from a different angle, Panther, Beddoes, and Llewellyn (2018) examined the salary negotiation process to identify ways that income inequality can be traced back to decisions made during the negotiation process. Based on a survey of more than 300 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the U.S., they presented findings from 73 complete surveys, 37 of which were from engineering faculty. They found that women were as likely as men to negotiate their salaries, but men were more likely to receive a greater increase in salary from negotiating. Furthermore, men who negotiated with men were more likely to receive a greater percent increase in salary than women who negotiated with women. Examining disciplinary differences revealed that faculty members in engineering departments were more likely than those in nonengineering departments to receive a greater percent increase in salary through negotiating; however, institutional factors, such as size, union-ization status, and degree-granting status, were not significant in decisions and outcomes related to negotiations. Although the findings presented were based on a relatively small N for survey data, the findings raised several important issues that warrant further research. First, they “raise critical questions about the dominant discourse (women don’t negotiate) that is used to explain and intervene in the wage gap. Focusing only on negotiation training for women is unlikely to mitigate the wage gap. Research and interventions will need to account for multiple ways in which gender norms and biases affect outcomes, how negotiators are perceived by administrators, administrators’ responses to negotiators, how initial salary offers affect the wage gap, interventions for men, and how the men and women administrators may be differentially empowered to give greater compensation to employees, to name just a few issues” (p. 10).

Finally, Echeverri-Carroll et al. (2018) point to a macroeconomic cause of gender wage inequality. They conducted a study of Austin, Texas, focusing on the consequences of high-tech growth in the region between 1980 and 2015. They found that employment shifts as a result of the tech boom had increased gender wage inequality. While women made gains in high-tech occupations, male gains were 1.7 times larger. Moreover, while women in the region made gains in high-skill occupations during the period under review, their gains were mainly concentrated in low-tech industry, while male gains were more concentrated in the higherpaying high-tech sector. In sum, if women have limited access to the most lucrative sectors of the economy, it is possible that this contributes to a pattern of unequal wages between men and women with similar qualifications.


In 2018, we continued to observe an upward trend in the number of papers that take an intersectional approach and the types of intersectional topics that were studied. As discussed above, one article examined the wage gap intersectionally, revealing new income patterns within and between genders and racial/ethnic groups (Tao, 2018). A second new topic explored this year was the experiences of women veterans in engineering education (Atkinson et al., 2018). Based on interviews with seven (5 white, 2 Asian) women veterans from four different universities, the researchers found that although the veterans did not believe gender was salient to their identities, family roles and caregiving were central to their educational experiences, and that their past military experiences helped them during their engineering programs.

A third new topic with an intersectional approach looked at the effects of social networks on scholarly productivity (Gaughan, Melkers, and Welch, 2018). As discussed above also, using survey data from 3,076 faculty members in civil engineering, mathematics, biology, and biochemistry departments at 487 different universities in the U.S. revealed that while professional networks improve scholarly productivity for everyone, the precise effects of those networks differ based on racial, ethnic, and gender identity. The study compared and contrasted differences in instrumental versus advice-giving professional networks, and found that men have larger instrumental networks, whereas women have larger advice-giving networks. This is a concern because the study also found that instrumental networks increase scholarly productivity, while advice networks decrease it. In other words, women’s professional networks are less likely to contribute to their scholarly productivity. White men had the highest levels of productivity out of any group. “These findings suggest that professional networking strategies of academics should emphasize the cultivation of instrumental ties over advice-giving professional networks … Our results … challenge the academy to continue to examine how the social system works to systematically advantage white men while systematically disadvantaging members of all other groups” (p. 593).

Additionally, two other papers compared men and women engineering students across and among racial/ethnic groups and found differences in degree aspirations and engineering identity. Their findings raise new questions about why majority/ white women in particular differ from other demographic groups, including minority women, in certain ways. In the first case, key findings from a survey of 7,482 engineering students in the U.S., conducted in 2012, included that white women had lower master’s degree aspirations than any other group, and that compared with white men: Latina women did not report different aspirations; African-American women were 17 percent more likely to aspire to a Ph.D., but were not significantly different on M.S. aspirations; and international women were more likely to aspire to both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees (Litzler and Lorah, 2018). Numerous variables contributing to degree aspirations across the groups are discussed. Interestingly, having good professors was positively related to aspirations for white males, white females, and international females, but was not related for other groups. This finding contradicts older research findings that positive faculty contact was more important for African-American students than for white students. Yet, it also emphasizes that good teaching is a stronger predictor of aspirations for women than for men, overall. In another case, a survey of 342 introductory chemical engineering students in the U.S. comparing identity and sense of belonging in chemical engineering found that majority (white, Asian, Middle Eastern) women differ from all other groups in that they had the lowest engineering identities and sense of belonging of any group (Godwin, Verdín, Kirn, and Satterfield, 2018).

Of particular importance this year was a literature review published in the Review of Research in Education about the intersectional experiences of black women and girls in STEM education (Ireland et al., 2018). This synthesis should serve as a starting point for others wishing to begin research on the topic and/or better understand that research landscape to date. Based on a review of 60 articles, four leading themes were identified: identity; STEM interest, confidence, and persistence; achievement, ability perceptions, and attributions; and socializers and support systems. The authors also identify three implications, or suggestions, for research and two pedagogical suggestions. Suggestions, for future research, were: Reframe and reexamine the double bind to account for actions and responses and differences among black women; integrate intersectional scholarship from STEM and psychology fields; and develop and use of more complex research methods, particularly qualitative methods. Pedagogical suggestions were: implement culturally relevant pedagogy and curriculum; and attend to students’ well-being and psychological needs.

We suggest that other systematic literature reviews covering intersectional research (articles and conference papers) more broadly would likely be useful in advancing the intersectional research landscape more quickly and in more significant and systematic ways. In particular, they could help avoid repetition of the same type of study and previous findings. Although there appears to be growing interest in intersectionality, we have yet to see systematic development of a research agenda that builds off prior findings, and literature reviews could go some way toward growth in this area.


Comparative research on women in engineering is also emerging as an important element in the literature. We have reviewed many articles in the past that pointed to similarities and/or differences between the experiences of female engineers in the U.S. and other countries, including developing countries outside of North America, Europe, and Japan. This year was no exception, as we reviewed articles showing that women in an elite Indian engineering school outperform their male counterparts, but that women remain underrepresented in STEM in India (Cheruvalath, 2018); that Spanish female students in construction engineering expect to encounter more barriers than men and are less secure and confident in their abilities than their male counterparts (Infante-Perea, Román- Onsalo, and Navarro Astor, 2018); that women in positions of STEM leadership in Singapore struggle with societal discourses that construct leadership as male (Dutta, 2018); and that, in Turkey, there is a higher percentage of women in academic science than in Western countries, in part because teaching is one of the relatively few occupations seen as “suitable” for a woman to pursue (Sağlamer et al., 2018). Single-country studies such as these continue to provide evidence that the difficulty of creating gender equity in engineering and STEM is not confined to the United States.

