Is it different across the pond? exploring gendered experiences in civil engineering in the UK and USA

Fred Sherratt, Vikki Edmondson, Abi Brierley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The construction industry continues to struggle to attract women into civil engineering. Despite drives for equality in both the UK and the US, women remain underrepresented on university courses, and thus also in the field. Increased understandings of this can inform and support positive change. A comparative study of the experiences of both male and female engineers at different stages of their careers in the UK and USA was undertaken. A purposive sample was selected which included students, graduates and full-time engineers, with one male and one female participant at each experiential level. Interviews with n=10 UK and n=10 US engineers were held via Zoom, transcribed and analyzed to reveal the dominant themes therein. Findings reveal gendered differences in how the participants position themselves within the industry. Familiar problems also have long shadows; entry to the industry, general awareness and perceptions of construction, as well challenges of bias, sexism and stereotypes all endure. This study updates understandings of why and how women continue to be underrepresented in civil engineering and using evidence from both countries makes suggestions to enhance gender equality in this space.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 May 2023
EventThe 39th Annual ARCOM Conference 2023 : Constructing for the Future - University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sept 20236 Sept 2023


ConferenceThe 39th Annual ARCOM Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleARCOM
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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