Timespan: November 2023- November 2024
Development Organization: Developed at California State University, Fresno, USA
Funding Agency: Division of Research and Graduate Studies, CSU Fresno
Amount: $10,000.00


Currently, only 9% of U.S. construction workers are women[1], and in heavy civil construction[2] , it might be estimated that the presence of women is around half of this number. In these fields, the path followed by women from their early career years to staying and thriving in the industry is influenced by their social identities, challenges faced, and attraction/retention factors experienced during their professional careers. These experiences might provide insights into how companies, as well as higher education institutions, can improve to make female students choose and pursue a meaningful and fulfilling career in civil engineering and the heavy civil construction industry.


[2] Comprises establishments whose primary activity is the construction of entire engineering projects (e.g., highways and dams), and specialty trade contractors, whose primary activity is the production of a specific component for such projects.

Research Objective

This research aims to explore under the lens of social identity, challenges, and attraction/retention factors experienced by mid and long-career females with Construction Management (CM), Civil Engineering (CE) or Geomatic Engineering (GE) majors working in the civil engineering and heavy civil construction industry. T

[1] Dr. Calahorra-Jimenez is a Beavers Assistant Professor and has access to The Beavers network.

[2] Dr. Calahorra Jimenez is part of the WTS outreach committee and the faculty advisor of the WTS Fresno State student Chapter.

Research Methods

A survey will be conducted on at least 100 females working in civil engineering and heavy civil Construction firms. Female professionals will be contacted using the Fresno State Construction Management Industry Advisory Board, The Beavers[1] (with the support of Mary Teichert, who is currently the president of the association), and Women in Transportation Systems[2] networks. Results from the questionnaire will be complemented with selected follow-up interviews. Statistical and content analysis will be conducted on the questionnaire and interview data.

Related Reserch Topics

  • Broadening Participation of Women in Civil Engineering and Heavy Civil Construction

  • Research Team

    PI: Dr. Maria Calahorra-Jimenez, California State University, Fresno
    Research Assistants: Frances Yu