We have considerable understanding of the obstacles that women engineers encounter and the reasons that they leave the field, but we know less about what enables them to remain. Adopting an interpretivist approach, this article examines how a group of British women engineers in two FTSE 100 companies account for ‘staying on’ in their male dominated work settings. We delineate four specific forms of help that facilitate women’s retention in the field. We argue that exposure to help leads to women developing a habitus that enables them to continue working in engineering. To conclude we draw on our findings to outline HR practices that will facilitate supportive relationships in the workplace and pave the way towards developing more positive organisational climates.
- help, support, retention, women, engineering, career, habitus