PRELIMINARY KEY FINDINGS
Here are the preliminary key findings of the 2016 SE3 survey, as presented by the SE3 committee at the SEAONC meeting on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016.
The results are based on a survey that was distributed nationally to 2162 currently and formerly practicing structural engineers.
Structural Engineers are generally satisfied with their choice of career. However, there is room for improvement, especially with pay/compensation, work/life balance and career advancement.
Men and women agree on their top 3 reasons for considering leaving the industry, but ranking varies by gender. Men tend to care more about pay/compensation, while women tend to care more about work-life balance.
There is a disconnect between how managers and staff perceive their work environments, specifically with respect to expectations and opportunities for advancement.
There is value in mentorship. Respondents with mentors are 18% less likely to consider leaving than respondents who do not have mentors.
Burnout is real – respondents who are overworked are much more likely to leave the industry. For each additional hour worked each week, a respondent was 4% more likely to consider leaving.
There is a gender pay gap in our industry.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / CHILDREN
There is a negative stigma against employees with children.
Employees with children advance at a slower rate than employees without children. However, they are also more satisfied with their careers overall.
At every position level surveyed, women structural engineers are less likely than men to have children. Over time, the % childcaring has decreased for women, and stayed the same for men (as evidenced by the age range of respondents surveyed). As men and women move towards more equal sharing of childcare, the retention problem is less and less applicable to women only.