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Increasing The Enrollment Of Women In Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Global Issues in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.694.1 - 8.694.5



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Paper Authors

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Reza Sanati-Mehrizy

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Afsaneh Minaie

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1779

Increasing the Enrollment of Women in Engineering

Afsaneh Minaie Reza Sanati-Mehrizy Assistant Professor Associate Professor

Computing and Networking Sciences Department Utah Valley State College


Today, an important issue in academics is increasing the participation of women in engineering and sciences. It is well known that women are significantly underrepresented in scientific fields in the world, and engineering is no exception. In our college only 5% of pre-engineering and less than one percent of computer engineering students are women.

There are several reasons for attracting women to engineering such as the fact that more than 50% of consumers are women. If those designing the products are able to relate to the female section of the population, there is a better chance of selling the products. Industry needs women designers. Also, the women’s talent can be used to improve the work environment. Women excel in verbal and interpersonal skills and are very good collaborators2. This paper will address several ways of attracting more women to the field of engineering.


Statistics from the U.S. Department of Education show that in 1998 -1999, women earned 57% of B.S. degrees, 58% of M.S. degrees and 43% of doctorate degrees1. More women than men earn associate, bachelors, and master’s degrees. Also, the number of women receiving all types of degrees has increased at a faster rate than for men. Between 1989-90 and 1999-2000, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to men increased by 8 percent, while those awarded to women rose by 26 percent1. However, in 1999 – 2000, women earned only 19.5% of B.S. degrees, 19.7% of M.S. degrees and 14.3% of doctorate degrees in engineering and engineering related technologies1. As can be seen from the statistics, women are underrepresented in the engineering field.

Fifteen years ago during the computer, microelectronics, and aerospace boom, there were concerns about a shortage of engineers. Everyone was thinking that the solution was to attract women to engineering. However, because of corporate restructuring and productivity increase for engineering activities, some people thought that there was no more need for so many

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Sanati-Mehrizy, R., & Minaie, A. (2003, June), Increasing The Enrollment Of Women In Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11844

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