Women in the developed world expect to work in the labour force over the course of their lives. On finishing school more girls are entering universities and undertaking professional training for careers than ever before. Males and females enter many high status professions in roughly equal numbers. However, engineering stands out as a profession that remains obstinately male dominated. Despite efforts to change, little progress has been made in attracting and retaining women in engineering.
This book analyses the outcomes of a decade-long investigation into this phenomenon, framed by two questions: Why are there so few women in engineering? And why is this so difficult to change? The study includes data from two major surveys, accounts from female engineers in a range of locations and engineering fields, and case studies of three large engineering corporations. The authors explore the history and politics of several organisations related to women in engineering, and conclude with an analysis of a range of campaigns that have been waged to address the issue of women’s minority status in engineering.
Challenging Knowledge, Sex and Power will be of great interest to students of feminist economics, and is also relevant to researchers in women’s studies and engineering education.
Table of Contents
1. Why So Few Women Engineers? 2. Collaborative Research and Analytic Strategies 3. Working as a Woman Engineer 4. The Politics of Knowledge and Ignorance in Workplace Cultures 5. Women Challenging Engineering through Associations and Networks 6. Campaigns to Challenge Gender and Power in Engineering 7. Conclusions
Julie E. Mills is Professor of Engineering Education and Head of Civil Engineering at the University of South Australia.
Suzanne Franzway is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of South Australia.
Judith Gill is Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at the University of South Australia.
Rhonda Sharp is Adjunct Professor of Economics in the Hawke Research Institute at the University of South Australia.