Are Women Following in Dad’s Professional Footsteps?

Daddy working on computer When I did my PhD looking at what drew some of the few females engineering students into the field, I often heard stories about scientific fathers or other male relatives who were influential to their interest. Clearly, I'm not the only one according to a podcast within Scientific American. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Maryland examined surveys of more than 40,000 women who were born between 1909 to 1977. There was a clear rise in the number of women entering previously male-dominated fields, and as time progressed, there was a distinct change. Women born in the 1970s were three times more likely to follow in their dads’ footsteps. Researchers can’t say exactly what this means about father-daughter relationships. Maybe dads are investing more time in educating their daughters. Maybe they’re talking more about their own jobs.  But dads and daughters appear to be taking career paths that bridge both the generation and gender gaps. Do you have a father who influenced your career path?

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