Why don't more women enter the male-dominated profession of engineering? Some observers have speculated it may be due to the difficulties of balancing a demanding career with family life. Others have suggested that women may not rate their own technical skills highly enough.
However, a recent paper co-authored by MIT social scientist Susan Silbey, based on a four-year study of engineering students at four schools, offers a different story.
Read more from the MIT News Office.
This research has also been covered here:
- Huffington Post (Oct. 26, 2011): "The Real Cost of Low Confidence".
- Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct. 25, 2011): "Lack of Confidence as Professionals Spurs Women to Leave Engineering, Study Finds".
- California Watch (Oct. 25, 2011): "Female engineering majors struggle with confidence issues".
- Technology Review (Oct. 2005): "An engineering experiment: study examines experiences of engineering students".
- Engineering Studies (July 2009): Susan S. Silbey and Carroll Seron, "The Dialectic Between Expert Knowledge and Professional Discretion: Accredidation, Social Control and the Limits of Instrumental Logic".
- American Sociological Review (Sept. 2011): Erin Cech, Brian Rubineau, Susan Silbey and Caroll Seron, "Professional Role Confidence and Gendered Persistence in Engineering".