Searching for a Woman Engineer In History: The Case of Lillian Gilbreth

역사 속 여성 엔지니어를 찾아서: 릴리언 길브레스의 사례

  • Song, Sungsoo (Department of Physics Education, Pusan National University)
  • 송성수 (부산대학교 물리교육과)
  • Received : 2014.03.03
  • Accepted : 2014.05.09
  • Published : 2014.05.31


This paper examines the life and achievements of Lillian E. Gilbreth(l878-1972) called 'the first lady of American engineering' as an attempt to excavate women engineers in history. Lillian changed her majors from English literature to psychology of management through her marriage, and tried to integrate psychology of management and scientific management by coworking with her husband. After that, Lillian contributed to extend scientific management to the domain of domestic labor, institutionalize industrial engineering in American universities and enhance the status of woman in engineering societies by her own independent research and education. The success factors of Lillian Gilbreth as a woman engineer includes the development of professional career by conquest of various social discrimination, the positive understanding and assistance by neighborhood males, the selection of an emerging field like industrial engineering, and so on. This study can provide not only a case of role model for women engineers but also practical reference materials for gender-sensitive engineering education.


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