Comparative data on gender differences in achievement are now available through the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in member and nonmember nations intended to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science, and reading. These data make possible broad international comparisons, not simply studies of the situation in individual countries. Two studies we reviewed this year make interesting use of these data in an attempt to relate outcomes in math and science to the broader pattern of gender inequality in societies.

Rodríguez-Planas and Nollenberger (2018) analyzed PISA data to examine the effects of culture on the test scores of the children of people who migrate. They are interested in whether the culture of the country from which immigrants came has an effect on the performance of secondgeneration immigrant students. They find that second-generation girls whose parents come from more gender-equal countries gain an advantage on boys in reading and science, as well as math. Girls’ sense of self-efficacy in math appears not to be related to the degree of gender equality in parents’ countries of origin; girls whose parents come from more gender-equal countries, however, report that they like math more. Rodríguez-Planas and Nollenberger conclude that the cultures of second-generation immigrants’ parents do have an effect on students’ performances on tests of math, science, and reading.

Stoet and Geary (2018) examine data from PISA on sex differences in science literacy. They find that girls outperform boys in 19 of the countries examined, boys outperform girls in 22, while there were no differences in 26 others. Boys were more likely to have science as their stronger subject than girls, even in countries where girls outperform boys in science, and these differences were greater in countries with higher overall levels of gender equality. Boys also had a stronger sense of science self-efficacy in 39 of the 67 countries studied and expressed a stronger broad interest in science than girls in 51 countries, again particularly in gender equal countries. Generally, Stoet and Geary’s analysis reveals that, in almost every country, there are more girls capable of being successful in science than earn degrees in science. The researchers hypothesize that part of the reason for the outcomes lies in boys’ having science as their best subject, while girls often having reading as their best subject, even when they have strong science scores. Self-efficacy scores are also a factor, as boys tend to overrate their abilities in science, while girls do the reverse. Stoet and Geary conclude that their results illustrate “expectancy value” theory — people tend to pursue academic paths consistent with their sense of their personal strengths. The anomaly of gender-equal countries may result because the more liberal mores of those countries amplify the effect of individual strengths — people are encouraged to pursue subjects at which they are good. It may also reflect the lower penalty associated with foregoing a STEM path. In less-gender-equal countries, STEM may appear to be an investment in a more-secure economic future, so girls may pursue STEM degrees, and be encouraged to do so, even when it is not their strongest area or the area in which they are most confident.

These comparative studies underline the reality that increasing the numbers of women in engineering (or STEM more broadly) is not simply a matter of improving women’s test scores. Gender patterns in STEM are linked to broader cultural beliefs about gender and to overall patterns of gender equality and opportunity. Even where women outperform men in subjects related to success in engineering, their representation in the field is unlikely to increase unless it is seen as a field in which they are welcome and that is preferable to other areas of opportunity they might reasonably pursue, based on their interests and abilities.


It appeared that 2018 was going to be a breakthrough year for women in STEM when it was announced that Donna Strickland, Ph.D., had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. She was only the third woman ever to receive this distinction, and the announcement of her award brought a great deal of public attention to the issue of gender in science and engineering. The story took a different turn, however, as it developed. Many were astonished to learn that Dr. Strickland was still an associate professor, even though she was a Nobel Prize recipient well into her career at age 59. Despite her accomplishments, no Wikipedia page on her or her work existed. In fact, one article we reviewed this year noted the general absence of Wikipedia pages on female scientists (White, 2018). Dr. Strickland herself expressed surprise at the focus on her gender and said she preferred to think of herself as a scientist, not a woman scientist (McBride, 2018). When asked why she was still an associate professor, Dr. Strickland answered, “I never applied.” (Crowe, 2018).

Dr. Strickland’s puzzlement and reluctance to engage actively with the politics of gender in science illustrates a dilemma confronting those who seek to increase the numbers of women in engineering and science and promote gender equity in STEM. As we have noted in previous reviews, many female engineers and scientists share Dr. Strickland’s avoidance of gender politics and tend to see the underrepresentation of women in STEM not as a structural problem but as a matter of individual choices and abilities.

This was made clear by an important article we reviewed this year titled “I Am Not a Feminist, but … .” Seron et al. (2018) conducted research at four engineering programs in New England (MIT, Olin College of Engineering, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst). At each school, they tracked a cohort of female students over a four-year period (2003-7), asking them to complete diaries about their experiences. The results of the study showed that respondents generally were aware of their marginalization as women in a male-dominated field, but they rejected a feminist critique of the discipline, tending instead to embrace an individualist account of their own success. Respondents associated feminism with a demand for preferential treatment, something they rejected because they saw themselves as having succeeded on their own merits. The underrepresentation of women in engineering, to them, was unfortunate but natural — the only solution was better-prepared women.

Seron et al. say of their respondents: “While providing clear and strong criticisms of their experiences, they rarely recognize structural inequities, or translate these matters and their own marginality, either individually or collectively, into a commentary on the engineering profession itself.” (p. 133) Seron et al.’s conclusion that many women engineers accept the meritocratic ethos of the profession with its emphasis on individual achievement makes it seem unlikely that organized pressure to change the gender balance in engineering will arise from within. But, in the absence of such a critique, where will the impetus to change come from? As the research we reviewed this year (and in past years) has shown, women have greatly increased their performance on objective tests of math and science ability, but this has not yet translated into significant increases in the numbers of women in engineering, computer science, and related fields. The literature we have reviewed points to the existence of powerful structural and cultural barriers that continue to push against gender equity in STEM. The question is, who will push back?

About the authors

Peter Meiksins, Ph.D., is vice provost for academic programs and professor of sociology at Cleveland State University. He is co-author (with Stephen Sweet) of Changing Contours of Work: Jobs and Opportunities in the New Economy, 3rd edition (Sage, 2017), and serves as an advisory editor of Engineering Studies.

Peggy Layne, P.E., F.SWE, is assistant provost for faculty development at Virginia Tech. She holds degrees in environmental and water resources engineering and science and technology studies. Layne is the editor of Women in Engineering: Pioneers and Trailblazers and Women in Engineering: Professional Life (ASCE Press, 2009). A Fellow of the Society of Women Engineers, Layne served as SWE FY97 president.

