Women in engineering professions: sought-after and respected?


Project description (completed research project)

Women engineers are underrepresented in the economy, and they have fewer career opportunities than men. In this project the researchers analyse the influence of company culture and formal and informal company recruiting and promotion practices on the careers of women engineers.

Engineering professions are still the most male-dominated professions. Gender differences in the male "territory" of technology are a global problem; however, Switzerland is one of the countries where the percentage of women engineers is below the EU average already at the level of university studies. Women engineers continue to be underrepresented in companies. Career entry is more difficult for women engineers, and their careers advance more slowly and less far than their male colleagues’.


The project examines the effect of company cultures in the Swiss economy on the careers of women engineers. The study focuses on how formal and informal company practices of recruiting and promoting women engineers have fostering or hindering effects for women. For this purpose the researchers conducted case studies in seven companies and a representative survey of men and women engineers. Based on the findings the researchers aim to determine how the gender relations of companies can be changed and how career entry and the careers of women engineers can be improved using existing and new instruments. Beyond that, the researchers launch dialogue between science and the economy on this topic.

Original title

"TransformIng" - Analyse der Rekrutierungs- und Förderpraktiken von Unternehmen hinsichtlich genderspezifischer kultureller Hemmnisse und Förderfaktoren

Project leader(s)

  • Dr. Heinz Rütter, Rütter + Partner, Sozioökonomische Forschung und Beratung, Rüschlikon
  • Anja Umbach-Daniel, Rütter + Partner, Rüschlikon



Further information on this content