- An understanding of oppression and privilege would improve engineering climates and encourage individuals with marginalized identities to stay engaged in engineering spaces. Currently there are quantitative tools to assess cultural competencies, but none that measure understandings of power relationships. This project aims to create a qualitative assessment instrument to measure an individual’s conceptualization of oppression and privilege. A vignette and probing interview questions around gender were developed to draw out four central topics: social construction of gender and masculinity, systems of power, gender roles, and cooptation and power dynamics. Five pilot interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using an adaptation of the constant comparison method. The analysis resulted in five spectrums of understanding within an individual’s overall conceptualization of oppression and privilege: knowledge of systems of power, the framework of viewing privilege and oppression through an individual lens versus a systems lens, social construction of gender and masculinity versus essentialism, understanding intersectionality, and use of vocabulary pertinent to the field. The instrument can currently be used to provide insight into the specific dimensions of understanding, but further testing must be done to determine how the dimensions interact to form an overall spectrum of understanding of oppression and privilege.