Gender diversity changes in a small engineering discipline: materials science and engineering

TitleGender diversity changes in a small engineering discipline: materials science and engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBowman, KJ
JournalEquality, Diversity & Inclusion
Date Published2011
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number20407149
KeywordsAcademic , ENGINEERING , gender , Graduate , Higher , research , sciences , STUDENTS , United , Universities , Women
AbstractThe purpose of this paper is to establish greater understanding of changes in gender diversity at the undergraduate, graduate and faculty levels for a small engineering discipline, materials science and engineering (MSE), and how it may be related to different cultures across the variety of engineering disciplines. The paper assesses publicly available data on the demographics of US MSE programs to explore expectations of correlation between increased gender diversity at the graduate level and among faculty versus undergraduate gender diversity.  The number and percentage of women increased substantially in graduate programs and within faculties whereas the percentage of women receiving bachelor's of science degrees in engineering (BSE) in MSE, and nearly all other engineering disciplines, was significantly lower in 2009 than in 2000. Diversity advances at graduate, postdoctoral and faculty levels in the interdisciplinary field of MSE, and likely other relatively young engineering disciplines, have been achieved via a continuous migration of individuals from other science and engineering disciplines as well as from international science and engineering programs. Research limitations/implications – The paper does not explore cause-and-effect, but rather provides a case study of trends occurring within a specific discipline. When evidence for a "leaky pipeline" is found within one generalized context (i.e. engineering), the assumption has been that every discipline (i.e. MSE, biomedical engineering) within that context has leaky pipelines that must be fixed. 
NotesBowman, Keith J.; Issue Info: Apr2011, Vol. 30 Issue 2, p127; Thesaurus Term: RESEARCH; Thesaurus Term: UNIVERSITIES & colleges; Subject Term: GENDER; Subject Term: ENGINEERING students; Subject Term: WOMEN graduate students; Subject Term: GRADUATE work; Subject Term: ACADEMIC degrees; Subject Term: HIGHER education; Author-Supplied Keyword: Academic staff; Author-Supplied Keyword: Gender; Author-Supplied Keyword: Sciences; Author-Supplied Keyword: Students; Author-Supplied Keyword: United States of America; Author-Supplied Keyword: Universities; Number of Pages: 18p; Document Type: Article; Full Text Word Count: 7018