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SWE Magazine Publishes 2023 Engineering Literature Review

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has conducted this annual research summary for 20 years.
SWE Magazine Publishes 2023 Engineering Literature Review

A review of 372 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings that relate to girls and women in engineering and STEM found that systemic injustices were still prevalent and negatively impact many women seeking to make a contribution to the profession.

The findings are part of an annual issue of the SWE Magazine review of published research on women in engineering and STEM. You can read the literature review online.

The issue was edited by co-authored by Ari Hock, research assistant at the University of Washington (UW) Center for Evaluation & Research for STEM Equity (CERSE) and a Ph.D. candidate in the UW College of Education; Erin Carll, Ph.D., associate director of CERSE, where she conducts program evaluation and research into efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM; and Aryaa Rajouria, research assistant at CERSE and a Ph.D. student in the UW Department of Sociology.

The literature review focuses on eight main areas:

  • Gender and intersectionality
  • Damage-based vs. desire-based research
  • Individual-level and systems-level factors
  • International perspectives
  • Stereotypes and biases
  • Support networks, mentors, and role models
  • Recruitment
  • Retention and advancement

The authors noted that while the 2022 literature review included significant research on how COVID-19 pandemic affected women in the engineering workforce, the 2023 review featured significantly fewer studies on COVID-19.

“This year’s literature review included over 370 peer-reviewed articles and publications ― the highest we’ve analyzed since SWE started conducting this annual review more than 20 years ago,” said Roberta Rincon, director of research and impact for SWE. “While we have seen many changes over the years in the issues of interest among researchers, gender equity in STEM continues to be a complex field of study. Covering barriers to the recruitment and retention of diverse STEM talent in education and career, from individual struggles to systemic challenges, and considering intersecting identities and international perspectives, our review highlights the multifaceted journey women across the globe.”

Read the 2023 Literature Review

About SWE Magazine

SWE Magazine, the magazine of the Society of Women Engineers, is published five times per year. Reaching more than 40,000 members, stakeholders, and supporters, the magazine provides authoritative information on women’s status and challenges in engineering.

SWE Magazine celebrates the accomplishments of women engineers past and present; explores career development topics; examines broad, cross-disciplinary technical themes; and discusses public policy issues important to women in engineering and STEM.


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