Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
It has been long noted that there exists a gender imbalance across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields in higher education. Engineering in particular saw only 20.9% of its bachelor degrees awarded to women in 2016 which is a slight 2.8% increase from 2007. This disparity creates a gender imbalance in the academic environment that persists into the work place.
There are several factors that may contribute to the gender disparity in STEM, such as, but not restricted to, gender-stereotyping, lack of female role models, girls' image of engineering, self-efficacy, and self-esteem. In this paper, we address two of these factors: self-esteem, one’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of their worth, and self-efficacy, a confidence in one’s own ability to achieve intended results.
This study used the State Self-Esteem Scale to examine two self-esteem factors, academic performance and social confidence, and the Engineering Self-Efficacy Test to examine the facets of general engineering skills and experimental skills. The study collected data from 38 female engineering students, of all academic levels, before and after attending non-technical conferences.
Graduate and undergraduate students are rarely encouraged to attend non-technical conferences. However, these conferences present a non-threating environment in which students can meet female role models, develop leadership skills, and network. Results show a positive impact in the participant’s self-esteem and self-efficacy after attending a non-technical conference.
Zurn-Birkhimer, S., & Serrano, M. I., & Baker, R. A. (2018, June), Impact of Non-technical Conferences in Female Engineering Students’ Self-esteem and Engineering Self-efficacy Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30603
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