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“This is a Very Male Job”: Challenges Encountered by Females During Recruitment and Hiring for Engineering Jobs in Qatar

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36538

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36538

Download Count

51

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Paper Authors

biography

Sara Amani Texas A&M University

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Sara Amani is a PhD student at Texas A&M University studying Interdisciplinary Engineering with a focus on Engineering Education and is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with Dr. Sara Hillman at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ). In addition, she also works at the Center for Teaching & Learning at TAMUQ as a Writing, Communications, and Multimedia (WCM) Consultant and regularly provides workshops to engineering undergraduate students on various interdisciplinary topics. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from TAMUQ in 2019, and began her PhD studies directly after. Her research interests include women in engineering, distance education, and alternative teaching methods in engineering education.

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Ebtihal Mohamed Youssef Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Ebtihal Youssef is an undergraduate Chemical Engineering student at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She is an active member in several professional organizations, such as The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), The Peace Club and Charity Week. She presented in conferences like AIChE's Annual Chem-E-Car Competition Conference and Liberal Arts International Conference (LAIC). Her current research focuses on Designing Novel Electro-catalysts Towards Selective and Robust Saline Water Oxidation and Reduction. She aspires to work as a chemical engineer in the oil and gas industry in Qatar.

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Rand Yehia Alagha Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Rand Alagha is a Petroleum Engineering undergraduate at Texas A&M University at Qatar. She does research in different areas related to petroleum engineering all as part of the Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP). In addition, she has done research projects that are interested in improving the students’ learning experience as part of the Transformative Education Experience (TEE). Rand is involved in multiple student organizations at TAMUQ, she is the President of the Palestinian Cultural Club (PCC) and Pi Epsilon Tau (PiET), and an active member in the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

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Sara Hillman Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Sara Hillman is an Assistant Professor of English in the Liberal Arts Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar where she teaches courses in foundations of English, intercultural communication, and multicultural education. Her research areas include language ideologies; language learner identities; language policy and planning in the Arabian Peninsula; Global Englishes and linguistic diversity; translingual pedagogies and practices; and gender and intercultural communication.

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Annie Ruimi Texas A&M University at Qatar

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Annie Ruimi is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A & M University at Qatar. She teaches courses related to the mechanics of materials. Her research uses advanced modeling and computational techniques to find engineering solutions to medical problems. She holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has been solely responsible for managing more than $3M of research funds.

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Abstract

Although attracting women to STEM has been a concern in Western countries, female students across the Arab world are dominating most STEM educational programs. Engineering programs in countries like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan have more than double the U.S. national average of female students. At an American international branch campus offering engineering degrees in Qatar, females now make up approximately 51% percent of the student population. Despite a high number of female STEM graduates in countries like Qatar though, this does not always translate to representation and job satisfaction upon entering the workplace. Given Qatar’s significant focus on enhancing the role of women in the workplace and working on policies toward the empowerment of women, our exploratory research study examines how attractive the engineering profession is for women in Qatar. The current paper focuses specifically on challenges that women face during the very first step in their careers—the recruitment and hiring process. The paper employs a multi-method approach, gathering and analyzing data obtained via a survey and interviews with engineering program alumnae who graduated from 2009 to 2020 in Qatar. When examining the challenges female participants faced during the recruitment and hiring process for engineering jobs in Qatar, the findings revealed that many women did not feel particularly welcomed while trying to obtain a job. Many faced personal/discriminatory interview questions, biases, and assumptions about what they could or could not do, in addition to being subjected to explicit discouragement and gender discrimination. The paper offers recommendations for addressing these issues as well as further areas of research to pursue. By bringing to light the issues surrounding females entering engineering professions in Qatar, this study offers a contribution to women’s role and empowerment in the region.

Amani, S., & Youssef, E. M., & Alagha, R. Y., & Hillman, S., & Ruimi, A. (2021, July), “This is a Very Male Job”: Challenges Encountered by Females During Recruitment and Hiring for Engineering Jobs in Qatar Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36538

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