Kacey Beddoes, Ph.D., is founding director of the Research in Sociology of Engineering group. She holds a Ph.D. in science and technology studies from Virginia Tech, along with graduate certificates in women’s and gender studies and engineering education. She serves as deputy editor of the journal Engineering Studies and as chair of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) Working Group on Gender and Diversity. In 2017, Dr. Beddoes received an NSF CAREER award for her work on gender in engineering. Further information about her research can be found at www.

Marc Lewis is a Ph.D. candidate in the higher education program at Virginia Tech, while serving as a graduate assistant on the faculty affairs team in the office of the provost. His current research interests include access to higher education and equity in the college experience for low-income students.

Adam S. Masters is a graduate student at Virginia .Tech, currently pursuing a Ph.D. in engineering education and a master’s in mechanical engineering. Masters researches and advocates for access and equity in engineering; current research explores inclusive practices with partners from diverse, liberatory makerspaces. Masters has served as a SWE counselor twice and is a recipient of the SWE Ada I. Pressman Memorial Scholarship.

Jessica Deters is a Ph.D. student in the engineering education department at Virginia Tech. Her current research interests include access, engineering identity, interdisciplinarity, and experiential learning.


The following comprise all of the noteworthy articles and conference papers found in our search of the 2018 literature on women in engineering. We selected for discussion in our review the literature that seemed to be based on the most substantial research and/or that offered interesting, fresh insights into the situation of women in engineering. For readers’ convenience, we have included the complete list of materials we consulted. Aiston, S. and J. Jung (2015). “Women Academics and Research Productivity: An International Comparison.” Gender and Education 27(3): 205–220.

Aiston, S. and J. Jung (2015). “Women Academics and Research Productivity: An International Comparison.” Gender and Education 27(3): 205–220.

Alblooshi, H.A. and L. May (2018). “Engaging Women to Study STEM Through Empowerment: A Case from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).” 2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 1.

Andrews, M.E. (2018). “A Systematic Literature Review of the Impact of Undergraduate Work Experiences on Women in Engineering.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

Atadero, R.A., C.H. Paguyo, K.E. Rambo-Hernandez, and H.L. Henderson (2018). “Building Inclusive Engineering Identities: Implications for Changing Engineering Culture.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(3): 378–398.

Atkinson, R.C., C. Mobley, C.E. Brawner, S.M. Lord, M.M. Camacho, and J.B. Main (2018). “I Never Played the ‘Girl Card’: Experiences and Identity Intersections of Women Student Veterans in Engineering.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

Baird, C.L. (2018). “Male-dominated Stem Disciplines: How Do We Make Them More Attractive to Women?” IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine 21(3): 4–14.

Banchefsky S. and B. Park (2018). “Negative Gender Ideologies and Gender-Science Stereotypes Are More Pervasive in Male-Dominated Academic Disciplines.” Social Sciences 7(2): 27.

Banerjee, M., K. Schenke, A. Lam, and J.S. Eccles (2018). “The Roles of Teachers, Classroom Experiences, and Finding Balance: A Qualitative Perspective on the Experiences and Expectations of Females Within STEM and Non-STEM Careers.” International Journal of Gender, Science & Technology 10(2): 287–307.

Barouch-Gilbert, A. (2018). “Dominican Female Undergraduate Engineering Students: Experiences and Self-Efficacy Enhancement.” Alberta Journal of Educational Research 64(3): 322–326.

Barth, J.M., H. Kim, C.A. Eno, and R.E. Guadagno (2018). “Matching Abilities to Careers for Others and Self: Do Gender Stereotypes Matter to Students in Advanced Math and Science Classes?” Sex Roles 79(1–2): 83.

Beddoes, K. (2018). “Selling Policy Short? Faculty Perspectives on the Role of Policy in Addressing Women’s Underrepresentation in Engineering Education.” Studies in Higher Education 43(9): 1561–1572.

Beddoes, K. and G. Panther (2018). “Gender and Teamwork: An Analysis of Professors’ Perspectives and Practices.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(3): 330–343.

Beddoes, K., G. Panther, and S. Ihsen (2018). “Inclusive Learning Environments.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(3): 327–329.

Bello, L.L. (2018). “A Road Map for Women in Engineering.” IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine 12(2): 77–78.

Benedict, B.S., D. Verdin, R.A. Baker, A. Godwin, and T. Milton (2018). “Uncovering Latent Diversity: Steps Towards Understanding ‘What Counts’ and ‘Who Belongs’ in Engineering Culture.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

Bian, L., S.-J. Leslie, M.C. Murphy, and A. Cimpian (2018). “Messages about Brilliance Undermine Women’s Interest in Educational and Professional Opportunities.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 76: 404–420.

Boston, J.S. and A. Cimpian (2018). “How Do We Encourage Gifted Girls to Pursue and Succeed in Science and Engineering?” Gifted Child Today 41(4): 196–207.

Cabay, M., B.L. Bernstein, M. Rivers, and N. Fabert (2018). “Chilly Climates, Balancing Acts, and Shifting Pathways: What Happens to Women in STEM Doctoral Programs.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(2): 1.

Cardador, M.T. and P.L. Hill (2018). “Career Paths in Engineering Firms.” Journal of Career Assessment 26(1): 95–110.

Chau, V.S. and C. Quire (2018). “Back to the Future of Women in Technology: Insights from Understanding the Shortage of Women in Innovation Sectors for Managing Corporate Foresight.” Technology Analysis and Strategic Management 30(6): 747–764.

Cheruvalath, R. (2018). “Engineering, Technology and Science Disciplines and Gender Difference: A Case Study among Indian Students.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(1): 99–111.

Crowe, C. (2018). “‘I Never Applied’: Nobel Prize Winner Explains Associate-Professor Status, But Critics Still See Steeper Slope for Women.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/2/2018.

da Costa, R.B. and N.P. Stromquist (2018). “Framing Engineering: The Role of College Website Descriptions.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(1): 7.

da Silva, S.M.C. and A. Lucas (2018). “The Issue of Gender and Race in Career Progress and Labor Market.” Revista de Gestão USP 25(1): 2–8.

Dekhtyar, S., D. Weber, J. Helgertz, and A. Herlitz (2018). “Sex Differences in Academic Strengths Contribute to Gender Segregation in Education and Occupation: A Longitudinal Examination of 167,776 Individuals.” Intelligence 67: 84–92.

