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Impact of Humanitarianism on Female Student Participation in Engineering

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34753

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34753

Download Count

55

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Paper Authors

biography

Adithya Jayakumar The Ohio State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3074-2182

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Dr. Adithya Jayakumar is currently a faculty member in the Engineering Engineering Department at The Ohio State University.

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biography

Steven Nozaki Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4733-246X

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Ph.D. Engineering Education - The Ohio State University

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Abstract

In 2015, 57% of all undergraduate degrees were awarded to women, but in engineering that number was only 19.9%. Despite efforts to attract and retain women to STEM majors, that number has been essentially stagnant since 2006. Some suggest that this inactivity may in part be due to the way women and female students perceive engineering.

Research has shown that one of the reasons women may identify a preference for medicine and the biological sciences over engineering, may be due to perceptions of engineering being less ‘people-oriented’ and having less value to society in general. Other research indicates that women tend to value altruism and social rewards higher than their male peers. Findings show that increased demonstration of the societal role of engineering can help increase participation of female students.

Existing data gives reason to believe that enrollment and retention of female students at X University may be linked to certain perceptions about a particular major or profession. Perceptions of a major being human-centric and enabling an individual to make a difference were shown to be significant factors among those identified in a research study. Literature will be presented to show the connection between humanitarian efforts undertaken in an engineering context, and the impact that it has had on female student participation. This paper will attempt to show the trends of female enrollment and retention among various majors at X University, and compare them to programs, organizations and projects which have a humanitarian aspect.

It is important that engineering colleges across the nation make a concerted effort to invest in promoting the humanitarian aspects of engineering. Communication focusing on reminding students that the STEM majors can contribute to society can be a valuable tool to help recruit and retain female students.

Jayakumar, A., & Nozaki, S. (2020, June), Impact of Humanitarianism on Female Student Participation in Engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34753

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