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Engineering Careers: A Day For Young Women

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.500.1 - 13.500.10



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Paper Authors


Brenda Hart University of Louisville

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Director of Student Affairs at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Her research interests include recruitment and retention programs for females and under-represented minorities as well as activities for first year engineering students.

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Veronica Hinton-Hudson University of Louisville

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Currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Information Systems Department within the College of Business. Her research interests include Quality Engineering and applied statistics, Production Operations, Systems Analysis, mentoring, and STEM pre-college initiatives and programs.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



As the need for engineering professionals in the United States continues to grow, the severity of the under-representation of women in the profession is further magnified. This is true whether or not the engineers are practicing their profession, are educators in the field, or both. This employment shortage is a national problem that must be addressed in a more strategically focused manner.[1] Exposing more young women to the various careers in engineering is an important step to recruiting more females into this field. This paper presents a program that specifically focuses on the identification and recruitment of high school young women to engineering, with specific attention to the offerings at the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering.


Women and minorities have been underrepresented by alarming proportions in institutions of higher education in general and in science and engineering (S&E) programs in particular over the last quarter century. Although more female and minority high school students have at least heard of engineering, relatively few of them have had the opportunity to become familiar with engineers and the work they perform. As noted in Figure 1, Bachelor's degrees awarded in S&E and non-S&E fields by sex for the years of 1966–2004, nationally, women earn substantially more bachelor's degrees in non-S&E fields than men.

Program background

The University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering offers seven engineering degree options. In 1995, personnel from the University of Louisville School of Engineering were concerned with the decrease in the numbers of young women entering the engineering programs especially given that nationally the number of S&E bachelor's degrees awarded to women had increased every year since 1966 (excluding 1988).[2] Taking into consideration the costs and time constraints presented, it was decided to develop and implement a Women’s Career Day, sponsored by the Speed School of Engineering. Local high school female students to would be invited to spend a day on the university’s main campus in the School of Engineering. The program would be designed with the following goals in mind:

1. to introduce young women to the field of engineering and to thus encourage them to continue their pursuit of advanced math and science courses

2. to provide female role models to the program participants by including panels of both female engineering students and female professional engineers as discussants.

Hart, B., & Hinton-Hudson, V. (2008, June), Engineering Careers: A Day For Young Women Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4466

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