Dell, E.M., Y. Verhoeven, J.W. Christman, and R.D. Garrick (2018). “Using Self-Determination Theory to Build Communities of Support to Aid in the Retention of Women in Engineering.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(3): 344–359.

Dika, S.L. and J.P. Martin (2018). “Bridge to Persistence: Interactions with Educators as Social Capital for Latina/o Engineering Majors.” Journal of Hispanic Higher Education 17(3): 202–215.

Dubreta, N. and L. Bulian (2018). “Engineering Job Skills in Croatian Economy: Employers’ Perspective.” Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems 16(1): 1–20.

Duckett, A. (2018). “UK Pay Gap Shows Scale of Male Senior Dominance: Findings Reinforce the Serious Issue of Lack of Diversity in Engineering.” TCE: The Chemical Engineer (923): 16–17.

Dutta, D. (2018). “Women’s Discourses of Leadership in STEM Organizations in Singapore: Negotiating Sociocultural and Organizational Norms.” Management Communication Quarterly 32(2): 233–249.

Echeverri-Carroll, E.L., M.D. Oden, D.V. Gibson, and E.A. Johnston (2018). “Unintended Consequences on Gender Diversity of High-tech Growth and Labor Market Polarization.” Research Policy 47(1): 209–217.

Ehrlinger, J., E.A. Plant, M.K. Hartwig, J.J. Vossen, C.J. Columb, and L.E. Brewer (2018). “Do Gender Differences in Perceived Prototypical Computer Scientists and Engineers Contribute to Gender Gaps in Computer Science and Engineering?” Sex Roles 78(1–2), 40–51.

Estrada, M., A. Eroy-Reveles, and J. Matsui (2018). “The Influence of Affirming Kindness and Community on Broadening Participation in STEM Career Pathways.” Social Issues and Policy Review 12(1): 258.

Fernando, D., L. Cohen, and J. Duberley (2018a). “Navigating Sexualised Visibility: A Study of British Women Engineers.” Journal of Vocational


Fernando, D., L. Cohen, and J. Duberley (2018b). “What Helps? Women Engineers’ Accounts of Staying On.” Human Resource Management Journal 28(3): 479–495.

Fink, J. (2018). “Gender Sidelining and the Problem of Unactionable Discrimination.” Stanford Law & Policy Review 29(1): 57–106.

Fletcher, A.J. and R.W. Harrington (2018). “Upskilling Student Engineers: The Role of Design in Meeting Employers’ Needs.” Education for Chemical Engineers 24: 32–42.

Freedman, G., M.C. Green, M. Flanagan, K. Fitzgerald, and G. Kaufman (2018). “The Effect of Gender on Attributions for Women’s Anxiety and Doubt in a Science Narrative.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 42(2): 178–191.

Frehill, L. (2010). “Satisfaction: Why Do People Give up on Engineering? Surveys of Men and Women Engineers Tell an Unexpected Story.” Mechanical Engineering 132(1): 38–41.

Ganley, C.M., C.E. George, J.R. Cimpian, and M.B. Makowski (2018). “Gender Equity in College Majors: Looking Beyond the STEM/Non-STEM Dichotomy for Answers Regarding Female Participation.” American Educational Research Journal 55(3): 453–487.

Garcia-Holgado, A., J. Mena, F.J. Garcia-Penalvo, and C.S. Gonzalez-Gonzalez (2018). “Inclusion of Gender Perspective in Computer Engineering Careers: Elaboration of a Questionnaire to Assess the Gender Gap in Tertiary Education.” 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: 1547.

Garr-Schultz, A. and W.L. Gardner (2018). “Strategic Self-Presentation of Women in STEM.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(2): 20.

Gaughan, M., J. Melkers, and E. Welch (2017). “Differential Social Network Effects on Scholarly Productivity: An Intersectional Analysis.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 43(3): 570–599.

Gaule, P. and M. Piacentini (2018). “An Advisor Like Me? Advisor Gender and Post-Graduate Careers in Science.” Research Policy 47(4): 805–813.

Godwin, A., D. Verdin, A. Kirn, and D. Satterfield (2018). “The Intersection of Gender and Race: Exploring Chemical Engineering Students’ Attitudes.” Chemical Engineering Education 52(2): 89–97.

Gold, A.U., P.M. Pendergast, C.J. Ormand, D.A. Budd, J.A. Stempien, K.J. Mueller, and K.A. Kravitz (2018). “Spatial Skills in Undergraduate Students — Influence of Gender, Motivation, Academic Training, and Childhood Play.” Geosphere 14(2): 668–683.

Gonzalez-Gonzalez, C.S., A. Garcia-Holgado, M. de los Angeles Martinez-Estevez, M. Gil, A. Martin-Fernandez, A. Marcos, C. Aranda, and T.S. Gershon (2018). “Gender and Engineering: Developing Actions to Encourage Women in Tech.” 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: 2082.

Green, A. and D. Sanderson (2018). “The Roots of STEM Achievement: An Analysis of Persistence and Attainment in STEM Majors.” The American Economist 63(1): 79–93.

Griffith, E.E. and N. Dasgupta (2018). “How the Demographic Composition of Academic Science and Engineering Departments Influences Workplace Culture, Faculty Experience, and Retention Risk.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(5): 71.

Gronlund, A. and C. Magnusson (2018). “Do Atypical Individuals Make Atypical Choices? Examining How Gender Patterns in Personality Relate to Occupational Choice and Wages Among Five Professions in Sweden.” Gender Issues 35(2): 153–178.

Hall, W., M. Inness, T. Schmader, A. Aday, and E. Croft (2018). “Climate Control: The Relationship Between Social Identity Threat and Cues to an Identity-Safe Culture.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 115(3): 446–467.

Haverkamp, A. (2018). “The Complexity of Nonbinary Gender Inclusion in Engineering Culture.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

He, G. and M. Zhou (2018). “Gender Difference in Early Occupational Attainment: The Roles of Study Field, Gender Norms, and Gender Attitudes.” Chinese Sociological Review 50(3): 339–366.

Henson, J. (2018). “International Women in Engineering Day.” Education in Science (274): 4–4.

Hess, S. (2018). “Women in Engineering: Academia, Defense, Industry, and Now BioTech.” IEEE Microwave Magazine 19(3): 56–57.

Hilts, A., R. Part, and M.L. Bernacki (2018). “The Roles of Social Influences on Student Competence, Relatedness, Achievement, and Retention in STEM.” Science Education 102(4): 744–770.

Hirshfield, L.J. (2018). “Equal But Not Equitable: Self-Reported Data Obscures Gendered Differences in Project Teams.” IEEE Transactions on Education 61(4): 305–311.

