微妙的壓力因素讓女性想要離開工程學(英文)

2018.12.12   M. Teresa Cardador、Brianna Caza|Harvard Business Review|2018.11.23
刊載於專欄 好文

我們的研究表明,許多女性工程師都對那些並非純粹技術性的任務感到滿意。 實際上,除了技術技能之外,我們談過的許多女性工程師都能享受並勝任有關人事、溝通和組織技能的任務。但對於男性工程師而言,他們認為「女同事經常被工作中『不太有價值』的任務所吸引」。

問題是關係管理和多任務處理在工程中的重要性較低。

當女性不成比例地擔任不那麼珍貴或不受歡迎的角色時,它可能會強化對女性工程師比較不專業的刻板印象,使她們感覺不那麼受人尊重,並產生一種她們不是「真正的工程師」的錯覺。幾十年的社會心理學研究表明,那種感覺就像你和你的工作沒有被你組織中的其他人所重視,會產生長期和持久的心理壓力。這種壓力可能會挑戰女性工程師應對其他壓力因素的能力,例如高工作要求和工作場所的持續偏見,導致她們倦怠並考慮退出。

原文標題:The Subtle Stressors Making Women Want to Leave Engineering

Female retention in engineering remains a persistent problem. Even after overcoming hurdles to enter the profession, women leave at much higher rates than men, often because of the stress that comes with being female in a male-dominated field. This stress can be quite overt, like when women face instances of gender discrimination or harassment; but our research shows that it can also be subtle, like when women feel that their contributions are less valued than their male peers’ because tasks and roles have been gendered. When experienced daily, this kind of subtle stress can become depleting.

Our research shows that many female engineers felt drawn to tasks that were not purely technical. Indeed, many of the engineers we talked to described enjoying and excelling at tasks involving people, communication, and organization skills, in addition to technical skills.

Our interviews with male engineers confirm these beliefs. Men said that their female co-workers are often drawn to the “less valuable” tasks at work. The problem is that managerial roles are less valued in engineering.

When women disproportionately occupy roles that are less valued or unwanted, it can reinforce stereotypes about female engineers being less technically skilled, make them feel less respected, and create the illusion that they are not a “real engineer.” Decades of social psychological research shows that feeling like you and your work aren’t valued by others in your organization creates chronic and persistent psychological stress. This stress may challenge female engineers’ ability to cope with other stressors, such as high work demands and persistent bias in the workplace, leading them to burn out and consider exit.

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