New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
For more than two decades the percentage of women graduating nationally with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) has been about 20% to 25% and the percentage of women practicing as engineers has been about 11%. Studies conducted by the Society of Women Engineers and the National Science Foundation revealed that nationwide women are more likely to leave the engineering profession than men. Workplace climate was a large factor in women’s decision to either leave or never enter the profession after graduating from college. Previous research indicates that women that persist in engineering have developed a strong sense of engineering identity and have developed skills to navigate the workplace environment. At Villanova University, the number of women graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering has been 33% over the past three years and the percentage of women faculty is nearly 50%, which are both above the national average. This paper explores whether the women graduates of this department persist in the profession at higher percentages than what has been found nationally and if their persistence in the profession is comparable to the men who graduate from the program. In other words: does an undergraduate program that is successful at recruiting women translate to higher persistence in the profession? Alumni surveys conducted by the department were utilized to examine women and men’s persistence in engineering and the workforce and the attainment of additional degrees and credentials. In addition, the survey results were buttressed by interviews with alumnae to provide some personal insight into women’s decisions to remain in engineering.
Welker, A. L. (2016, June), Where are they Now? Analyses of Alumnae Data Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27198
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