Beyond Holland's theory: Examining women industrial engineers' career persistence intent using CASI

by Wilson-Styles, Carmela R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 145 pages; 3544063


Despite efforts from communities, college and university, and engineering schools implementing programs to attract, retain, and graduate women engineers, the number of graduating women engineers, still significantly lower than men, has been declining since 2005. As schools progressively attract, recruit, enroll, and graduate more women engineers, organizations will need to employ strategies such as tele-working, accommodations for nursing mothers, job sharing, and career/ skills development training, to retain women engineers, particularly working mothers and those who have temporarily left the workforce. The incorporation of retention strategies, such as these, is the key to increasing the number of women intending to persist in the field.

This study investigated the relationship between nine independent variables and career persistence intent of 46 women engineers from four LinkedIn engineering professional organizations. These nine constructs (career worries (CW), dominant style (DS), family commitment (FC), geographical barriers (GB), interpersonal abuse (IA), job satisfaction (JS), skill development (SD), risk-taking style (RTS), and work involvement (WI)), representing internal and external factors, were measured by the Career Attitudes and Strategies Inventory. To answer the research questions and hypotheses, descriptive statistics, correlational analysis, and discriminant function analysis were conducted. The results of the study showed seven of the internal and external career factors (JS, SD, DS, CW, FC, IA, and RTS) were positively and negatively correlated to career persistence intent of the women engineers. The study also highlighted the five strongest predictors (JS, FC, SD, DS, and CW) of career persistence and attrition intent of the women engineers.

AdviserCyd Strickland
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsWomen's studies; Management; Industrial engineering
Publication Number3544063

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