Despite years of recruitment efforts, the percentage of engineering bachelor's degrees awarded to women in the U.S. still hovers at only 18%, and the percentage of degrees awarded in engineering technology stands at 16%. The question then remains, what keeps high school girls from choosing engineering or engineering technology as a potential career path? Or conversely, for those girls who do consider engineering and technology, what is motivating them to do so? We surveyed the participants in an on-campus outreach program at Penn State New Kensington entitled Females Interested in Reaching for Science, Technology, and Engineering (FIRSTE) to garner information about demographics, influences, and perceptions that may have enabled their consideration of a scientific/engineering career. To determine their uniqueness, we administered the same survey to a control group of college students in non-scientific and non-engineering fields. The differences in background influences between the two groups were subtler than predicted, but the perceptions of both groups about engineering were enlightening. We found that although great progress has been made in eliminating certain disadvantages that keep girls from entering the science and engineering pipeline, the great divide between girls and engineering remains due to a lack of familiarity with the nature and possibilities of engineering and engineering technology.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2005|
|Event||2005 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: The Changing Landscape of Engineering and Technology Education in a Global World - Portland, OR, United States|
Duration: Jun 12 2005 → Jun 15 2005
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes