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Women in high-tech jobs point to gains

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Many women in scientific and technical fields are fairly content with their work and say they have made gains in the workplace since they began employment, according to a Purdue University study.

"A lot of the women in the study were older and have already fought their way through quite a bit, such as sexual harassment and the 'glass ceiling,'" says Carolyn Boiarsky, assistant professor of English at Purdue Calumet in Hammond. "Many feel they have made tremendous gains since they began working, and today they're fairly happy with their jobs."

Boiarsky, who teaches business and technical writing, conducted the study with five other women members of the International Professional Communication Society, part of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.

The majority of the women who responded to the latest survey were in their 30s and 40s with a college degree, had been in the labor force more than 10 years, were married, and earned $20,000 to $40,000 annually. Among the survey findings:

Surveys were sent to participants in an earlier study Boiarsky did on women in high-tech fields. The latest survey recipients, from more than 20 states, were asked to copy and distribute the questionnaires to other women in technical and scientific areas in their organization. A total of 295 women returned the questionnaire. Boiarsky's study was published in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Professional Communication.

Boiarsky also is owner of Effective Communication Associates in Hammond, which provides training and consulting in written and oral communication to high-tech industries.

CONTACT: Boiarsky, (219) 989-2207; e-mail,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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