July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Women in Engineering
Within higher education in the United States, women still have yet to reach parity when it comes to degree attainment in engineering and computing. This result exists despite the increased focus on gender equity and broadening participation efforts for racial minorities supported by varying organizations including resources from non-profit organizations, the federal government and the private sector. As of 2018, women earned 22% of bachelor’s degrees, 27% of master’s degrees and 24% of doctoral degrees in engineering according to the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). However, this level of representation is not the same for women within certain ethnic groups. When focusing on the ethnic population shifts in the U.S., particularly the increasing number of Hispanic students enrolling in higher education, it is important to further explore the experiences of female students of diverse backgrounds in an effort to better understand and, ultimately, address parity issues.
Within engineering and computer science programs at a southeast-based minority serving institution (MSI), efforts have been made to help improve the participation in and success of female students within the fields. This has been done by partnering with external organizations and implementing programming to address documented reasons for lower female participation in engineering and computing. Using a critical race theory (CRT) lens and intersectionality conceptual framework, this research study consisted of conducting individual interviews with current undergraduate female students within engineering and computing. The interviews were coded, analyzed and thoroughly documented within the results and discussion session. Findings show that experiences prior to entering college, family involvement, social group involvement and institutional culture and climate all play critical roles in female student persistence through these academic programs. The dissemination of these results will contribute towards identifying opportunities in which to remove barriers for women within engineering and computing by understanding their experiences and participation in the fields.
Abdullah, D. N., & Fletcher, T. L., & Quintero, R., & Moten, J. R., & Boyd, B. N. (2021, July), Race, Gender and Persistence in Engineering and Computing: A Qualitative Analysis of Female Student Experiences at a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37633
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