Holman, L., D. Stuart-Fox, and C.E. Hauser (2018). “The Gender Gap in Science: How Long Until Women Are Equally Represented?” PLOS Biology 16(4).

Infante-Perea, M., M. Roman-Onsalo, and E. Navarro-Astor (2018). “Expected Career Barriers in Building Engineering: Does Gender Matter?” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 24(1): 43–59.

Ireland, D.T., K.E. Freeman, C.E. Winston-Proctor, K.D. DeLaine, S. McDonald Lowe, and K.M. Woodson (2018). “(Un)Hidden Figures: A Synthesis of Research Examining the Intersectional Experiences of Black Women and Girls in STEM Education.” Review of Research in Education 42(1): 226–254.

Justman, M. and S.J. Mendez (2018). “Gendered Choices of STEM Subjects for Matriculation Are Not Driven by Prior Differences in Mathematical Achievement.” Economics of Education Review 64: 282–297.

Kant, J.M., S.R. Burckhard, and R.T. Meyers (2018). “Engaging High School Girls in Native American Culturally Responsive STEAM Enrichment Activities.” Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research 18(5): 15–25.

Kanter, R.M. (1977). Men and Women of the Corporation. New York: Basic Books.

Kelley, M.S. and K.K. Bryan (2018). “Gendered Perceptions of Typical Engineers Across Specialties for Engineering Majors.” Gender and Education 30(1): 22–44.

Kirton, G. and M. Robertson (2018). “Sustaining and Advancing IT Careers: Women’s Experiences in a UK-based IT Company.” Journal of Strategic Information Systems 27(2): 157–169.

Krieger-Boden, C. and A. Sorgner (2018). “Labor Market Opportunities for Women in the Digital Age.” Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal 12(28): 1–8.

Kuchynka, S.L., K. Salomon, J.K. Bosson, M. El-Hout, E. Kiebel, C. Cooperman, and R. Toomey (2018). “Hostile and Benevolent Sexism and College Women’s STEM Outcomes.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 42(1): 72–87.

Lee, H.-S., L.Y. Flores, R.L. Navarro, and H.N. Suh (2018). “Development and Validation of the Negative Outcome Expectations Scale in Engineering (NOES-E).” Journal of Career Assessment 26(1): 52–67.

Lent, R.W., H.-B. Sheu, M.J. Miller, M.E. Cusick, L.T. Penn, and N.N. Truong (2018). “Predictors of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Choice Options: A Meta-Analytic Path Analysis of the Social-Cognitive Choice Model by Gender and Race/Ethnicity.” Journal of Counseling Psychology 65(1): 17–35.

Leung, M.A. (2018). “Developing Sustainable Methods for Broadening Participation by Transforming Mainstream Science and Technology Communities Through the Normalization of Inclusion.” American Behavioral Scientist 62(5): 683–691.

Litzler, E. and J. Lorah (2018). “Degree Aspirations of Undergraduate Engineering Students at the Intersection of Race/Ethnicity and Gender.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 24(2): 165–193.

Long, Z., P.M. Buzzanell, K. Kokini, R.F. Wilson, J.C. Batra, and L.B. Anderson (2018). “Mentoring Women and Minority Faculty in Engineering: A Multidimensional Mentoring Network Approach.” Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 24(2): 121–145.

Lungwitz, V., P. Sedlmeier, and M. Schwarz (2018). “Can Gender Priming Eliminate the Effects of Stereotype Threat? The Case of Simple Dynamic Systems.” Acta Psychologica 188: 65–73.

Main, J.B. (2018). “Kanter’s Theory of Proportions: Organizational Demography and PhD Completion in Science and Engineering Departments.” Research in Higher Education 59(8): 1059–1073.

Male, S.A., A. Gardner, E. Figueroa, and D. Bennett (2018). “Investigation of Students’ Experiences of Gendered Cultures in Engineering Workplaces.” European Journal of Engineering Education 43(3): 360–377.

Margheri, L. (2018). “Inspiration and Independence.” IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine 25(1): 16–18.

Martinez-Leon, I.M., I. Olmedo-Cifuentes, and M.C. Ramon-Llorens (2018). “Work, Personal and Cultural Factors in Engineers’ Management of Their Career Satisfaction.” Journal of Engineering and Technology Management 47: 22–36.

McBride, J. (2018). “Nobel Laureate Donna Strickland: I See Myself as a Scientist, Not a Woman in Science.” The Guardian, 10/20/2018.

McGee, K. (2018). “The Influence of Gender, and Race/Ethnicity on Advancement in Information Technology (IT).” Information and Organization 28(1): 1–36.

McNeely, C.L. and K.H. Fealing (2018). “Moving the Needle, Raising Consciousness: The Science and Practice of Broadening Participation.” American Behavioral Scientist 62(5): 551–562.

Menezes, D. (2018). “Of Struggles, Truces and Persistence: Everyday Experiences of Women Engineers in Sri Lanka.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 19(2): 123–139.

Milner, A., T. King, A.D. LaMontagne, R. Bentley, and A. Kavanagh (2018). “Men’s Work, Women’s Work, and Mental Health: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship Between the Gender Composition of Occupations and Mental Health.” Social Science & Medicine 204: 16–22.

Moss-Racusin, C.A., C. Sanzari, N. Calouri, and H. Rabasco (2018). “Gender Bias Produces Gender Gaps in STEM Engagement.” Sex Roles 79(11-12): 651-670.

Nelson, R. (2018). “IMS, INWED Highlight Women’s Accomplishments in Engineering.” EE: Evaluation Engineering 57(8): 2–2.

Neuhaus, J. and A. Borowski (2018). “Self-to-Prototype Similarity as a Mediator Between Gender and Students’ Interest in Learning to Code.” International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology 10(2): 233–252.

O’Connor, P., C. O’Hagan, and B. Gray (2018). “Femininities in STEM: Outsiders Within.” Work, Employment and Society 32(2): 312–329.

Palmer, E. and B. Wilson (2018). “Models with Men and Women: Representing Gender in Dynamic Modeling of Social Systems.” Science and Engineering Ethics 24(2): 419–439.

Panther, G., K. Beddoes, and C. Llewellyn (2018). “Salary Negotiations and Gender in Engineering Education.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

Patall, E.A., R.R. Steingut, J.L. Freeman, K.A. Pituch, and A.C. Vasquez (2018). “Gender Disparities in Students’ Motivational Experiences in High School Science Classrooms.” Science Education 102(5): 951–977.

