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Persistent Gender Inequity in U.S. Undergraduate Engineering: Looking to Jordan and Malaysia for Factors to their Success in Achieving Gender Parity

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Potpouri

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

34

Page Numbers

25.1036.1 - 25.1036.34

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21793

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21793

Download Count

151

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Paper Authors

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Nehal I. Abu-lail Washington State University

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Nehal I. Abu-Lail received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2004. She is an Assistant Professor at the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University since August of 2006. Her research is focused on fundamental understanding of physiochemical cellular properties and interactions in environmental and biological systems. She has published over 20 technical articles and presented her research in over 80 national meetings. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of health (NIH) and 3M. She is currently teaching the “Introduction to Cellular Bioengineering” and the “Unified Systems Bioengineering I” courses.

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Fatin Aliah Phang Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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Fatin Aliah Phang graduated from the University of Cambridge with a M.Phil. in educational research and a Ph.D. in education. Phang's research area is in physics education, focusing on problem solving and metacognition. Phang is a lecturer in the faculty of education, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Phang's main responsibilities are teaching, research, and publication. Now, Phang is the Deputy Director of the Regional Centre for Engineering Education (RCEE), School of Graduate Studies, UTM working on research, training, and academic programmes in engineering education. Phang is also the Editor of the ASEAN Journal of Engineering Education (AJEE) and Academic Manager of the Ph.D. in engineering education at UTM. Other than engineering education and science education, Phang is also working on environmental education especially in the Low Carbon Society and the Environmental Performance Index for Malaysia.

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Ashley Ater Kranov ABET

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Ashley Ater Kranov is ABET's Managing Director of Professional Services. Her department is responsible for ensuring the quality training of program evaluators, partnering with faculty and industry to conduct robust and innovative technical education research, and providing educational opportunities on sustainable assessment processes for program continuous improvement worldwide.

She is Principal Investigator of a NSF-funded validity study of her direct method for teaching and measuring the ABET engineering professional skills and is adjunct associate professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University where she co-teaches the senior design capstone sequence.

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Khairiyah Mohd-Yusof Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

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Khairiyah Mohd-Yusof is currently the Director of the Regional Centre for Engineering Education (RCEE), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Previously, she had held posts as a Deputy Director at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, and Head of the Chemical Engineering Department. As the Director of RCEE, she oversees the Ph.D. in the Engineering Education program at UTM. Her main research areas are process modeling, simulation and control, and engineering education. She has been implementing PBL in her courses since 2002 and is also involved in training engineering instructors in teaching and learning throughout Malaysia.

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Robert G. Olsen Washington State University

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Robert G. Olsen is Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture for Undergraduate Programs and Student Services and the Boeing Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering at Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., USA. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., in 1968 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., in 1970 and 1974, respectively. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, an Honorary Life member of the IEEE Electromagnetic Compatibility Society. He is past Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Radio Science.

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Rochelle Letrice Williams ABET

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Rochelle Williams recently joined the ABET headquarters staff as Educational Research and Assessment Manager in the Professional Services Department. In this role, Williams manages ABET’s educational offerings on a global scale and leads technical education research projects. Prior to joining ABET, Williams held two positions at Baton Rouge Community College: Science Laboratory Manager and Adjunct Faculty in the Mathematics Department. In addition, Williams has worked closely with the National Science Foundation’s Next Generation Composites Crest Center at Southern University. In this role, she supported the center’s mission to increase the awareness of engineering education to underrepresented minority groups on both the secondary and post-secondary levels. Williams holds a Ph.D. in science and mathematics education and a master's of engineering in mechanical engineering from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, La., and a bachelor's of science in physics from Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

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Azizan Zainal Abidin Universiti Teknologi Petronas

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Azizan Zainal Abidin is Senior Lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Petronas and has served as a Senior Manager in the Academic Central Services of the university. Currently, she is actively doing doing research in electronic portfolio as an alternative assessment in the teaching and learning of mathematics for engineering students.

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Abstract

Successful Recruitment and Retention of Women into Engineering: A Review of What Works Abroad to inform US PracticesIn the 1950’s women represented less than 5% of the graduating classes in schools of law,medicine and engineering in the United States (US) (Diekman et. al., 2010). During theintervening years, despite overt and covert discrimination, US women fought in both the courtsand public opinion forums to be admitted into schools of law and (human and veterinary)medicine without funding by the federal government or professional societies (Kam, 2005).Women now comprise 50% or more of the graduating classes in these professions.Since the 1970’s, millions of dollars have been spent by the federal government, industry andprofessional societies to increase the number of young women in engineering programs in theUS. These efforts have helped to increase the participation of women in engineering from 2% inthe mid-seventies to 17% in the nineties to 20% at the turn of the century. The percentage hasdecreased slightly as we enter the second decade of the 21st century (NSF, 2011). Clearly,achieving the parity that exists in other previously male-dominated fields such as law andmedicine has proven to be much more challenging than predicted.The Equal Opportunities for Women and Minorities in Science and Technology Act (EOWMST)of 1981 charged the National Science Foundation (NSF) to proactively recruit women andminorities in science and engineering in order to promote proportionate representation, with avaried annual budget of 7 million to 10 million dollars. Institutions such as Harvard Universityhave invested $30 million to change policies and practices that contribute to the slow integrationand advancement of women in faculty positions in these fields. These funds have been used to 1)study and understand the explicit and implicit patterns of discrimination against women inengineering schools and workplaces, 2) identify and campaign against incorrect and negativestereotypes about women’s cognitive abilities with respect to science and engineering, 3) attractyoung women to the engineering profession by convincing them that engineers make a positiveimpact on society and 4) retain them once they are in engineering school by providing (amongothers) alternative instruction, mentors and role models.The US federal government, industry and professional engineering societies continue tocontribute millions of dollars to increase the number of women in US engineering programs withminimal impact. It appears that there are factors in the Malaysian environment that that yield asignificantly higher recruitment and retention rate in engineering for women, yet those factorsremain undefined (Zainal, 2009).The US-based and focused research on this issue is almost entirely US centric. This paperprovides a targeted cross-cultural review of the literature to inform the global communityinterested in increasing the number of women in the engineering profession. This paper willarticulate and analyze the different experiences that women have in different countries in order todetermine best practices that can be used for increasing the number of women in the engineeringfield globally.

Abu-lail, N. I., & Phang, F. A., & Ater Kranov, A., & Mohd-Yusof, K., & Olsen, R. G., & Williams, R. L., & Zainal Abidin, A. (2012, June), Persistent Gender Inequity in U.S. Undergraduate Engineering: Looking to Jordan and Malaysia for Factors to their Success in Achieving Gender Parity Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21793

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