OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 11

NEWS

Do Younger Women in Engineering have it Easier?
Some preliminary findings from the 2016-2017 "Changing Workplaces" Survey
Tracey L. Adams, PhD, Department of Sociology, Western University
Recently, efforts have been made to recruit more women into
engineering. Family-friendly workplace policies also appear
to be on the rise. We wondered whether these changes meant
that younger women in engineering had more positive experiences of working than those who entered the field years ago.
To answer this question, we analysed data from a 2016-2017
survey of engineers and engineering graduates.
The survey was conducted by researchers at Western University and the University of Toronto, in partnership with
OSPE. Follow-up interviews were subsequently conducted in
the summer of 2017 with 53 participants. The survey explored
a variety of topics - ranging from skill use to workplace change
and discrimination to gender equality.
Our analysis revealed five important differences across
gender and age:
1. As Table 1 shows, women in the youngest age cohort are
less likely than other women, and all men, to be in permanent jobs. They are over-represented in temporary positions.
Other survey findings show that younger women are less
likely to be in jobs requiring an engineering degree.
35 & under

36-50

51+

Total

Women - Permanent

75.4

100

89

84.3

Women - Temporary

24.6

0

11

15.7

Men - Permanent

89

90

83.8

86.9

Men - Temporary

11

10

16.2

13.1

Table 1: Percentage of Engineering Graduates and Engineers in
Permanent and Temporary Jobs by Gender and Age Cohort

2. As Table 2 illustrates, women were much more likely to
report being discriminated against in the last year.
3. There is also some evidence that attitudes and experiences
with respect to discrimination differ slightly among women
by age, with younger women aged 35 and under reporting
more discrimination than older women and all men.
4. Most women, regardless of age, agreed that men get more
credit for their contributions and skills than women; however, younger women are least likely to disagree with this
statement. In contrast, about one-third of women between
36 and 50 disagree.
5. In comparison to all the other age cohorts, younger women
were more likely to agree that men make more money even
for similar work.

35 and
under

36 to
50

51 and
older

Total

Women

60.9%

37.5%

42.9%

51.2%

Men

9.1%

13.5%

12.6%

12.0%

Women

67.9%

60.7%

68.5%

66.0%

Men

16.1%

11.5%

10.5%

12.4%

Women

85.8%

80.0%

68.4%

80.7%

Men

18.6%

25.0%

26.9%

24.0%

Statement
Discriminated
against in last
year (% saying
yes)
Men get more
credit for their
contributions
and skills than
do women.
(% agree)
Men make
more money
than women
even for similar work.
(% agree)

Table 2: Experiences of Discrimination by Gender Age Cohort

Summary
Overall, study findings highlight the challenges faced by
younger women integrating into the engineering labour
market after graduation. Younger women entering the workforce appear to be more vulnerable to, or more cognizant of,
inequalities than other women. Younger women are also the
least likely to hold permanent jobs that requires an engineering
degree.
The interviews supported the survey findings. Younger
women reported being talked down to, having colleagues and
clients refuse to acknowledge their skills and training, being
asked to fill in for the receptionist, being ignored and harassed.
Given that the early years in one's career are crucial for
future success and for gaining work experience needed to
obtain a P.Eng., these findings have implications for the retention of young women in the engineering profession moving
forward.
Experienced women engineers shared similar stories, but
many had overcome such problems by changing jobs. Over
time, they had been able to find work environments that were
less hostile and provided more opportunities for fulfilling
work. Of course, it may also be the case that some women who
faced difficulties eventually ended up leaving the profession.
While it may be true that engineering workplaces are more
welcoming of women than in the past, experiences of discrimination and bias remain high. Moreover, it does not appear that
younger women have it easier.
June 2018

THE VOICE

11



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of OSPE - The Voice - June 2018

Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover1
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover2
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Table of Contents
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 4
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 5
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 6
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 7
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 8
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 9
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 10
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 11
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 12
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 13
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 14
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 15
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 16
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 17
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 18
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 19
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 20
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 21
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 22
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 23
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 24
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 25
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 26
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 27
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 28
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 29
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 30
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 31
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 32
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 33
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 34
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 35
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 36
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 37
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - 38
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover3
OSPE - The Voice - June 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2021summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2020Winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/covid_19_Provincial
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/covid_19_Federal
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2020Fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2020spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2019May
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2019March
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2018dec
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2018Sept
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2018june
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_March2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_december2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_September2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_June2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_March2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_september2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_june2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_march2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_december2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2013summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/ospe/thevoice_2012fall
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com