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ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia
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ICWES15 - Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Manager and Leaders - An Australian Study. Presented by Melissa J Marinelli, Curtin University, Australia

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  • 1. Making the Move or Keeping the Connection? Engineering Women as Managers - An Australian Study Melissa Marinelli15th International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists Adelaide, July 2011
  • 2. Overview• Project Background• Research Question and Approach• Three Initial Themes• Conclusions and Next Steps
  • 3. Project BackgroundWomen in Engineering are a persistent minority • Low rate of entry and poor retention • Contribute to lack of women in senior rolesAdvancement to senior levels is labyrinthine (Eagly &Carli 2007) • Women in Engineering do make it to senior positions • Challenging, convoluted but achievable
  • 4. Initial SampleTitle of Role “X” Manager Lead Engineer ExecutiveAge 30 to early 50sYears of Managerial 1 to 15 yearsExperienceIndustry Oil & Gas / Mining (5) Infrastructure (2) Utilities (1)Family Status Married (7) Children (4) Children <5 years (3)
  • 5. In-depth Interviews 5 minute About version of your role life story Getting Current there – role When? how and why? What did First it feel manager / What has like? leader role helped? What What hasn’t? Gender and changed? career
  • 6. Preliminary Analysis – Emerging Themes Technical Competence Retaining a Technical Link “Me as Manager”
  • 7. Technical Competence• Essential background “You have to understand what it is that you are managing if you want to be a manager, so you need a good technical grounding and a breadth of experience in the field I think” (P3)
  • 8. Technical Competence• “Street- Cred” I think that you need to have been able to have some experience to give you…in some area on the ground… to give you a bit of street-cred when you are talking to the people who you are looking after. (M2)
  • 9. Technical Competence• Safety Net – “The challenge for me has actually been on the [Project Name] where I was out of core discipline and I didn’t have my technical skills to really fall back on and in terms of gaining credibility”. (M5) “And I think that’s really important because they can be tough on you otherwise”. (M2)
  • 10. Technical Competence High Positioning for move Achiever to manager Builld a Repputation (Evetts 1998) Establish Street Gain support of followers Cred Safety Security while settling into / acting out role Net of manager
  • 11. Retaining the Technical Link• I Do Technical Work Too – “I do have some technical roles as well - I have to run projects, interface with clients, set other peoples tasks, review and check the work”. (P1)
  • 12. Retaining the Technical Link• I enjoy it! – “I do actually enjoy some of the technical stuff and I do like having a bit of balance between the two roles” But – “Some of it’s my fault, in not being able to really let go of some of the technical stuff. Possibly I hold onto it a little bit too much” (P1)
  • 13. Retaining the Technical Link• A Necessary Career Strategy – “After that I had a child… and took a year’s maternity leave, came back part-time and I guess [Company Name] have been pretty clear that they will not offer a management role on under four days a week. I only wanted to work three days a week so at that point I went back into a technical role” (M5)
  • 14. Retaining the Technical Link I do technical Doing and Managing work too! Badawy (1982) “Professional Loyal I enjoy it! Technologist” Necessary Oscillating between Career technical and Strategy managerial roles
  • 15. “Me as Manager”• Gradual mind shift – “There is a mind shift and an experience shift that you need to undertake when you get into a management role” (P3) – “Not by appointment. That sounds weird doesn’t it” (M4)
  • 16. “Me as Manager”• Engineer Identity – I’d reached the top. I didn’t want to move into more of the business side. I’m still an engineer. I still do technical work even through I manage people (M1).
  • 17. “Me as Manager”• Degrees of Adoption – “I always knew that I wasn’t going to be a design engineer or anything like that” (P2) – “I always thought that my skills were broader and I could bring more to the profession than just the technical skill” (M4)
  • 18. “Me as Manager”“I still try to not think of myself as a manager” (M1) - Manager with 15 years of management experience
  • 19. “Me as Manager” Mind Shift, Experience Shift Engineering Strong, of great value Identity Adopting a Strongly influenced by New the importance of Identity technical expertise
  • 20. Conclusion and Next Steps HIGHLIGHTS Significance of technical expertise Ongoing connection with technical aspects Strength of Engineer Identity IMPLICATIONS Flexible job design – combining Tech + M/L Part-time Management Roles Make Senior Technical Roles as important NEXT STEPS Build on early analysis Develop essence of the experience Implications for policy and practice
  • 21. Thank you
  • 22. Extra
  • 23. Research Questions and Objectives “How do women engineers transition into managers and leaders in technical organisations?”• Understand the experience of transition to manager and leader for women engineers.• Understand how management and leadership in technical organisations is conceptualised.• Uncover factors that affect the transition to manager and leader for women engineers.• Identify implications for policy and practice to advance women in engineering.
