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Reaching Engineering & Architecture Career Heights: A Pre College Program To Interest Women In Engineering, Architecture & Technology

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.436.1 - 4.436.11

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Paper Authors

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Suzanne D. Bilbeisi

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Camille F. DeYong

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

Session 3453

Reaching Engineering and Architecture Career Heights: A Pre- College Program To Interest Young Women in Engineering, Architecture and Technology

Camille F. DeYong, Ph.D., Suzanne D. Bilbeisi

School of Industrial Engineering and Management/School of Architecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078


There is a need to encourage more young people to consider careers in the technical fields of Engineering, Architecture or Technology. Specifically, an increase in women choosing careers in these fields could help curb the predicted shortfall in the professional workplace. To address this need, three summer academies were held at Oklahoma State University. The primary goal of these academies was to introduce young women to the possibilities available to them within the professional fields of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Needs Addressed and Project Objectives

The United States faces a shortfall in the number of engineers available to meet the needs of our ever increasing technological society in the 21st century. Atkinson observes that the employment rate for scientists and engineers is increasing faster than total U.S. employment 1. Pool states that the number of jobs for scientists and engineers should grow at a rate of two times the rate of the rest of the economy2. To stay competitive with other advanced societies, the United States must find other sources of professionals to serve as engineers, rather than the traditional white male. It is estimated that 85 percent of those entering the workforce in the year 2000 will be minorities and women3. As women make up over 50 percent of the population, they are one of the best sources of available talent to draw upon to fill future needs in fields based upon the application of technology.

Young women are not choosing to enter technical careers at the same rate as young men, however. The drop-off in the study of technical careers among young women is extremely steep from high school through college4. Although many reasons are debated as to why this drop-off occurs, there is no dispute that it exists 5. Programs that support and encourage young women to choose technical careers must be pursued. Engineering and architecture provide challenging career options for women where many of their talents can be drawn upon. The fields of engineering and architecture can only become more diverse and broadly based as relatively untapped populations are involved.

Bilbeisi, S. D., & DeYong, C. F. (1999, June), Reaching Engineering & Architecture Career Heights: A Pre College Program To Interest Women In Engineering, Architecture & Technology Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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