Patel, B. and J. Futcher (2018). “Strengthening the Engineering Profession of the Future.” Chemical Engineering Progress 114(2): 14–15.

Patrick, A.D., M. Borrego, and A.N. Prybutok (2018). “Predicting Persistence in Engineering Through an Engineering Identity Scale.” International Journal of Engineering Education 34(2A): 351–363.

Pattison, S.A., I. Gontan, S. Ramos-Montanez, and Moreno (2018). “Identity Negotiation Within Peer Groups During an Informal Engineering Education Program: The Central Role of Leadership-Oriented Youth.” Science Education 102(5): 978–1006.

Pedersen, D.E. and K.L. Minnotte (2018). “University Service Work in STEM Departments: Gender, Perceived Injustice, and Consequences for Faculty.” Sociological Focus 51(3): 217–237.

Peixoto, A., C.S.G. Gonzalez, R. Strachan, P. Plaza,de los Angeles Martinez, M. Blazquez, and M. Castro (2018). “Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Education: Looking Through the Gender Question.” 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: 2071.

Perez-Fabello, M.J., A. Campos, and F.M. Felisberti (2018). “Object-spatial Imagery in Fine Arts, Psychology, and Engineering.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 27: 131–138.

Petropulu, A. and S. Lord (2018). “Improving the Diversity of Faculty in Electrical and Computer Engineering (iREDEFINE ECE).” Proceedings of the IEEE 106(2): 214–218.

Pietri, E.S., I.R. Johnson, E. Ozgumus, and A.I. Young (2018). “Maybe She Is Relatable: Increasing Women’s Awareness of Gender Bias Encourages Their Identification with Women Scientists.” Psychology of Women Quarterly 42(2): 192–219.

Posselt, J., K.B. Porter, and A. Kamimura (2018). “Organizational Pathways toward Gender Equity in Doctoral Education: Chemistry and Civil Engineering Compared.” American Journal of Education 124(4): 383–410.

Rattan, A., M. Komarraju, M.M. Morrison, K. Savani,Boggs, and N. Ambady (2018). “Meta-Lay Theories of Scientific Potential Drive Underrepresented Students’ Sense of Belonging to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 115(1): 54–75.

Reardon, S.F., E.M. Fahle, D. Kalogrides, A. Podolsky, and R.C. Zarate (2018). “Gender Achievement Gaps in U.S. School Districts” (CEPA Working Paper No 18-13). Retrieved from Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis: . edu/wp18-13

Rodriguez-Planas, N. and N. Nollenberger (2018). “Let the Girls Learn! It Is Not Only About Math … It’s About Gender Social Norms.” Economics of Education Review 62: 230–253.

Roldan, W., J. Hui, and E.M. Gerber (2018). “University Makerspaces: Opportunities to Support Equitable Participation for Women in Engineering.” International Journal of Engineering Education 34(2, Part B): 751–768.

Rosser, S.V. (2018). “Breaking into the Lab: Engineering Progress for Women in Science and Technology.” International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology 10(2): 213–232.

Sagebiel, F. (2018). “Gender and Network Awareness in/for Successful Leadership in Academic Science and Engineering.” International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology 10(1): 24–51.

Sağlamer, G., M.G. Tan, P.D. Cebi, H. Cağlayan, N.K. Gumuşoğlu, B. Poyraz, E. Oztan, I. Ozdemir, Tekcan, N. Adak, and S.O. Kahraman (2018). “Gendered Patterns of Higher Education in Turkey: Advances and Challenges.” Women’s Studies International Forum 66: 33–47.

Sarathchandra, D., K. Haltinner, N. Lichtenberg, and Tracy (2018). “‘It’s Broader than Just My Work Here’: Gender Variations in Accounts of Success among Engineers in U.S. Academia.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(3): 32.

Sarseke, G. (2018). “Under-Representation of Women in Science: From Educational, Feminist and Scientific Views.” NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education 11(1): 89–101.

Sawyer, K. and A.M. Valerio (2018). “Making the Case for Male Champions for Gender Inclusiveness at Work.” Organizational Dynamics 47: 1–7.

Seron, C., S. Silbey, E. Cech, and B. Rubineau (2018). “‘I Am Not a Feminist, but. . .’: Hegemony of a Meritocratic Ideology and the Limits of Critique Among Women in Engineering.” Work and Occupations 45(2): 131–167.

Shi, Y. (2018). “The Puzzle of Missing Female Engineers: Academic Preparation, Ability Beliefs, and Preferences.” Economics of Education Review 64: 129–143.

Shuster, L.A. (2018). “Make Space for Women Engineers and Leaders.” Civil Engineering (08857024) 88(10): 16.

Singh, R., Y. Zhang, M. (Maggie) Wan, and N.A. Fouad (2018). “Why Do Women Engineers Leave the Engineering Profession? The Roles of Work-Family Conflict, Occupational Commitment, and Perceived Organizational Support.” Human Resource Management 57(4): 901–914.

Smith, K.N. and J.G. Gayles (2018). “‘Girl Power’: Gendered Academic and Workplace Experiences of College Women in Engineering.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(1): 1.

Stoet, G. and D.C. Geary (2018). “The Gender-Equality Paradox in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education.” Psychological Science (0956-7976) 29(4): 581–593.

Strachan, R., A. Peixoto, I. Emembolu, and M.T. Restivo (2018). “Women in Engineering: Addressing the Gender Gap, Exploring Trust and Our Unconscious Bias.” 2018 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference: 2088.

Swallow, K.L. (2018). “The Future of Civil Engineering Is Diverse.” Civil Engineering (08857024) 88(3): 10–10.

Tao, Y. (2018). “Earnings of Academic Scientists and Engineers: Intersectionality of Gender and Race/Ethnicity Effects.” American Behavioral Scientist 62(5): 625–644.

Vardi, M.Y. (2018). “How We Lost the Women in Computing.” Communications of the ACM 61(5): 9–9.

Varma, R. (2018). “U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce: Underrepresentation of Women and Minorities.” American Behavioral Scientist 62(5): 692–697.

Verdin, D., A. Godwin, A. Kirn, L. Benson, and G. Potvin (2018). “Engineering Women’s Attitudes and Goals in Choosing Disciplines with Above and Below Average Female Representation.” Social Sciences (2076-0760) 7(3): 44.

Von Solms, S., H. Nel, and J. Meyer (2017). “Gender Dynamics: A Case Study of Role Allocation in Engineering Education.” IEEE Access 6: 270–279.