  • 24. Definition of Terms Manager and leader • An engineer in an organisational role extending beyond a technical role. • Organisational role includes one or more of the leadership, management and business responsibilities detailed in Engineers Australia EngExec competencies (EA 2006). Transition to manager and leader • The process of moving from worker to manager and leader. • Encompasses a change in organisational role and evolution of professional identity (Walsh & Gordon 2008). Technical organisation • An organisation that employs engineers and operates within the Australian and New Zealand Standard industry Classification (ANZSIC) industries listed in The Engineering Profession 2008 Statistical Overview (EA 2008).
  • 25. Research Approach • Women degree qualified engineers Sample • Managers and leaders in technical and organisations in AustraliaRecruitmen • Minimum 12 months in role t • Invitation via Engineers Australia network • Criterion and snowball sampling (Creswell 2007), progressive to saturation DataCollection • Interviews - face to face in-depth semi and structuredAnalysis • Interview time / location to suit participants • Based on phenomenological method (Moustakas 1994)
  • 26. Project Status 23 in-depth semi structured interviews, face to face Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney Each interview ~1 hour in length Range of industries: resources, infrastructure / transport, defence Variety of management and leadership roles New managers to senior executives
  • 27. Literature Review Management Women and Women in Transition to andWomen and Non- Management Management Leadership Work traditional and and in Work Leadership Leadership Engineering
  • 28. Literature Review Women in Non- Transition to M & M & L inWomen and Work Women in M& L traditional Work L Engineering •Career paths • Attraction and • Predictive • Predictive • Badaway 1992 and models retention factors / factors • Roberts & Biddle •Cabrera 2007 • Bagilhole 2002 managerial • Cohen et al 1994 •Hewlett & • Bennet et al advancement 1998 • Wearne 2004 Luce 2008 1999 • Marongiu & • Goodman et al •Maniero & • Blickenstaff Ekehammer 2003 Sullivan 2008 2005 1999, 2000 • Nesbitt & •Mavin 2001 • Greed 2000 • Tharenou Seeger 2007 1994, 2001 • Hewlett et al 2008 • Blum 1994 • Individual•Retention and • Menches & • Cohen et al experience of Women inadvancement 1998 •Agars 2004 Abraham 2007 transition engineering – •Burke & • Lord 2007 • Attraction & • Leadership Vinnicome • Eagly & Carli advancement 2005 retention in •Kottke & Agars engineering 2007 2005 • CREW reports • Eagly & management – Mills et al Johannsen- & leadership 2008, Roberts Schmidt 2001 •Gender The experience segregation & Ayre 2002 • Fletcher 2001 • Engineering • Rhode & of becoming a •Cohen et al 1998 culture Kellerman manager and Bastalich et al 2007 leader •Preston & 2007, Gill et al Whitehouse 2005, 2008 2004 • McIlwee & Robinson 1992
  • 29. Enquiry Framework Ontology - Constructivist Epistemology - Interpretive Theoretical Theoretical Perspective - Perspective – Phenomenology Feminism Methodology – Qualitative
  • 30. EthicsEthical Process• Informing participants• Written consent prior to interviews• Provide copy of transcript to participants for reviewIdentified Issue - Participant Confidentiality• Exploring of experience may reveal sensitive information• Researcher associated with local engineering profession• Ensure participants cannot be identified post interview
  • 31. Data • In-depth semi structured interviewsCollection • Face to face • Interview time and location to suit participants Dataanalysis • Based on phenomenological method (Moustakas 1994) • Transcription
  • 32. Technical Grounding• Technical Grounding, Not Specific Tasks “You have to understand what it is that you are managing if you want to be a manager, so you need good technical grounding and a breadth of experience in the field I think” (P3) “The most important thing if you are managing something is to have some experience. But I don’t believe that you can only manage if you have done the task before”. (M2)
  • 33. “Me as Manager”• Feelings – “Obviously when you first start doing it and every decision you make is like “oh my god am I doing the right thing” / Half the time I feel like I’m pulling stuff out of… you know…” (P1) – “I was thrilled. You felt good about yourself. I certainly became more interested in work” (M2)
  • 34. Facing the Disconnect “One of my favourite conundrums is how do you stay connected when the very fact of being a manager disconnects you from what you are managing? In other words, yesterday you were an engineer, today you are managing engineers, so you are no longer doing engineering, so how do you face that?” – Henry Mintzberg, 2010
  • 35. “Me as Manager”• How do they face it? ① Still doing engineering ② Think of themselves as engineers first, and managers and leaders second. “It’s a school of thought, rather than just a job title” (M4)

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