Impact of Gender Bias on Career Development &Work Engagement in the Oaec Industry & Lean Practice

Paz Arroyo1, Annett Schöttle2, Randi Christensen3, Thais Alves4, Dayana Bastos Costa5, Kristen Parrish6 & Cynthia Tsao7

1Asst.Prof., Catholic University of Chile [email protected]; Senior Coach, Lean Project Consulting, USA, [email protected]
2Senior Consultant, Refine Projects AG, GER, [email protected]
3Lean Manager, Lower Thames Crossing, COWI, UK, [email protected]
4Associate Prof., CCEE Dept., San Diego State Univ., USA, [email protected]
5Associate Prof., PPEC Program, Fed. Univ. of Bahia, Brazil, [email protected]
6Asst.Prof., DEW School of Constr., Arizona State U., USA, [email protected]
7Dir. Lean Strategy, Consigli Constr. Co.; Owner, Navilean, [email protected]


This paper examines findings from a gender bias study in the Owner, Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (OAEC) industry. By definition, a bias is a deviation from what is normal, which is defined by social norms. If different attitudes towards male vs. female co-workers exist, then one group may gain subtle yet impactful advantages in career development and work engagement. To what extent does this happen within the OAEC industry, including lean construction practice? While several industries studied the negative impact of gender bias on women in the workplace, this has not been studied in the lean construction community. Thus, this study fills the gap. Lean is based on respect for people and continuous improvement. Do these principles translate into more equitable experiences in promoting ideas, and in career development and work engagement for men and women in the OAEC industry? Regardless, if gender biases are acknowledged, then what programs exist or might exist to provide support to the disadvantaged group and level the playing field? The authors addressed these questions by administering a survey over social networks. This paper highlights initial results to raise awareness of the existence and impact of gender bias and begin exploring methods to overcome it.


Gender Bias, Career Development, Work Engagement, Lean, Respect, Change Management



Arroyo, P. , Schöttle, A. , Christensen, R. , Alves, T. , Costa, D. B. , Parrish, K. & Tsao, C. 2018. Impact of Gender Bias on Career Development &Work Engagement in the Oaec Industry & Lean Practice, 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 442-451.

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