Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Women in Engineering
Objectives An objective of this study was to determine how female STEM faculty, as compared to male counterparts, are guided by other faculty members to engage in research, take on leadership roles, and assume teaching and advising roles. A second objective was to compare how guidance varied among the disciplines of engineering, biology, and physics.
Methods Faculty members from engineering (n=691), biology (n=360), and physics (n=202), representing 81 U.S. universities, completed a discipline-based Assignment of Research, Teaching, Advising and Leadership Activity (ARTALA). The activity prompts respondents to recommend five fictitious faculty members to leadership, research, and teaching/advising roles. Respondents were randomly driven to an ARTALA wherein all five faculty members are male or to one in which the person with the middlemost experience is female (i.e., “Carl” swapped for “Cathy”). Analysis included applying Chi square tests to determine if Carl or Cathy, with identical credentials, were differently recommended. Logistic regression was applied to assess if respondents’ characteristics (e.g., years experience) predicted recommendations.
Findings Although Cathy was recommended to engage in research more than Carl across disciplines, this was statistically significant only in engineering. However, across all disciplines Cathy was significantly more likely than Carl to be recommended to the leadership role of co-chairing a department. The only independent variable significantly predictive of recommendations was a respondent’s gender, but only in engineering.
Conclusion Results indicate STEM faculties are generally integrating affirmative action moves and supporting female faculty members by guiding them more often toward research and leadership roles. However, the greater likelihood to recommend a woman versus a man to an administrative role can be construed as beneficial if it truly supports a career trajectory, but worrisome if underlying reasons are related to preference for women to serve as “store front” role models and assume administrative housework.
Judson, E., & Ross, L., & Krause, S. J., & Hjelmstad, K. D., & Mayled, L. H. (2020, June), How a STEM Faculty Member’s Gender Affects Career Guidance from Others: Comparing Engineering to Biology and Physics Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34728
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015