Is a Managerial Path Good for Women in Engineering?

A recent article examines a paradox: promoting women in engineering organizations can produce more gender disparity, rather than

Image credit: Max Pixel/CC0
Image credit: Max Pixel/CC0

alleviating the situation.

Research by M. Teresa Cardador of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, revealed that more women move into managerial roles than stay in technical occupations. Yet the profession has an “inverted role hierarchy”: technical expertise is valued more than managerial ability. This is the opposite of the situation in other businesses. The result is, according to Cardador, “interoccupational segregation.”

Among the negative consequences of this “segregation” is an increased chance of women leaving the profession altogether—nullifying engineering firms’ efforts to recruit and retain women engineers. 

Read the article, Women in Engineering: Unintended Consequences of Promotion, at IEEE GlobalSpec's site.