Career Paths in Engineering Firms: Gendered Patterns and Implications

Maria Teresa Cardador, Patrick L. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much attention has been paid to explaining the gender disparity in engineering. While significant research examines barriers to professional entry and retention among female engineers, there is a surprising lack of research on the nature of women’s career paths within the profession. In a sample of 274 industry engineers from multiple engineering subfields and firms, we examined the relationship between gender and career path and tested the implications of career path choice for five outcomes consequential to engineers’ experience of their profession and work. We also tested for gender differences in the effects of career path on these outcomes. Our findings show gendered career paths in engineering firms and suggest that some career paths may put women (but not men) at greater risk of professional attrition. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Career Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • engineering career paths
  • engineers
  • female engineers
  • gendered career paths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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