Gender Stereotypes and the Choice of an Engineering Undergraduate Program

  • Natalia Maloshonok HSE University
  • Irina Shcheglova HSE University
  • Kseniia Vilkova HSE University
  • Mariya Abramova National Research «Tomsk State University»
Keywords: major choice, engineering, gender stereotypes, gender inequality, satisfaction with the choice of university and undergraduate program, higher education


In Russia, as well as in the globe, there is a substantial imbalance in proportions of men and women who choose engineering undergraduate programs. As previous research demonstrated, this phenomenon can be explained by the gender stereotypes about better natural abilities of men to understand mathematical and engineering subjects. The paper is aimed to define the prevalence of gender stereotypes and gender differences in the choice of engineering majors, and explore associations between gender bias and the reasons for major choice. The survey data about undergraduate engineering students collected in one regional Russian university with strong focus on technical science was utilized (N = 1791). According to our results, the most widespread gender stereotypes among engineering students are that men better understand physical phenomena and patterns and have more developed technical and logical reasonings, while women are more neat and diligent. Reasons for engineering program choice do not significantly differ for men and women students. However, men students affected by gender stereotypes more often reported their wish to get a good job after graduation as a reason for major choice. While, women students, affected by gender stereotypes about better natural math abilities of men, more often reported that their major choice was made by the influence of family.  Moreover, women are less satisfied with their choice of university and undergraduate program.


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How to Cite
Maloshonok, Natalia, Irina Shcheglova, Kseniia Vilkova, and Mariya Abramova. 2022. “Gender Stereotypes and the Choice of an Engineering Undergraduate Program”. Voprosy Obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no. 3 (October).
Research Articles