Annotated Literature & Resources
Curtis, H; and Seixas, N (2016). Addressing the Health and Safety Needs of Washington Women in the Trades: (Safety and Health Empowerment for Women in Trades.
This study aimed to describe the exposures—both physical and psychosocial—health outcomes, and effectiveness of protection systems experienced by women working in the construction trades in WA State in contrast to those experienced by male workers.
Ritter, Monique. A Review of Causes for the Relative Unequal Participation of Women in Science, Engineering and Technology Initiatives. MA Thesis. 2012. Web Accessed 3/30/2017.
ABSTRACT: Current literature reveals that men and women do not participate in the science, engineering and technology (SET) sector on equal grounds – not qualitatively (access) or qualitatively (ease of participation). It is important that women have access to and actively participate in science; they make up more than half of the world’s population and gender equality enhances a country’s economic growth and competitiveness. Furthermore, the focus should extend further than advocating for equal access to SET to actively promoting increased participation by women. Women bring a distinctive quality to SET precisely because of their gender. They are able to increase overall SET participation numbers and positively contribute to the quality and agenda of science. This study used the pipeline theory and lifecycle approach as theoretical bases to investigate the causes for unequal participation and reviewed initiatives aimed at increasing and facilitating the participation of women in SET. Identified causes include unequal access, male-dominated nature of science, tensions of reconciling professional and private life, differences in recognition and reward, and lack of female representation in leadership. The primary methodology used was a documentary analysis study design, consisting primarily of desktop literature searches and categorization. An initiative summary framework was used to summarise and code 123 identified initiatives into an initiatives summary database. Findings were both positive and negative. The study found that women in many cases are on equal footage with their male counterparts and can manage a healthy work-life balance if provided with the necessary support but many women still describe a male-dominated work environment that is exclusionary. Findings indicate that, although decreasing, there is still gender bias in recognition and reward and that female scientists under utilise financial rewards. Women in SET do not receive equal pay for equal work and there is a distinct lack of female representation in SET leadership bodies such as academies of sciences, scientific boards and publication boards of academic journals. The most common modes of intervention are policy interventions, gender mainstreaming, advocacy and interest groups, and provision of training and support. The majority of initiatives are aimed at bringing about change at a national/policy level and are driven primarily by government and academia with academia playing an important middleman role - assisting and guiding government in the design and roll out of policies on the one hand and meeting the human resource needs of industry on the other. Although government and academia have done well in driving initiatives that increase the participation of women in SET at both school and tertiary level, more needs to be done by industry to drive the facilitation of participation. There are very few initiatives addressing the retention of women in SET; this is linked to the lack of attention to returners as a specific target group. The study concludes that the majority of countries are succeeding in closing the participation gap in terms of access or horizontal gender equality, but that vertical segregation (focusing on recognition, reward and advancement), although acknowledged, remains a mostly unaddressed challenge.
Bohanna, Darryle D. Academic and Social Experiences of Female Community College Transfer Students in Engineering Fields at Midwestern University. Dissertation. Iowa State University. 2016. Web Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: Currently, there remains a shortage of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields despite recent efforts to increase numbers. The Department of Commerce is predicting that STEM job openings will grow 17% by 2018, which is a much faster rate than most other careers. These are among the highest-paying fields, in part because of the rising demand. Educational institutions in the United States will have to address this issue in order to compete economic leadership globally. High schools, community colleges, and four year institutions must increase awareness and efforts to recruit and retain more women in STEM majors. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of female transfer engineering students at Midwestern University. Participants were asked what were their experiences as female engineering students at both the community college and the four-year institution? They were also asked to share about the community college transfer process, student involvement, relationship with faculty and advisors, sense of belonging, interaction with Faculty and staff/mentorship, peer interactions, and academic performance. Qualitative methods were used provide in-depth information regarding each student’s negative and positive experiences at both the community college and Midwestern University as a female transfer engineering student to provide a better understanding the different experiences of being an female engineering student at Midwestern University after transferring from a community college. Students reported how their interest in STEM was discovered early in their educational journey. They shared how their interest in STEM was cultivated in high school, but not so much in college. They also shared how participating in more social academic groups helped them to be more successful. Findings of the study suggested that there are common threads among the transfer process regarding their sense of belonging, interaction with faculty and staff, and family support. Students noted that, once they made the transition to college, there were not many individuals who continued to motivate them to continue in STEM. However, several participants shared that they had at least one mentor with whom they remained connected for guidance, motivation, and support. A few pointed to the lack of involvement of faculty and staff at both the community college and Midwestern University. Recommendations for practice include that it is essential to have services in place for students during and after they make the transfer to Midwestern University. Having a successful and smooth transfer experience can impact the student to turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.
