June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Women in Engineering
12.740.1 - 12.740.11
Educational institutions are increasing their efforts to integrate females into non- traditional technical programs. Adjustments, such as curriculum and recruitment and retentions efforts, are being made to ensure that females feel welcome and a part of the program’s standard regimen. Industrial Technology stands at the vanguard of successful paradigms that prepare females in such non-traditional areas as managerial and technical degree programs. Marshall (2000)26 contended that the common goals of Industrial Technology programs are to increase enrollments and to offer a curriculum designed to prepare students for management and technical careers. O’Meara & Carmichael (2004)34 added that emphasis should be placed on both recruitment and retention efforts the build enrollment numbers in technical programs. Areas of study, such as Industrial Technology, could provide possible managerial and technological career opportunities for females. The National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) defines Industrial Technology as a field of study designed to prepare technical and/or management oriented professionals for employment in business, industry, education, and government (as cited in McGowan, 1997)28. McGowan also added that Industrial Technology is primarily involved with the management, operation, and maintenance of complex technological systems while engineering and engineering technology are primarily involved with the design and installation of these systems.
Although females are increasing their representation in the non-traditional fields of study and are becoming more knowledgeable of technology’s multi-facet components, there still remains significant under-representation of females in areas such as Industrial Technology. Nelson (2004) 33 indicated that lack of female representation in technology may be due to a threefold purpose: “(1) women of the world lack knowledge of technology, (2) technology alienates and often exploits women, and (3) decisions about technology are made without women’s voices” (p.2). This is reflected from Mayer’s (1995)27assertion that females comprise only 30 percent of the industrial workforce. This globally illustrates moderate but consistent initiatives. The U. S. Department of Labor (2003)38 reported that enhanced recruitment and retention strategies for females in technological and scientific areas would assist in increasing representation in the industrial workforce. Enhanced recruitment and retention efforts of females in Industrial Technology will be one step toward offsetting the shortage of representation in this field of study.
The representation of female faculty in Industrial Technology reflects a serious lack of gender diversity. The National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) (http://www.nait.org)32 revealed that there was only 11.2 percent female representation in an Industrial Technology faculty within the universities in the United States. Koerber (as cited in Nelson, 2004)33 contended that lack of female representation may result from the belief of technology being male-center and exclusive of female areas of proficiency. Under-representation has been present in the industrial workforce as well.
In the actual industrial setting, there once appeared to be a major division between male and female job positions and responsibilities. Appiah (2002)5 indicated that
Buck, J. (2007, June), Female Amalgamation Into Industrial Technology And Factors Causative To Recruitment And Retention Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2907
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