June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Women in Engineering
Given the low representation of women among engineering faculty, it is important to ensure women in engineering academia have networking opportunities and resources necessary to advance in their careers. To this end, an online survey was sent in April 2018 to engineering faculty employed at California State University (CSU) campuses offering a degree in engineering or computer science. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the networking and collaboration needs of women faculty and compare them to their men counterparts. Two primary portions of the survey focused on collaboration with others and satisfaction regarding available resources. A total of fifty-two engineering faculty from ten campuses of the CSU responded. A high proportion of respondents valued collaboration with others and having a network diverse with respect to gender and organization. While having a gender-diverse network was highly valued, using gender to actively seek collaborations appeared to be much less popular. No significant gender differences existed. It was, however, observed that tenure-track faculty were significantly more likely to value collaborating with others and having a diverse network with respect to the organization than tenured faculty. For evaluating the availability of resources, the faculty were also asked to rate their level of satisfaction with resources available for nine distinct aspects of their academic career. Among all respondents, the lowest areas of satisfaction were with industry relations and research equipment. Tenure-track faculty reported significantly higher satisfaction than tenured faculty in five of the nine categories: teaching training, grant writing, professional networking, professional development, and overcoming bias. Gender differences between tenure-track faculty satisfaction were shown to be insignificant, with the exception that women were significantly more satisfied with resources for teaching materials. Four categories ranked in the five lowest areas of satisfaction for each gender (the availability of research equipment, professional networking, industry collaboration, and work-life balance) with teaching materials and overcoming bias rounding out the fifth category for men and women, respectively. Overall, this study highlighted the need for networking and research resources among the tenure-track engineering faculty at the CSU campuses. Finally, strategies to address these needs, particularly as they pertain to supporting tenure-track women, are recommended, the most significant of which is a recommendation for the CSU to apply for an ADVANCE grant to provide inter-campus networking and mentoring opportunities.
Oka, L. G., & Stillmaker, K., & Jones, C., & Sadrinezhad, A., & Nazari, M. (2019, June), Assessing the Networking Preferences and Resource Satisfaction among Engineering Faculty in the California State University System Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32123
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