Resurreccion, Leandro A. Breaking the Boundaries: Decision Factors that Lead Male Students to Enroll in Associate Degree Nursing Programs in Illinois Community Colleges. Dissertation. National Louis University. 2013. Web Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: Male nurses are but a small percentage of the total nurse population in the United States, and most certainly have potential to increase in numbers if the profession appeared more attractive as a career option for men. The purpose of this research was to discover the decision factors used by males that led them to enroll in Associate Degree nursing programs in Illinois community colleges. To set the background and context, the study explored the history of community colleges and that of nursing. Included was nursing as a profession, nursing in the United States, the country’s impending nursing shortage and the role of men in nursing. Using a qualitative case study method of design, the study adapted a multi-theoretical framework encompassing gender theory (GT) and career developmental theory (CDT). These theories were further broken down by discussing, in particular, Holland’s Theory (HT) of Personality and Vocational Choice and Krumboltz’s Social Learning Theory (KSLT) under CDT. Nine first year male ADN students from three separate Illinois community colleges were individually interviewed. Findings discovered that the first year male students experienced a distinctive decision making process with eight emerging themes revealing the males’ decision making about their ADN enrollment process. As a result of the study’s findings, MURSE: Resurreccion’s Male Nursing Student Decision Making Pyramid model was developed to elaborate the steps of how males make decisions about their ADN enrollment. An understanding of these factors can provide opportunities for community colleges, and perhaps universities, to improve recruitment and retention of males in nursing programs. A result would be increased numbers of males enrolling in Associate as well as Baccalaureate nursing programs. Such knowledge held by colleges may help to address a manpower solution to the impending worldwide nursing shortage.
Jakes, Penny J. Dual Enrollment as a Factor for Women Transitioning into Stem Majors in Montana Two-Year Colleges. Dissertation. The University of Montana. 2013. Web Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this non-experimental, descriptive, quantitative study was to describe the impact high school dual enrollment coursework has had on initial enrollment of women with STEM majors in Montana two-year colleges. The study was designed to find whether or not differences existed for access(initial enrollment), persistence(to third semester), and success(associate’s degree, certificate, or transfer to a four-year institution within 150% of program length). The literature review highlighted the need for studies to address the issue of few women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations. One goal of dual enrollment in Montana is to ease transitions from high school to college, including underrepresented populations such as women in STEM fields. The scope of this study was to collect, organize, and interpret data to describe the effect of that effort for women enrolling in STEM majors at two-year colleges in Montana. Baseline information established the demographics of young women who participated in dual enrollment in Montana high schools during 2007-2009. Data analysis described results using attributes of gender, dual enrollment, access, persistence, and success for those enrolled in STEM fields. Results indicated more young women than young men take advantage of dual enrollment in high school and more women than men with dual-enrollment credit initially enroll in college. More men than women major in a STEM field and more men persist and graduate within the STEM fields. Data indicated that 221 students enrolled in a Montana two-year college with DE/DC credit during2007-2009. Of those, eight women chose STEM majors, six persisted to the third semester, and two completed. It is recommended that a mixed-methods study be conducted to give a deeper level of understanding for enrollment trends and career choice. Longitudinal studies should also be conducted as dual enrollment grows within the state of Montana. Further studies would enable educational stakeholders to make informed decisions to create meaningful change for women in STEM majors.
