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Gendered transitions, career identities and possible selves: the case of engineering graduates

Papafilippou, Vanda; Bentley, Laura


Laura Bentley


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article, drawing upon the Paired Peers project, a longitudinal qualitative study (n=90), examines how seven UK engineering graduates, four women and three men, construct their career identities during the transitionary period from university to work. It explores how gender and the occupational cultures that reside within the sector, and the wider sociocultural context, affect women’s careers identities, choices and trajectories. The longitudinal design, characteristics of the cohort and the theoretical framework of possible selves contribute to the originality of this empirical research. In this paper, we show how female graduates gradually adapted their occupational aspirations and career identities to fit with socio-cultural expectations and how they struggled to construct viable ‘engineering’ selves in the vital career identity development phase of their first years of employment when most female STEM graduates change careers.


Papafilippou, V., & Bentley, L. (2017). Gendered transitions, career identities and possible selves: the case of engineering graduates. Journal of Education and Work, 30(8), 827-839.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2017
Publication Date Nov 17, 2017
Journal Journal of Education and Work
Print ISSN 1363-9080
Electronic ISSN 1469-9435
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 8
Pages 827-839
Keywords organizational behavior and human resource management, education, public administration
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Journal of Education and Work on 6th September 2017, available online:


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