Who Says Female Civil Engineers Cannot be happy and Stay in a Gendered Profession?

Erhan Atay, Serkan Bayraktaroglu, Yin Teng Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have limited knowledge of the factors involved in retaining women construction engineers in their organization and profession. This study aims to understand the career challenges and satisfaction factors of female civil engineers in a developing Muslim country.This paper investigates the nature of the work of women civil engineers in Turkey by drawing on data from 19 interviews with civil engineers in eight firms. We used Acker's (1990) gendered organizations theory along with Social Exchange Theory to understand female civil engineers' career experiences. The gendered organization and culturally created gender roles appear to put women at a disadvantage, while paternalism and soft skills create an advantage for females, which affects their professional and individual satisfaction positively. This study shows that, unlike the results in the west, female engineers are more satisfied in a developing country. The study has substantial implications for human resource management in professional construction firms in developing nations, with particular reference to job design, work organization, career support, and work-life balance initiatives. The creation of support systems for the protection of women in this sector and the success of their careers has a strategic prospect for the future of the construction sector, especially in developing countries. This study contributes to the literature on gender, employment and career development for women in the engineering profession in different parts of the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Cite this