OA research in the news: Why women leave engineering


photo by Candace. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND

Studies show that engineering is the most gender-segregated of all science and technology fields, from college classes to the workplace. Explanations for this tend to focus on a lack of women mentors and career demands that are in conflict with family life.

MIT sociologist and anthropologist Susan Silbey and colleagues offer some additional explanations in a recently published study: Women engineering students can feel marginalized because of “everyday sexism” encountered during internships or team-based educational activities. In turn, women “develop less confidence that they will ‘fit’ into the culture of engineering,” the researchers write in their paper.

The researchers asked more than 40 undergraduate engineering students from four schools (including MIT) to keep monthly diaries over four years of study, and they and also conducted interviews.

Explore Professor Silbey’s research in the Open Access Articles collection in DSpace@MIT, where it is openly accessible to the world.

Since the MIT faculty established their Open Access Policy in March 2009 they have made thousands of research papers freely available to the world via DSpace@MIT. To highlight that research, we’re offering a series of posts that link news stories about scholars’ work to their open access papers in DSpace.