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Infrastructure Sinkholes: ​The Pretense of Operating Gender Neutral Organizations ​Erodes Engineering Education

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32964

Download Count

17

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Paper Authors

biography

Stephanie Quiles-Ramos Virginia Tech

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Stephanie is a Gradaute Research Assistant at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has a BS in Industrial Organizational Psychology, a BA in Sociology, and a Certification in Women and Gender Studies. She is a Virginia Tech Pratt Fellow and a Virginia Tech Graduate McNair Scholar.
Her research interest are in Engineering Culture, Institutional Behavior, Women & Racial Minorities in Engineering, Responsible Civic Engagement and
Service Learning as a Pedagogical Practice in Engineering

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biography

Ellen K. Foster Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Dr. Ellen K Foster currently holds a post-doctoral appointment in the engineering education department at Purdue University. She received her doctorate in Science and Technology Studies from Rensselaer Polytechninc Institute in 2017, and holds her BA in Astronomy and Physics from Vassar College.

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Donna M Riley Purdue University-Main Campus, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Donna Riley is Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education and Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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biography

Jennifer Karlin Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Jennifer Karlin spent the first half of her career at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where she was a professor of industrial engineering and held the Pietz professorship for entrepreneurship and economic development. She is now a professor of integrated engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in the Bell Engineering program and the managing partner of Kaizen Consulting.

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Abstract

This paper draws from the framework of Feminist Scholar Joan Acker’s Gendered Organizations (1990; 2012) to examine the shifting landscape of engineering education and related networks. Analysis of interviews with over 30 engineering education researchers reveals organizational dynamics and gendered relations present in both day-to-day work environments and engineering education reform efforts. National conversations with professional societies, industry representatives, and federal agencies seek to articulate public values to which engineering education should respond, and seek to drive change through funding mechanisms, bully pulpits, accreditation, and governance of the profession itself. Examining these directives through a feminist lens reveals possible limitations of what is currently imagined as an ideal for which the field strives, and whose concerns are addressed and presented. Grounding in feminist theory helps to work a basis that organizations can be and are cultural - a notion many organizational scholars note as an integral force for understanding change (Schein, 1990). It provides the researchers and the research itself the ability to be reflexive while paying critical attention with regard to gender and other oppressive intersections as they arise in analysis. As organizational dynamics unfold layers of written and unwritten regulations eroding the engineering education profession, which scaffold gender neutral engineering practices, power is enacted and must not only be acknowledged but addressed. These power relations within organizations influence all aspects of change potential in engineering education and are not limited to change related to diversity, equity, or inclusion. Through attending to these aspects of organizations, we can focus on understanding how to shift power dynamics to enact change at various levels.

Quiles-Ramos, S., & Foster, E. K., & Riley, D. M., & Karlin, J. (2019, June), Infrastructure Sinkholes: ​The Pretense of Operating Gender Neutral Organizations ​Erodes Engineering Education Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32964

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