June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Women in Engineering
26.1744.1 - 26.1744.20
Women Advancing in TechnologyIncreasing the pool of qualified workers, particularly more women and underrepresentedminorities (URM), in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics (STEM) hasbecome one of the nation’s key priorities, as those professions are the backbone of innovation,and become more important in our country’s economic future. According US Bureau of LaborStatistics, only 6 percent of U.S. workers are employed in the STEM fields, and they areresponsible for more than half of our sustained economic expansion. Statistics have also shownthat over the last decade, STEM jobs grew three times faster than non-STEM positions. Thedemand for STEM professions is projected to continue climbing in the next 10 years; however,recruiting for skilled people poses a challenge for many companies, with an even greater one forminority candidates. A recent study by Boyer “Engineering by the Numbers” found that womenonly earned 18.4% of engineering degrees in the U.S. awarded in 2010, but make up 50% of thepopulation. This discrepancy is unacceptable, and it makes us rethink the way we approach thedevelopment of future workers’ skills. Recognizing the need for greater numbers of minorities,particularly women, which pursue degrees in STEM disciplines, the School of XXXXXXX haslaunched a strategic initiative for several programs that work in tandem to improve mentoring,recruitment and retention for these underrepresented populations and when coordinated, willcreate a pipeline that will move students from high school, to undergraduate school, then to theworkforce.To address the national pressing need for diverse STEM workforce, the strategic initiative hasincreased enrollment, retention and degrees awarded from 2011 – 2013 to female students in thefield of technology by providing enrichment experiences for high school students andundergraduate students at XXXXXXX School of XXXXXXXX. We utilize existing programssuch as Extreme IT Day where over 350 high school students come from all over the state for acareer fair, workshops and info session led by company representative from our industryadvisory board, Technology Week which is a school wide effort that showcases our latestgraduate and undergraduate research, Women in Technology Symposium where a top levelfemale executive panel mentor and advise female students from the university as well as visinglocal STEM high school for girls, and female student researchers gave oral poster presentation.In addition to keeping students engaged and motived in the technology field, a series ofworkshops, mentoring, and professional development seminars were also provided. Specifically,the main goal is to increase the number of women and minority students who graduate with atechnology degree in Applied Engineering Technology, Information Technology, ConstructionManagement, Electronics Technology, Geomatics, Graphics Communication Systems,Motorsports Technology, and Occupational Safety and Health was accomplished.Since XXXXXXXXXXXX University is a Historically Black College and University (HBCU),the majority of its students are considered URM. XXXXXXXXX STEM Early College HighSchool is also located on the first floor of The School of XXXXXXXXXXX. These elementscoupled with the fact that only 23% of the School of XXXXXXXXX students are female givesus a unique position to capitalize on the opportunity to make a paradigm shift that is morereflective of the nation’s population. Although the primary focus of these programs are toadvance the participation of underrepresented minority researches, educators and students in theSTEM fields, the strategic initiatives have the ability to enhance discovery and understanding forthe STEM field at large by bolstering a mutual beneficial environment in which all parties gaincommunity life experience through portals that utilizes a collective effort to pool scientificexpertise which is paramount for continued growth in any discipline. The simplistic nature ofthese programs fosters a model that can be easily replicated for any partner institution withsimilar objectives.
Sowells, E. R., & Exner, N., & Abernathy, S. F., & Agrawal, R. K., & Faison, B. S. (2015, June), Women Advancing in Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25080
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