Jacobs-Rose, Christina; Kara Harris. “Educational Camps and their Effects on Female Perceptions of Technology Programs.” Journal of STEM Teacher Education. 47(1). Spring 2010. Pp. 11-41. Web- Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Cheering in the Classroom, a four -day program designed purposefully to increase female awareness and perceptions of technology fields. The camp included discipline-based activities from the 13 different programs of study based in technology. The camp targeted high school cheerleaders and dancers, allowing them the opportunity to engage in hands-on-activities and competitions using new technology that was directly related to the cheerleading or dance. Each activity allowed the participants to see how technology can be used to understand and improve cheerleading/dance activities. The study compared participant’s perceptions of the Cheering in the Classroom camp to the perceptions of the TEAM (Technology Expanding All Minds) camp. Data were collected with the use of a Lyket-type scale through pre and post surveys. Responses from the survey calculated participants’ awareness and perceptions of technology to determine the effectiveness of the Cheering in the Classroom camp. Results of the study indicated that the cheering in the classroom camp had a more positive influence on participants perceptions of technology, leading the researcher to believe that building recruitment initiatives based upon participant personal interests can aid in positive perceptions of technology and technological careers.
Dasgupta, Nilanjana; Melissa McManus Scircle; Matthew Hunsinger. "Female Peers in Small Work Groups Enhance Women’s Motivation, Verbal Participation, Career Aspirations in Engineering." PNAS. 12(16). 2015. Pp. 4988-4993. Web-Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: For years, public discourse in science education, technology, and policy-making has focused on the “leaky pipeline” problem: the observation that fewer women than men enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields and more women than men leave. Less attention has focused on experimentally testing solutions to this problem. We report an experiment investigating one solution: we created “microenvironments” (small groups) in engineering with varying proportions of women to identify which environment increases motivation and participation, and whether outcomes depend on students’ academic stage. Female engineering students were randomly assigned to one of three engineering groups of varying sex composition: 75% women, 50% women, or 25% women. For first-years, group composition had a large effect: women in female-majority and sex-parity groups felt less anxious than women in female minority groups. However, among advanced students, sex composition had no effect on anxiety. Importantly, group composition significantly affected verbal participation, regardless of women’s academic seniority: women participated more in female-majority groups than sex-parity or female-minority groups. Additionally, when assigned to female-minority groups, women who harbored implicit masculine stereotypes about engineering reported less confidence and engineering career aspirations. However, in sex- parity and female-majority groups, confidence and career aspirations remained high regardless of implicit stereotypes. These data suggest that creating small groups with high proportions of women in other-wise male dominated fields is one way to keep women engaged and aspiring toward engineering careers. Although sex parity works sometimes, it is insufficient to boost women’s verbal participation in group work, which often affects learning and mastery.
Ogan, Christine; Susan Herring; Jean C. Robinson; Manju Ahuja. “ The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: Gender Differences in Attitudes and Experiences Related to Computing Among Students in Computer Science and Applied Information Technology Programs.” International Communication Association Conference. New York, NY. 2005. Unpublished Conference Paper. Web Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: Previous research suggests that the current trend towards applied information technology (IT) programs can potentially expand the involvement of women in computing. This paper reports on a Web-based survey of female and male students in computer science and applied IT programs in five public U.S. universities, designed to determine if there were differences in their demographic characteristics, uses of and attitudes toward computers, and reasons for selecting an IT major. The findings reveal that while some differences exist between the computer science and applied IT students, especially in their demographics, more differences are due to gender than to major, and these tend to replicate earlier findings for computer science contexts alone. At the same time, women’s higher enrollments in the applied programs suggest that they see advantages to studying IT outside a traditional computer science environment, such as the possibility of applying computing knowledge to socially-meaningful work.
