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dc.contributor.authorMcCann, Cindy
dc.description.abstractThe stereotypical roles of women and men in engineering management remain what they were first seen to be with the Gilbreths in the 1920’s: men focus on the mechanics while women tend to the human element. This study attempts to find out if the stereotype is justified.

In the 1980’s articles were written to provide advice for managing the sole woman in the engineering department. In the 1990’s, studies showed increases in the number of women in engineering, but did not offer much hope that the culture of project management would remain anything but masculine. As recently as 2005, women and men in business were still contrasted by their communication styles. Men were the assertive, logical, structured types while women, not specifically engineers, were cooperative, sensing, adaptable beings.

Until women in engineering management achieve critical mass they will continue to have to work within the dominant, masculine culture for effectiveness. This study, conducted in a civil engineering office with women present in numbers much higher than industry average, was a survey of gender specifics in both the manager and employee side of the relationship. The office provides the opportunity to study future demographics today.

With their presence increasing in number, the study found improved acceptance of women in engineering and management, but not universal and unconditional. Additionally, the study found women and men sticking mostly with their traditional gender roles, with some feminization of the men in engineering management. Like women, some men were looking for socialization and personal relationships at work. Though men, the most admired managers displayed empathy and communication skills found more commonly in women. A future study will have to address the possibility of women engineering managers at critical mass developing their own managerial styles as this study was conducted too early for the demographics to reveal any conclusions.
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dc.titleEngineering Management and Gender
kusw.oapolicyThis item does not meet KU Open Access policy criteria.

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