Vootla, P., B. Bereket Fre, and A.M. Alsayedabdulrahim Mohamedrassol Alhashmi (2018). “Women in Engineering — Opportunities and Challenges in Al Gharbia Region of UAE.” 2018 Advances in Science and Engineering Technology International Conferences (ASET): 1.

Waychal, P.K., C. Henderson, and D. Collier (2018). “A Systematic Literature Review on Improving Success of Women Engineering Students in the U.S.” American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Salt Lake City.

White, A. (2018). “The History of Women in Engineering on Wikipedia.” Science Museum Group Journal (10): 1–14.

White, S.C. (2018). “African American, Hispanic, and Native American Women Earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Technology.” The Physics Teacher 56(5): 323–323.

Wiley, C. and M. Monllor-Tormos (2018). “Board Gender Diversity in the STEM&F Sectors: The Critical Mass Required to Drive Firm Performance.” Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies 25(3): 290–308.

“Women’s Initiatives Committee to Mark 20 Years with Symposium at AlChE Annual Meeting, Oct. 30.” (2018). In Chemical Engineering Progress 114: 78–80.

Wynn, A.T. and S.J. Correll (2018). “Puncturing the Pipeline: Do Technology Companies Alienate Women in Recruiting Sessions?” Social Studies of Science 48(1): 149–164.

Yang, Y. and D.W. Carroll (2018). “Gendered Microaggressions in Science, Technology, Engineering,  and Mathematics.” Leadership and Research in Education 4: 28.


Held for the first time in April 2018, the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD; pronounced “connected”) conference brought together nearly 400 people to hear “97 presentations … [on] topics rang[ing] from issues facing transfer students of color, to connecting social justice and STEM integration.” CoNECD was designed to “provide a forum for exploring current research and practices to enhance diversity and inclusion of all underrepresented populations in the engineering and computing professions including gender identity and expression, race and ethnicity, disability, veterans, LGBTQ+, 1st generation and socio-economic status.”

CoNECD accepted both “peer-reviewed papers and peer-reviewed presentations” providing engagement opportunities for researchers and practitioners. Organizers noted, “CoNECD values all efforts to broaden participation in engineering and computing, recognizing that both research and implementation are vital to achieving our goals.” The conference was co-hosted by the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates, the Women in Engineering ProActive Network, and the Minorities in Engineering and Women in Engineering divisions of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Plans are underway to hold this conference annually. (ASEE Education and Career Development, 2018)

Achenbach, G., L.J. Barker, and L. Thompson (2018). “A Systemic Approach to Recruiting and Retaining Women in Undergraduate Computing.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Aljoe, N.N., S. Blake-Beard, M.C. Deramo, B.J. Guthrie, K. Kenney, C.B. Muller, J. Rinehart, R. Sanford, and S. Vican (2018). “Improving Institutional Commitment for the Success of Academic Women of Color Through Focused Conferences.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Allen, M.E., S.L. Dika, B. Tempest, and M.A. Pando (2018). “Interactions with Faculty and Engineering Self-efficacy Among Underrepresented Engineering Persisters.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Anazco, M.I.S., S. Zurn-Birkhimer, and R.A. Baker (2018). “Non-technical Conferences: Impact on Female Engineering Students.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Atwood, S.A., R. McCann, A. Armstrong, and B.S. Mattes (2018). “Social Enterprise Model for a Multi-Institutional Mentoring Network for Women in STEM.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Backer, P.R., J. Green, B.J. Matlen, and C. Kato (2018). “Impact of First-Year Initiatives on Retention of Students: Are There Differences in Retention of Students by Ethnicity and Gender?” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Berry, C.A. and J. Fenn (2018). “STEM Success Stories: Strategies for Women and Minorities to Thrive, Not Just Survive, in Engineering.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Berry, T.S. (2018). “A Leadership Collaborative Model: Fostering Community Through Diverse Student Organization Collaborations.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Bothwell, M.K., P. Akkaraju, J. McGuire, T.T. Tran, and A. Zigler (2018). “Advancing the College of Engineering Strategic Goal of Becoming a National Model of Inclusivity and Collaboration.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Bothwell, M.K., K. Furman, Q.-L. Driskill, R.L. Warner, S.M. Shaw, and H.T. Ozkan-Haller (2018). “Empowering Faculty and Administrators to Reimagine a Socially Just Institution through Use of Critical Pedagogies.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and  Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Bottomley, L. (2018). “Enhancing Diversity through Explicitly Designed Engineering Outreach.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Boyd-Sinkler, K., A.L. Hermundstad, M.S. Artiles, C.M.L. Phillips, B.D. Lutz, and W.C. Lee (2018). “Student Conceptualizations about Diversity: ‘How Would You Describe the Diversity in Engineering at Your Institution?’” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Cutright, T.J., R.K. Willits, L.T. Coats, L.N. Williams, and D.F. Rodrigues (2018). “Professional Preparation of Underrepresented Minority Ph.D.’s and Postdocs for a Career in Engineering Academia.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Davis, R.E., S.K. Wilson, K. Gonzalez, J. Yarp, M.Z. Sinada, and N.K. Turner-Bandele (2018). “Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering: A Collaboration with the Students.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Dison, A.M. (2018). “Graduates Linked with Undergraduates in Engineering (GLUE).” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Doty, H. and L.P. Cook (2018). “The Women in Engineering Graduate Student Steering Committee at the University of Delaware.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Frye, M., C. Wang, S.C. Nair, and Y.C. Burns (2018). “MiniGEMS STEAM and Programming Camp for Middle School Girls.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Garcia, A., M.S. Ross, Z. Hazari, M.A. Weiss, T. Solis, and M. Taheri (2018). “Examining the Computing Identity of High-Achieving Underserved Computing Students on the Basis of Gender, Field, and Year in School.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Godbole, A., B. Miller, M.K. Bothwell, D. Montfort, and S.C. Davis (2018). “Engineering Students’ Perceptions of Belonging through the Lens of Social Identity.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Grant, C.S., B.E. Smith, J.S. Ivy, J.T. DeCuir-Gunby, C. Carrigan, and S.K. Tanguay (2018). “ADVANCE-ENG Success at the Intersection of Formal and Informal Networks for Women of Color (WOC) Engineering Faculty.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Handley, J. and E.B. Moje (2018). “‘What the Problem Really Was…’: A Preliminary Exploration of Youth Problem Definition in Everyday Contexts.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Hira, A., C. Beebe, J. Holly Jr., K.R. Maxey, and M.M. Hynes (2018). “Researching Diversity from Multiple, Diverse Perspectives.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Holloman, T.K., W.C. Lee, J.S. London, A.B. Halkiyo, Jew, and B.A. Watford (2018). “A Historical and Policy Perspective on Broadening Participation in STEM: Insights from National Reports (1974-2016).” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Kiehlbaugh, K. and P. Blowers (2018). “Why Women Persist: Evaluating the Impact of Classroombased Interventions.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Knobloch, C.L. (2018) “Penn State Engineering Mentoring for Internship Excellence (EMIX): ‘Generating Strategic Corporate Partnerships to Catalyze Professional Success for Women Engineers.’” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Kurban, E.R. and P.E. Smith (2018). “Exploring the Incorporation of Diversity and Inclusion Curriculum in Engineering Living and Learning Community Programs: A Work in Progress.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Lape, N.K., C. Clark, L. Bassman, M. Spencer, A. Lee, R.E. Spjut, A.M. Dato, L.P. Blake, and T.J. Tsai (2018). “Erasing a Gender Gap in Performance in a Multidisciplinary Introductory Engineering Course.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Lawal, I.O. (2018). “Recruitment of Inclusive Champions: Diversifying Engineering Faculty.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Malik, A., A. Johri, R. Handa, H. Karbasian, and Purohit (2018). “#ILookLikeAnEngineer: Using Social Media-Based Hashtag Activism Campaigns as a Lens to Better Understand Engineering Diversity Issues.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Manning-Ouellette, A., L.L.G. Chrystal, and A. Parrott (2018). “A WiSE Approach: Examining how Service Learning Impacts First-year Women in STEM.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Mariano, N., A. Miguel, M. Rempe, and J.M. Sloughter (2018). “Quantitative Analysis of Barriers to Completion of Engineering Degrees for Female identifying and Underrepresented Minority Students.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

