Asee peer logo

Women in Construction Engineering: Improving the Students' Experience throughout their Careers

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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 1

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Marcela Alejandra Silva Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile

visit author page

Marcela Silva is the Academic Director at the Engineering Faculty of the Andres Bello University in Campus Santiago. She works as a teacher in the Construction Engineering career and supports innovation and entrepreneurship courses. She obtained a Bachelor's degree in Construction from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a Master's degree in Educational Management from the European University of Madrid. Her passion for learning, drive her to pursue another master's degree that she is about to complete, a master's degree in Operation and Logistics at the Andres Bello University. She has taught courses in the Building and Engineering Materials area for 11 years. Her main research areas are the educational process and gender issues in STEM education. Her professional career and her interest in improving the experience of women both in her studies and in her professional development in STEM areas lead her to be a member of the gender committee of the Faculty of Engineering.

visit author page


Angeles Dominguez Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico and Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago, Chile Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Angeles Dominguez is a Professor of the Department of Mathematics within the School of Engineering, a researcher at the School of Education, and Associate Dean of Faculty Development at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. Also, she is currently collaborating with the School of Engineering at the University Andres Bello at Santiago, Chile. Angeles holds a bachelor degree in Physics Engineering from Tecnologico de Monterrey and a doctoral degree in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University, NY. Dr. Dominguez is a member of the Researchers’ National System in Mexico (SNI-2) and has been a visiting researcher at Syracuse University, at UT-Austin and at Universidad Andres Bello. She teaches undergraduate courses in Mathematics, graduate courses in Education, and is a thesis advisor on the master and doctoral programs on education at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. Her main research areas are: faculty development, teaching methods, and gender issues in STEM education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Recent retention studies identify factors that exist beyond the academic environment as critical to student withdrawal. In the Construction Engineering career, there is a participation of women similar or lower to that reported in professional life, about 6.3% of the workforce. These figures are alarming. This work seeks to diagnose female students' academic needs to improve their support to complete their degree on time and continue their professional development as successful women engineering. This diagnostic study seeks to know the perception of female students of the Construction Engineering career about their interests and academic needs to improve their university trajectory. The objective is to propose improvements to female students' university experience to increase the percentage of students who complete their studies in Construction Engineering successfully and increase women's participation in such a profession. This qualitative study will have three sequential phases: session of students with an expert, a survey of perceptions for students, and in-depth interviews. The expert session seeks to bring closer and broaden female students' visions about the professional environment by knowing the trajectory, uncertainties, experiences, and current work. The 5-point Likert scale survey collects data on the perception and level of satisfaction of the 23 female students in the Constriction Engineering Program to help them complete their studies successfully. These 23 women represent 100% of female students of the program. Finally, three semi-structured interviews go deeper into students' expectations of the program and the support to complete their studies, female students of 1st, 3rd, and 5th year. Experts will also be interviewed to find out what motivated them to finish their studies. The talk with an expert offers that the students identify themselves and broaden their vision about the profession. Surveys reveal student interests, needs, and expectations about their academic path. The interviews offer a deeper understanding of students’ perceptions about the career in different stages: beginning, in the middle, at the end, and as a professional about perceptions, interests, and expectations. It is concluded that this study reveals the interests, expectations, and needs of female Construction Engineering students so that the program visualizes initiatives that improve the student trajectory. For example, increasing the inclusion of problematic contexts raised involving social and environmental issues in a sustained way allows the identification and broadening of the students' vision throughout their careers.

Silva, M. A., & Dominguez, A. (2021, July), Women in Construction Engineering: Improving the Students' Experience throughout their Careers Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38106

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015