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Work in Progress: Studying the Factors Affecting Women Recruitment and Retention in Engineering

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35687

Permanent URL

https://sftp.asee.org/35687

Download Count

377

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Paper Authors

biography

Anu Osta Rowan University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0479-4664

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Dr Anu Osta is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering Department at Rowan University. His teaching interests are Engineering Mechanics, Materials Science and Manufacturing.

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biography

Jennifer Kadlowec Baldwin Wallace University

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Jennifer Kadlowec is Professor and Program Chair of Engineering at Baldwin Wallace University. She previously was on the faculty of Mechanical Engineering in the Henry M. Rowan of College of Engineering, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ for 20 years. She has been an active member of ASEE since 1998. She joined as a graduate student, after working on an engineering education project and presenting that work and student chapter activities at annual conference. As a faculty member, she regularly publishes and presents at the ASEE Annual Conference. Her interests are in design education and assessment in mechanical and biomedical engineering. She previously served ASEE in leadership roles in the ERM and Mechanics Divisions and as PIC-III Chair.

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Alissa Papernik

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Undergraduate Student at Rowan University's College of Engineering

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Amanda Ferreira Dias-Liebold Rowan University

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Undergraduate Student at Rowan University College of Engineering

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Abstract

Women in engineering face different challenges than men in engineering programs due to engineering being a male dominated field. This impacts their recruitment, retention, and future career paths. Women often face issues such as lowered sense of self-efficacy, poorer group experiences, and less stable support networks. The goal of this multi-semester study was to find the factors that help recruit and retain women engineering students. A survey was administered to about 1500 students, the approximate number of undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Engineering. The questions focused on factors of recruitment and retention, including family life, classroom experiences, extra-curriculars, specific course experiences at the public mid-atlantic University the study was conducted at and more. These questions were designed to give insight on what gets the students to stay in engineering. Interview questions elaborating on these topics were also included. Female students will be interviewed in the next phase of this project. The first phase of the study involved sending the surveys to students of senior standing (approximately 400 students). We received 66 responses, of which 45% of the students surveyed were female. The results were varied across six different disciplines. The results showed that the survey participants had supportive families and friends, but a lack of mentorship. There was also a high interest in the subject matter of their chosen discipline, which appeared to be the main factor. The next phase of the project will include sending the survey to all of the engineering students, as well as conduct focus group interviews on the students who opted in. The focus group questions are designed to elaborate on female student experiences while at the university. The results for phase two are expected to be similar to phase one, but more in depth with additional factors recognized.

Osta, A., & Kadlowec, J., & Papernik, A., & Dias-Liebold, A. F. (2020, June), Work in Progress: Studying the Factors Affecting Women Recruitment and Retention in Engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35687

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