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Introduction To Science And Technology Careers And Leadership Workshops For Women And Girls

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Diversity, Recruiting, and Retention in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.843.1 - 11.843.17



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Paper Authors


Margaret Ratcliff Purdue University-Columbus/SE Indiana

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Margaret Ratcliff is an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University College of Technology in Columbus, Indiana and has been there since January 2005. Before joining Purdue University at Columbus, she spent 11 years in industry working mostly as a Product Design Engineer, Senior Project Engineer, and Structural Analyst. She earned a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University.

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JoDell Steuver Purdue University

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JoDell K. Steuver is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Columbus, Indiana. She was a member of the Association for Quality and Participation for many years and has taught in automotive-related industries for six years. She is currently teaching team development, leadership and safety courses.

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

Introduction to Science and Technology Careers and Leadership Workshops for Women and Girls Two workshops were developed for women and girls to foster an interest in career development, higher education, and careers in science and technology. The workshops were funded by a grant from the Decatur County Community Foundation. Participants in the girls’ workshop were from the local area junior high school classes. Women from the community at large will attend the women’s workshops. Workshop attendees participated on a voluntarily basis.

One of the goals of the workshops was to help women and girls develop self-confidence, self awareness, and establish habits that would encourage them to pursue their goals or career objectives. This was achieved by using engaging exercises that taught the participants leadership skills, risk taking approaches, goal setting techniques, and assertiveness methods. The workshop participants were also introduced to careers in science, technology, and engineering by presenting “Engineers Can Do Anything” and facilitating a discussion about the DVD afterwards. The workshop participants then listened to several professional women share their career experiences. The workshops also provided participants with a list of avenues for achieving their career objectives or goals, such as a list of potential businesses, a list of local area technical colleges and universities, or a list of local career centers.

Another goal of the workshops was to have the participants establish a mentoring relationship with professional people from the community or older students. The mentors and workshop participants discussed and planned career objectives and goals, developed a Microsoft power point presentation on their career objectives or future goals, and presented their ideas to the group. At the end of each workshop, participants were asked to evaluate the workshop and provide feedback to the authors.

Introduction and Background

Table 1 shows educational and workforce statistics for Decatur County Indiana 1, 2, 3. Decatur County ranks eleventh in the state of Indiana in terms of manufacturing jobs in 2004. Those jobs account for 33.3 percent of the jobs in 2003. It is the home of two high-tech manufacturers.

Table 1. Workforce Statistics for Decatur County Indiana. Population Characteristics Decatur Percent Indiana Rank of County for entire State Population 25 years and over, 24,970 .4% of state 6,237,569 62nd 2004 estimate High School diploma or higher, 7,573 79.1% of 82.1% 69th 2000 census county Bachelor's degree or higher, 1,829 11.5% of 19.4% 58th 2000 census county In labor force (population age 16 12,566 70.1% of 63.9% 62nd and over), 2004 county Persons going on to higher ed. 221 .5 % of state 59,655 59th Median household income, 2003 $42,959 99.2% of state $43,323 35th

Ratcliff, M., & Steuver, J. (2006, June), Introduction To Science And Technology Careers And Leadership Workshops For Women And Girls Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--461

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