Gender Dynamics Cause Women To Leave Engineering

June 27, 2016
A new MIT study investigates why women who go to college intending to become engineers stay in the profession less often than men.

Women who attend college with the intention of becoming engineers stay in the field less often than men, according to an article from Science Daily, and a new study from MIT offers one explanation for their earlier exits. The study suggests that women tend to experience negative group dynamics during team-based work projects and these interactions make the profession less appealing.

Gender does indeed seem to make the difference, says a co-author of the study.  According to the article, women often feel marginalized, especially during internships, other summer work opportunities or team-based educational activities. Gender dynamics at play in these situations reportedly lead to more challenging work for men while women tend to be tapped for routine tasks or simple managerial duties. Overall, according to the article, about 20% of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women, but only 13% of the engineering workforce is female.

Read the entire article here.

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