Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Women Scientists and Engineers in European Companies: Putting Motherhood under the Microscope

an article by Clem Herman, Suzan Lewis and Anne Laure Humbert (Open University, Milton Keynes, UK) published in Gender, Work & Organization Volume 20 Issue 5 (September 2013)


Unlike the rise in women’s participation in other professional sectors, women still form a minority of professional scientists and engineers, especially in multinational companies. Moreover, embedded gendered cultures in the science, engineering and technology (SET) sectors continue to affect the career progression of professional women, with few women reaching senior management positions and many leaving and failing to return.

This article examines the experiences of women SET professionals in three European companies based in France, The Netherlands and Italy and illustrates how the careers of SET professionals in industry are shaped not only by corporate cultures and practices but also by the specific national contexts in which they live and work.

In particular, we look at how motherhood rather than gender alone is constructed as problematic and propose a model of strategies that women adopt in doing motherhood and SET, including assimilation, cul-de-sac, breaking the mould and lying low.

No comments: