With an aim to investigate and analyze the active participation of female engineers in the Egyptian labor market, this qualitative research study argues that gender-biased cultures embedded within formal educational and employment engineering institutions marginalize and undermine the representation of highly educated female engineers. Based on women’s shared experiences, it becomes apparent that their personal interests are not sufficient to ensure an engineering career. Other determinants–primarily in the form of impending challenges–during the pre-university, university and employment stages of life impact women’s lived experiences. On the one hand, challenges faced before graduation include: a) gender-based stigmas and stereotypes surrounding specific engineering majors, b) family disapproval, c) score-based qualification systems, and d) lack of practical educational experiences. On the other hand, the primary challenges of the formal labor market include: a) discriminatory hiring processes and lack of sufficient employment opportunities for female engineers in male-dominated disciplines, b) limiting female employment to office roles, d) denial of legal rights and benefits and e) conditioning female employees to social expectations of women’s roles in the private sphere. Nonetheless, female participants unanimously highlighted the absence of written discriminatory laws and their continuous effort to achieve work-life balance amidst the challenges faced in employment.


School of Global Affairs and Public Policy


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Policy

Graduation Date

Summer 6-15-2022

Submission Date


First Advisor

Ghada Barsoum

Committee Member 1

Rana Hendy

Committee Member 2

Noura Wahby


90 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item

Included in

Public Policy Commons