American Society of Civil Engineers

Women in Engineering: Toward Barrier-Free Work Environment

by Marilyn Maskell-Pretz, (Asst. to the Dean, Coll. of Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO 80523) and Willie E. Hopkins, (Assoc. Prof., Coll. of Business, Dept. of Mgmt., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 1, January/February 1997, pp. 32-37, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: In this paper, the writers first identify and discuss some of the professional (e.g., lack of advancement, mentoring, and training opportunities) and psychological (e.g., issues related to balancing family/work expectations and sexual discrimination/harassment) barriers that affect the progress and well-being of women engineers in the workplace. The writers then explore operational and companywide strategies for removing these barriers. Corporate culture change in engineering-oriented organizations is viewed by the writers as a companywide strategy that will effectively remove these barriers. An argument set forth by the writers is that the removal of these barriers will, ultimately, result in organizations gaining a competitive advantage in today’s global markets. Finally, by way of a conceptual model, the writers set forth specific recommendations for implementing corporate culture change.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Working conditions
Organizational policy
Professional development