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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(1), 11;

“Girl Power”: Gendered Academic and Workplace Experiences of College Women in Engineering

Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development, College of Education, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Male-Dominated Domains)
Full-Text   |   PDF [270 KB, uploaded 11 January 2018]


Women in engineering continue to experience bias in the field. This constructivist case study uses feminist theory to examine the gendered experiences of graduating senior women engineering students in academic and workplace environments. In each setting we identified three subthemes; in academia: “I don’t think my education is any different,” “Being underestimated constantly,” and “You don’t want to be seen as getting advantages”; in the workplace: “Oh, you’re a girl,” “There’s a lot of sexism,” and Benefits of “girl power.” Overall, findings indicate that women experience bias in both settings, often via implicit bias in academia and with instances of implicit bias, sexism, and sexual harassment occurring even more often in the workplace through internship experiences. The article concludes with suggestions for practice, future research, and strategies to create supportive academic and workplace experiences and environments for women engineers. View Full-Text
Keywords: women; engineering; STEM; undergraduate; academia; work; internships; bias; sexism women; engineering; STEM; undergraduate; academia; work; internships; bias; sexism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Smith, K.N.; Gayles, J.G. “Girl Power”: Gendered Academic and Workplace Experiences of College Women in Engineering. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 11.

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