Struthers, Brice. Micro-Aggressions in Male-Dominated Career and Technical Education. MA Thesis. James Madison University. 2012. Web Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: The following paper looks at a consistent issue in American society, the significant gender disparity in career and technical education classrooms. The researcher examined microaggressions exist and their effect on student’s retention within the career and technical education classrooms at a large community college in the Mid-Atlantic region. The paper sought out three classes that exist as a non-traditional program for females, which included one engineering class, one construction management class, and one computer science class. The researcher observed these courses and then conducted interviews with five females from the courses. As a result, the research found that females experience non-verbal microaggressions, isolation, and differing teaching methods. The research helped expand on the understanding of gender microaggressions and how females experience them in the classroom. Based on the study, instructors need better information and training on how to identify and mediate these behaviors.
Saphr, Nancy. Perceptions of Recent Male Nursing Graduates Regarding Gender Bias and Gender-Based Educational Barriers. Dissertation. Walden University. 2012. Web-Accessed 3/30/17.
ABSTRACT: Despite decades of important contributions by male nurses, nursing is still viewed as a feminine profession. Moreover, male nursing students continue to experience gender bias and gender-based educational barriers within schools of nursing. This has led to failure and drop-out rates much higher than those experienced by their female counterparts. The purposes of this quantitative survey study were to (a) explore the relationship between perceived gender bias, gender-based educational barriers within nursing education, and resiliency in recent male nursing graduates; and (b) to identify those gender-based barriers that were considered to be most prevalent and most important. A view of gender from a social constructivist approach framed the study. Two previously validated data collection tools, the Inventory of Male Friendliness in Nursing Programs-Short© (IMFNPS©) and the Brief Resilience Scale© (BRS©) were used to gather data from recent male nursing graduates (N = 97). The results demonstrated no significant correlation (Spearman rho = 0.1025, p = 0.3178), between mean scores on the IMFNPS and the BRS; however, overall mean resilience scores were high (M = 3.90, SD = 0.62). The gender-based educational barriers identified as being most prevalent and most important included (a) curriculum did not include a discussion of the historical contributions of male nurses, (b) clinical experiences were limited during the obstetrical rotation; and (c) male students feared that they would be accused of sexual inappropriateness when providing nursing care for female patients. Positive social change can occur for male nursing students if the most prevalent gender-based barriers are minimized or eliminated, men are provided with the appropriate skills to care for female patients, and resilience education is included within all nursing curricula.
Riegle-Crumb, Catherine; Barbara King; Chelsea Moore. “Do They Stay or Do They Go? The Switching Decisions of Individuals Who Enter Gender Atypical College Majors.” Sex Roles. 74. 2016. Pp. 436-449.
ABSTRACT: Drawing on prior theoretical and empirical research on gender segregation within educational fields as well as occupations, we examine the pathways of college students who at least initially embark on a gender-atypical path. Specifically, we explore whether women who enter fields that are male-dominated are more likely to switch fields than their female peers who have chosen other fields, as well as whether men who enter female-dominated majors are more likely to subsequently switch fields than their male peers who have chosen a more normative field. We utilize a sample of 3702 students from a nationally representative dataset on U.S. undergraduates, the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS 2004/09). Logistic regression models examine the likelihood that students switch majors, controlling for students’ social and academic background. Results reveal different patterns for men and women. Men who enter a female-dominated major are significantly more likely to switch majors than their male peers in other majors. By contrast, women in male-dominated fields are not more likely to switch fields compared to their female peers in other fields. The results are robust to supplementary analyses that include alternative specifications of the independent and dependent variables. The implications of our findings for the maintenance of gendered occupational segregation are discussed.
Sonnert, Gerhard; Mary Frank Fox. “Women, Men, and Academic Performance in Science and Engineering: The Gender Difference in Undergraduate Grade Point Averages.” Journal of Higher Education. 83(1). 2012. Pp. 73-101.
ABSTRACT: Using longitudinal and multi-institutional data, this article takes an innovative approach in its analyses of gender differences in grade point averages (GPA) among undergraduate students in biology, the physical sciences, and engineering over a 16-year period. Assessed are hypotheses about (a) the gender ecology of science/engineering and (b) the structural advantage of the presence of programs for women.