Engineering Redefined: Exploring the links between humanitarian engineering and gender diversity

Stoakley, A and Brown, N 2018, Engineering Redefined: Exploring the links between humanitarian engineering and gender diversity, Engineers Without Borders Australia, Melbourne, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Engineering Redefined: Exploring the links between humanitarian engineering and gender diversity
Author(s) Stoakley, A
Brown, N
Year of publication 2018
Publisher Engineers Without Borders Australia
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Engineering not elsewhere classified
Abstract/Summary Values-alignment between an initiative/organisation and participant- The most prevalent motivators, regardless of gender, for getting involved in EWB education initiatives were based in shared values and building understanding.The influence and substance of social connections - Motivation statements referring to 'social-connectedness' resonated much more strongly with women than men. However, rather than social connections based on gender, the motivation statements referred to building networks with 'like-minded people' or further alignment with the EWB community. As many existing networks and societies in the STEM fields already focus on women supporting women, there is an opportunity to complement these with platforms for individuals to connect based on another identifier - a strong values base. Exploring a 'personal pathway' through engineering - Post-program reflections highlight the value an initiative might provide in creating an opportunity to move beyond classroom theory and explore answers to questions such as 'what kind of engineer do I want to be?' and 'what can my role look like as a professional engineer?'From having role models, to being a role model - Articulating the relevance and potential impact of engineering to younger students is motivating for university students when returning to their own classroom. Many initiatives which aim to attract and retain diversity in STEM fields already focus on the influence role models can have on others through, for example, providing a real example of what an engineering career path might look like. However, there are also clear benefits for the role model themselves, such as increased motivation stemming from building their own deeper understanding of their chosen career path.We conclude the report with recommendations drawn from these insights, which might support educators, industry, and others in our network to open up the engineering profession to a more diverse range of future professionals.
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