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Interplay of Gender and Nationality in the Early Careers of Finnish Engineering Doctoral Graduates

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division (WIED) Technical Session 1

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Women in Engineering Division (WIED)

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Johanna Naukkarinen Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Finland Orcid 16x16

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Johanna Naukkarinen received her M.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from Helsinki University of Technology in 2001, her D.Sc. (Tech) degree in knowledge management from Tampere University of Technology in 2015, and her professional teacher qualification from Tampere University of Applied sciences in 2013. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher and project manager with the School of Energy Systems at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT with main research interests related to technology and society, gender diversity and engineering education.

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Susanna Maria Bairoh Hanken School of Economics, Finland

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Susanna Bairoh received her Master of Social Science degree from University of Helsinki in 1998. She is completing her Doctoral studies at Hanken School of Business wherein her dissertation focuses on the gender gap in technology careers. She is working as Research Manager at TEK (Academic Engineers & Architects in Finland) and is responsible for leading and managing TEK’s research activities and the research team. Through her research, she aims at improving gender equality, diversity and inclusion in technology and technology workplaces.

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Studies have shown that intersections of different minority characteristics affect women differently in various stages of engineering education and career. Most research seems to be interested in the interplay of gender and race, but also the intersection of gender with the socio-economic situation, cultural background, and family situation has been investigated. This paper focuses on the intersectional effects of gender and nationality on the early careers of engineering doctoral graduates in Finland. Nationality as a variable is used dichotomously to distinguish between the graduates of a Finnish origin from the others and thus, probably tells more about the social context of the graduates as natives or immigrants than about their actual ethnic or cultural differences. Nevertheless, it conveys important information about the different positions toward employment and career. The data of the study consist of 633 responses to a career monitoring survey administered 3 years after graduation to the doctoral graduates in engineering in Finnish universities. 70% of the respondents were male and 30% female, and they represented 50 different nationalities. 78% of the respondents were Finnish and 22% of other nationalities. The data were collected in years 2018–2020, meaning that the respondents had completed their doctoral degrees between 2015 and 2017. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis. The results reveal that the interplay of gender and nationality has a significant effect on many aspects relating to employment and career. Finnish men are generally better and non-Finnish women worse paid and placed than the others, with Finnish women and non-Finnish men ranking quite similarly with respect to most of the studied variables. Recognizing and understanding these differences is essential for developing actions to support the employment of minoritized groups and thereby creating a more equal working environment for Finnish engineering doctors.

Naukkarinen, J., & Bairoh, S. M. (2023, June), Interplay of Gender and Nationality in the Early Careers of Finnish Engineering Doctoral Graduates Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43826

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