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Women in Science and Engineering: A Tale of Two Countries

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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

Special Topics: Conscious Considerations

Tagged Divisions

Equity and Culture & Social Justice in Education

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Paper Authors


Behrooz Parhami University of California, Santa Barbara

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Behrooz Parhami (PhD, UCLA 1973) is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and former Associate Dean for Academic Personnel, College of Engineering, at University of California, Santa Barbara, where he teaches and does research in computer arithmetic, parallel processing, and dependable computing. A Life Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of IET and British Computer Society, and recipient of several other awards (including a most-cited paper award from J. Parallel & Distributed Computing), he has written six textbooks and more than 300 peer-reviewed technical papers. Professionally, he serves on journal editorial boards and conference program committees and is also active in technical consulting.

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Despite poor retention and advancement prospects, as well as female-unfriendly workplaces and corporate policies, women continue to flock to and excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. In this paper, using data and narratives from the United States and Iran as examples, I analyze reasons for the low engagement of women in STEM careers. Using the two countries with which I am most familiar as examples is instructive, because this side-by-side comparison shows that undesirable outcomes in the domain of women in STEM fields can and do occur for vastly different reasons, which I discuss.

Parhami, B. (2021, July), Women in Science and Engineering: A Tale of Two Countries Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38109

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