McKenna, A.F., M. Dalal, I. Anderson, and T.N.Y. Ta (2018). “Insights on Diversity and Inclusion from Reflective Experiences of Distinct Pathways to and through Engineering Education.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Myers, B.A., E. Knaphus-Soran, D.C. Llewellyn, A. Delaney, S. Cunningham, P. Cosman, T.D. Ennis, K.C. Tetrick, E.A. Riskin, J. Callahan, and K. Pitts (2018). “Redshirt in Engineering: A Model for Improving Equity and Inclusion.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Nieto, N. (2018). “Technology and Gendered Spaces: Examining Equity and Access.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Oka, L.G. and K. Stillmaker (2018). “The Role of Female Engineering Faculty in Female Student Success and Belonging: A Case Study at California State University, Fresno.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Rambo-Hernandez, K.E., A. Roy, M.L. Morris, R.A.M. Hensel, J.C. Schwartz, R.A. Atadero, and Paguyo (2018). “Using Interactive Theater to Promote Inclusive Behaviors in Teams for First-year Engineering Students: A Sustainable Approach.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Rees, P.L. and D.J. McLaughlin (2018). “Peer Leadership and Mentoring in Engineering: A Potential Path for Changing Organizational Culture to Positively Impact Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Ridgeway, M.L., E.O. McGee, D.E. Naphan-Kingery, and A.J. Brockman (2018). “Black Engineering and Computing Doctoral Students’ Peer Interaction that Foster Racial Isolation.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Riley, D.M. (2018). “Refuse, Refute, Resist: Alt-Right Attacks on Engineering and STEM Education Diversity Scholarship” Presented at the CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Rincon, R. (2018). “A Descriptive Study of Community College Transfers in Engineering and Computer Science in Texas.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Robinson, J., M. Nieswandt, and E. McEneaney (2018). “Motivation and Gender Dynamics in High School Engineering Groups.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Rodriguez, S., M. Sissel, R. Estes, and E. Doran (2018). “Engineering Identity for Latina Undergraduate Students: Exploring Development and Intersecting Identities.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Rucks, M. and M.K. Orr (2018). “The WISER Experience: Supports and Opportunities for Improvement Perceived by Female Engineering Students in a Living-learning Community.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Secules, S., N.W. Sochacka, and J. Walther (2018). “New Directions from Theory: Implications for Diversity Support from the Theories of Intersectionality and Liberatory Pedagogy.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Sontgerath, S. and R.N. Meadows (2018). “A Comparison of Changes in Science Interest and Identity and 21st Century Learning Skills in a Mixedgender and Single-gender Robotics Program for Elementary/Middle School Youth.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Stavridis, O.M., A.T. Ulstad, and L.A. Barclay (2018). “Work in Progress: Will Looking ‘Over the Fence’ of Academic Challenges to a Future as a Successful Engineer Support the Persistence WiE Students Need to Succeed?” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Stoddard, E. (Lisa) and G. Pfeifer (2018). “Working Toward More Equitable Team Dynamics: Mapping Student Assets to Minimize Stereotyping and Task Assignment Bias.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Stonewall, J., M. Dorneich, C. Dorius, and J. Rongerude. (2018). “A Review of Bias in Peer Assessment.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Taylor, A.R., K. Boyd-Sinkler, S. Arnold-Christian, W.C. Lee, B.A. Watford, C. Matheis, and K. Lester (2018). “Embedding Cross-cultural Communication Awareness and Skills Training in a Livinglearning Community for First-year Undergraduate Engineering Students.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Thomas, N. and R. Erdei (2018). “Stemming Stereotype Threat: Recruitment, Retention, and Degree Attainment in STEM Fields for Undergraduates from Underrepresented Backgrounds.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Trenshaw, K.F. (2018). “Half as Likely: The Underrepresentation of LGBTQ+ Students in Engineering.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va. Vican, S. (2018). “Using Data to Drive Institutional Change: University of Delaware ADVANCE Institute Research on Faculty Women of Color.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Walden, S.E., D.A. Trytten, R.L. Shehab, and C.E. Foor (2018). “Critiquing the ‘Underrepresented Minorities’ Label.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Weston, T.J., W. DuBow, and A. Kaminsky (2018). “Women in Computing and Engineering: Differences between Persisters and Nonpersisters.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Winiecki, D., N. Salzman, T. Andersen, A. Jain, and Xu (2018). “Infusing Inclusion, Diversity, and Social Justice into the Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum at Boise State University.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Yoon, I. (2018). “Promoting Inclusivity in Computing (PINC) via Computing Application Minor.” Presented at the 2018 CoNECD – The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Va.

Author(s) Information

  • Women in Engineering: A Review of the 2018 Literature STEM

    SWE Blog

    SWE Blog provides up-to-date information and news about the Society and how our members are making a difference every day. You’ll find stories about SWE members, engineering, technology, and other STEM-related topics.