The role of a humanitarian focus in increasing gender diversity in engineering education

Stoakley, A, Brown, N and Matthee, S 2017, 'The role of a humanitarian focus in increasing gender diversity in engineering education', in Huda, Nazmul; Inglis, David; Tse, Nicholas; Town, Graham (ed.) Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017), Manly, Sydney, Australia, 10-13 December 2017, pp. 438-447.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title The role of a humanitarian focus in increasing gender diversity in engineering education
Author(s) Stoakley, A
Brown, N
Matthee, S
Year 2017
Conference name AAEE 2017: Integrated Engineering
Conference location Manly, Sydney, Australia
Conference dates 10-13 December 2017
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017)
Editor(s) Huda, Nazmul; Inglis, David; Tse, Nicholas; Town, Graham
Publisher Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Place of publication Sydeny, Australia
Start page 438
End page 447
Total pages 10
Abstract Context: Diversity within project teams is known to be advantageous when tackling complex problems, such as the barriers to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To enhance the engineering profession's contribution to the SDGs, it is now more important than ever that a lack of gender diversity in the sector is resolved. Research from around the world is demonstrating that linking STEM subjects to positive social impact leads to a more gender diverse student cohort. As an organisation with both an explicit focus on social impact and relatively high participation of women in its education initiatives, Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) is well placed to further investigate the current and future role that humanitarianism plays in the creation of a gender diverse engineering sector. Purpose: This research investigates the links between gender diversity and humanitarian engineering education initiatives, and explores initial insights into how factors such as global relevance and social impact could be utilised by engineering educators to create a more diverse engineering profession. Approach: Students opting to participate in EWB humanitarian engineering education initiatives were asked via a survey tool to identify their gender and top five motivations for choosing to participate in that program. A predefined list of 24 motivations was generated from an analysis of previous motivation statements. The motivation statements were categorised into six themes: values, career, social-connectedness, social pressure / encouragement, understanding, and enhancement. Results: Preliminary analysis of survey responses indicate that both men and women are primarily motivated to participate in EWB initiatives due to values-alignment, regardless of the program type (e.g. formal curriculum, volunteer opportunity, overseas professional development opportunity). When looking at the broader data set male respondents tend towards 'career' and 'enhancement' motiva
Subjects Engineering not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Gender diversity
Social value
Humanitarian engineering.
Copyright notice © 2017 Australasian Association for Engineering Education. Gender diversity; Social value; Humanitarian engineering.
ISBN 9780646980263
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