Understanding the Role of Gender and Race in Work Decisions and Performance of Professional Engineers

A Collaborative Research Program

Nadya Fouad, Ph.D., Department of Educational Psychology
Romila Singh, Ph.D., Lubar School of Business
Edward Levitas, Ph.D., Lubar School of Business 

Engineering remains one of the most sex segregated professions in the United States despite billions of dollars and decades of research invested. A report by the Council on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (CoSTEM) commissioned under the Obama Administration found the $3.4 billion dollars has been spent on STEM education. The report also found that around a tenth of those resources ($13.2 million) directly funded programs aimed at women and girls in STEM education; specifically to educational programs promoting math and science interests for girls and women and introducing engineering as a career. As a result of this intervention, more women are completing college degrees in engineering. However, many of these women do not enter the field or stay in the field past five years (NSF, 2011; Singh et al., 2013) and around half of women who are trained as engineers end up leaving the field (Society of Women Engineers, 2007). Our research program is committed to understanding the psychological and environmental factors that contribute to women’s decisions to enter and persist in the field of engineering and the performance of diverse teams in the context of engineering.  We have obtained three grants funded by the National Science Foundation. More information about each of our NSF-grant funded studies can be found by selecting the tabs above. Links to papers that we have published can be found by selecting the publications tab above.