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PANEL: After #MeToo: What’s next for Women in the Engineering Workplace?

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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

PANEL: After #MeToo: What’s next for Women in the Engineering Workplace?

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

38

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33155

Download Count

2

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer J VanAntwerp Calvin College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1066-9202

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Jennifer J. VanAntwerp is a Professor of Engineering at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. She earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with research in protein engineering. Her current research interests include retention, diversity, and career pathways among engineering students and professionals.

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Denise Wilson University of Washington

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Denise Wilson is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research interests in engineering education focus on the role of self-efficacy, belonging, and other non-cognitive aspects of the student experience on engagement, success, and persistence and on effective methods for teaching global issues such as those pertaining to sustainability.

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Sandra D. Eksioglu Clemson University

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Sandra D. Eksioglu is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering Department at Clemson University. She received her Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Florida in 2002. Sandra’s research interests are in operations research with applications in supply chain, transportation systems, and energy systems.

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Joanna Wright University of Washington

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Joanna Wright is an M.Ed. student in Learning Sciences and Human Development at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her education research interests span early childhood through higher education, with a focus on the impact of pedagogical practices and contexts on learning and development.

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Abstract

The goal of this panel session is to provide researchers who have interest or potential interest in studying women engineers in the workplace (academic, corporate, government, nonprofit) with tools to support that research. We will engage our community of participants in conversation that distills the problems women face in the engineering workplace into underlying themes that are grounded in individual, social, and organizational psychology frameworks in order to support continued, connected, and impactful research on women’s experiences in the workplace. Brief presentations will be made by each of the panelists followed by ample time for questions. Panelists will present a review of what is currently known about the experiences of female engineers in the workplace as well as what kinds of needs exist for future research, how the research may fit into relevant psychological and theoretical frameworks, and which research methodologies and tools are best suited to workplace studies. This panel session is situated in the context of the #MeToo movement with regard to how professional women will continue moving forward toward greater equality in the future. The #MeToo movement has stimulated renewed interest in understanding the types of experiences that women in engineering have in corporate, academic, nonprofit, and government workplaces, as well as how this has been and will be shaping their career and life choices. Our hope is that such renewed interest will lead to greater understanding of how, where, and when women experience hostile or difficult working conditions that ultimately lead them away from engineering, into other roles inside or outside the workplace for greater fulfillment. Previous studies of women in the engineering or STEM workplace have shown that women often face a hostile, isolated, macho, or chilly climate that catalyzes departure from a particular workplace or from the engineering workforce altogether. Importantly, difficult workplace conditions limit women’s productivity and ability to perform and contribute up to their full potential. These barriers extend well beyond sexual harassment to microaggressive behaviors that limit how many women enter into and remain in the engineering workplace well into the future. Understanding these barriers, particularly in the context of existing psychological and theoretical frameworks, can help to provide alternative coping and alternative career strategies to women engineers and also provide insight to employers on best practices for promoting culture and workplace change that better support their engineering workforce. In addition to mainstream quantitative methods for understanding the workplace experiences of women, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to studying these experiences allow us to explore the particular challenges that women face more deeply, thus creating a greater range of possibilities for evolving management and cultural practices in engineering to more fully and more fairly include women.

VanAntwerp, J. J., & Wilson, D., & Eksioglu, S. D., & Wright, J. (2019, June), PANEL: After #MeToo: What’s next for Women in the Engineering Workplace? Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33155

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