June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Women in Engineering
11.902.1 - 11.902.18
Longitudinal survey of female faculty in biological and agricultural engineering Abstract
Female faculty in Biological & Agricultural Engineering (BAE) were surveyed in 1998 to examine their professional experiences, motivations, and insights. Approximately 7% of all BAE faculty were women in 1998, and the total number of women in the population was 57. Results, based on a 61% response rate, showed that a significant number of respondents had engineers or professors in their immediate families. Sixty percent of the population was assistant professors. Respondents reported that BAE departments provided a supportive environment and believed that the attraction of women to BAE is due to its emphasis on biological systems, as well as Biological Engineering’s newness and lack of long-standing stereotypes of male dominance. Full results of the original survey were published in the Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering in 2000. We are re-surveying the population of women in BAE in 2005-2006 because we believe that longitudinal data on this population will provide interesting insights into this group and its experiences in the profession. The population is now comprised of 96 women and represents approximately 11% of BAE faculty. Approximately 85% of all women in the original 1998 survey population are contained in the current population. Reasons for exiting the pipeline include staying in academia but moving to non-BAE departments such as chemical or bioengineering, being promoted to leadership positions without retaining BAE status, or pursuing other professional opportunities. Confidential surveys are currently being administered (thus far we have a 20% response rate). Forty percent of the population is assistant professors, and the percentage of full professors has doubled since 1998. Full results of the survey to date are reported in this paper.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) is a science-based engineering discipline that addresses problems or situations involving living things or products of living things. Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a distinct engineering discipline in the early twentieth century and was initially involved with the mechanization of agriculture. Other areas of research and practice developed during the twentieth century, including food and fiber processing, environmental impacts of agricultural practices, and machinery systems. During the past 20 years, agricultural engineering has shifted significantly toward biological engineering. Almost all programs originally named agricultural engineering have been changed to include biological or biological systems to reflect this shift. The primary professional society of the discipline, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (founded in 1907) changed its name to the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in 2005. Students with an interest in biological engineering comprise the vast majority of students enrolled in BAE programs.
Abadie, A., & Christy, A., & Lima, M. (2006, June), Longitudinal Survey Of Female Faculty In Biological & Agricultural Engineering In The United States And Canada Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--507
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