June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Women in Engineering
Women engineers are underrepresented in the U.S. workforce and at all levels in academia – undergraduate, graduate, postdoctoral, and all faculty ranks. One strategy for increasing the number of women engineering students and professionals is to increase the number of women faculty who teach, advise, and mentor students. For this reason, programs like NSF ADVANCE devote resources to improve institutional climate with the goal of recruiting, retaining, and advancing to leadership women STEM faculty.
As part of an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant (NSF HRD 1409472, 2014-2019), the University of Delaware (UD) initiated a biannual faculty climate survey in the spring of 2014. Because faculty satisfaction has been linked to retention and advancement, one goal of this survey is to better understand the relative importance of different aspects of faculty worklife on career satisfaction and potential gender differences therein.
Based on earlier research (Bilimoria, D., Perry, S.R., Liang, X. et al., J Technol Transfer (2006) 3:355), and on data from the UD faculty climate survey, we used path analysis to examine potential gender differences in pathways to career satisfaction. The variables that we explored were formal and informal mentoring, academic resources (e.g., lab space, research assistants), collegial support, effectiveness of the department chair, and transparency of policies and procedures (e.g., for promotion and tenure, family leave).
In this paper, we discuss the results of this work as well as how they inform our UD-ADVANCE grant activities. Our study indicates, for example, that women perceive the role of the department chair as more important to their career satisfaction than do men. We connect this result to the parts of our program that focus on chair mentoring and networking, with the goal of improving departmental micro-climates for women STEM faculty.
Doty, H. W., & Andreasen, R., & Chen, D. (2017, June), Gender Differences in Pathways to Faculty Career Satisfaction Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28399
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